A Weekend Away, from Suffolk to Norfolk September 20 2013, 0 Comments
First stop Aldeburgh...
I find Aldeburgh has been a constant source of inspiration. As soon as I step out of the car, my whole being relaxes. Some sort of simplicity or purity - I can’t put it into words. An unpretentious town, in stark contrast to the busyness and relative trendiness of neighbouring Southwold.
We always head to the Market café for fresh fish or a coffee, sitting outside on the main street people and dog watching.
Next stop is the bookshop - always have to buy something here – this time a large paperback volume of Grayson Perry’s work –as a textile designer I love his stunning use of colour and pattern and am fascinated by his uniquely personal drawings.
Wherever you are in Aldeburgh you’re always incredibly aware of the sea. I was devastated to miss “Grimes on the Beach”, the Benjamin Britten opera recently staged outdoors for his centenary – apparently it was magical. They used the real boats on the beach as part of the set.
I love how huge hollyhocks seem to sprout from every crack in the pavement and along the flint walls and the pastel, ice-cream coloured houses, except please can the person who painted theirs swimming-pool blue have a re-think.
Next morning off to the North Norfolk coast.
We drop our bags at the White Horse pub in Blakeney where I am pleased to see they have cushions and lamp shades from my old friends’ Lush Designs.
From here we go and explore the moonscape marshes at remote Burnham Overy Staithe – swirling flocks of birds and the setting sun glistening on the water and mud. Also a visit to Burnham market, peering through the window of Ruby and Tallulah who stock Pazuki. It’s a stunning village – but it’s had a severe attack of the Farrow and Ball’s and we spotted too many London types wearing Barbours out walking their Labradors.
The next day we visited the windmill at Cley, set by a sea of tall rushes that made a soothing rustling sound in the wind, with the odd cry of a seabird overhead. Beautiful flint walled cottages, how I would love to own one, however small, even a little hut somewhere here.
We had a long walk out to the sea at Holkham Beach in bright sunshine, collecting shells and paddling in the warm sea, empty apart from a few families with buckets and spades. A breath-taking stretch of sand, the wind skimming and swirling the sand, stinging your ankles and looking like dry ice.
Norfolk is wonderfully remote and free of people - simplicity, big skies, space to think. The light is different so therefore the colours look clean and sharp. Can’t wait to go back.
(Please don’t all stampede there and spoil it!)