Well not literally, but we must have looked a bit odd for all the drooling we were doing over the beautiful villages we kept passing.
So, after a lovely afternoon pootling about Laveham and generally taking life easy, Lucy and I headed to the tiny hamlet of Bradfield Combust to settle in for the night at the beautiful Church Farm. We couldn't have wished for a more comfortable, delicious and charming place to stay. The family run a fruit farm here so we had freshly picked strawberries with zero food miles attached for breakfast. as well as bacon and eggs cooked on the Aga - yum. (Click on any of the pictures if you'd like a bigger view).
It was very tough to leave my very spacious and comfortable room the next day but the road trip was about to really get going. Our first stop on the map was Kersey which Lucy had read up on in her Villages of Englad book and just knew we should visit.
On Sunday morning it was the most peaceful and pretty place to be, strolling the lanes and admiring the views. I just loved the red tiled rooves, mixed with thatch, and the contrast between the black timbers, weathered brick and pastel painted plaster. The sort of place that makes my heart jump.
My imagination was on overdrive - wouldn't you love to be curled up beside the fire on Christmas Eve in one of these delightful homes, or perhaps on a bright summer's morning with the kitchen windows flung open overlooking a flower filled garden?
Every house you've ever seen illustrated in an Enid Blyton book is in this village believe me. It's staggeringly charming. Look Lucy needed a sit down to take it all in!
And then we were back on the road again, trundling through lanes full of cow parsely, past field upon field of still green wheat (Lucy and I talked a lot about the logistics of combine harvesting - I know, I know; Sex in the City or what!!) We were heading for Clare on our way back west when we found ourselves coming through Long Melford and we both shouted STOP!
And can't you just see why? Across the road from Melford Hall is a huge expanse of village green lined with beautiful houses that leads up to the Tudor alms hospital and the most glorious church I think I have ever entered. I could talk about it for a looooooooong time but I guess there's tons about it on the web if you're interested.
We enjoyed a tranquil hour looking around and my personal highlight was the magnificient planting that surrounds the church. Cottage garden perennails hug the building; fragrant old roses, lovely valerian, irises and tons and tons of hollyhocks about to burst into bloom, some framing the entrance itself. What a wonderful, wonderful idea.
We really needed to get a move on by this point or we'd be back home at midnight. No more unscheduled stops allowed and we made it Clare for a late lunch (homemade sausage rolls & salad and as much coffee as we could drink, all served on vintage plates and tea cups - how perfect is that?) at very marvellous antique centre where we could both have blown a fortune but were very well restrained. I did manage to come home with another vintage basket (the sort with coloured handles) but more of that another day.
And then it was a fond farewell to Suffolk with happy hearts because I'm sure we'll be back, maybe with a trip to the coast next time. We hit an almighty thunderstorm on the M6 and I don't really know how Lucy managed to drive through the hours of rain, but then she is a rather marvellous girl you know.
So thanks for coming along. Hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did.