Saturday, 19 June 2010

Two Go Mad in Suffolk


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.

21 comments:

Hen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
heidi said...

You have been our neck of the woods,lavenham is 25 minute drive from us at snowdrop cottage,clare & kersey are'nt far either. Chocolate box are'nt they? Glad you enjoyed suffolk!!

KC'sCourt! said...

Suffolk is lovely isn't it. You're right every house does look like an Enid Blyton illustration!
Julie xxxxx

Jess said...

Loved it! It's a bit odd to read about all the places I've grown up around but so lovely too as I really appreciate how beautiful Suffolk is. You travelled so close to Hadleigh where I was born. One Sunday afternoon I got back to my Nana's and thought I'd lost my bear in the ford at Kersey! Luckily I hadn't but reading about your journey reminded me!

Shhh said...

The cream house with the moulding on the side is my favourite. I can only dream of living somewhere so gorgeous!

A Country Girl said...

Yes, you should definately come back and visit the coast! Try Southwold and Walberswick, then Aldeburgh, perhaps Orford and maybe Woodbridge... I could go on!

busybusybeejay said...

That brought back lovely memories for me.WE stayed in a cottage in Long Melford on the road up to the church overlooking the green.It had the most delightful cottage garden at the front and back.It's a lovely area of the country,all those pretty villages and houses.We must go back!

dottycookie said...

If you were in Clare and the antiques centre last Sunday, you would have probably bumped into us as we were heading back from a weekend by the Suffolk coast. I was the one sneezing in the roof room ...

I don't know how we missed Kersey though - how gorgeous!

Magic Cochin said...

All my favourite places in one blog post! My husband used to stay at Church Farm during the week before we managed to sell our house and move to Suffolk - he can vouch for the excellent breakfasts and great hospitality.

You must have whizzed past the end of our lane as you headed back home.

I'm so pleased our neck of the woods put on a grand show for you both.

Celia
x

Pea Green Kitty said...

I can understand just why your heart was jumping!! It all looks so picturebook perfect.... Oh I do love Blighty!!!
Thank You so much for the tour
x

Lucy said...

I'm lost for words, I really want to go there! Tomorrow, ideally!

There's a little book illustrated by Emma Bridgewater's husband Matthew Rice (I'm sure he just loves being introduced that way!)about English village vernacular architecture and how if differs regionally. I've got it somewhere, but I can't find it or remember the title at the moment! I'll tell you if I do.

Hope you get to do another trip soon, sounds wonderful.

Lucy said...

Right, just remembered about Google! This is it, it isn't hugely advanced if you know a lot already ( I didn't) but it is lovely so I'd recommend if you don't have it,

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Village-Buildings-Britain-Handbook-Matthew/dp/0316726249

Frances said...

Thank you so much for this marvelous report of your day out and about. Each photo is so full of details...each place you show is one I would dearly love to visit. I don't think that I have ever really visited Suffolk, though I have traveled through it. Must put it on my travel dream list.

Glad that you two got through that thunderstorm.

When is the next roadtrip?

xo

Helsie said...

Fantastic! I enjoyed your trip immensely. Please take us with you if you go again.
Cheers
Helen

Pink Feather Paradise said...

See now I like the idea of a road trip... I think that would be a fantastic holiday for Mr P and I...
Thank you for sharing the pictures of your adventure they are beautiful... and we are off to Peacehaven in East Sussex tomorrow to pick up our new car (bought on eBay)... Somerset to East Sussex... what a day! lol

x Alex

Teresa said...

Sigh. Such a wonderful trip! So glad you posted all those lovely photos... a pleasure to tag along with you!

periwinkle said...

these are definately the types of houses that dreams are made of ... Bradfield caught my eye as that was my maiden name :-). So where are you planning on going for your next road trip?

Rowan said...

I love Suffolk, it's packed full of beautiful villages, wonderful countryside and luckily my son and his family live there so I get to go there a lot. You obviously loved it as much as I do - lovely photos which make me want to go down there agai right now!

love and lilac said...

I drive over to Suffolk from Herts whenever I can. I can spend many a happy hour trawling the property websites and drooling over cottages for sale! My dream would be to have a house in Walberswick.

Judy said...

Thank you for the photos and I just found another area that I would like to visit.

Kiotta said...

What do I have to do in my life to be worth of living in a lovely place like that? Thank you very much for posting.