Sunday, 13 September 2015

Suffolk Weekend 2015

Bank holiday weekend we went off to Suffolk to stay at Happy Days Retro Vacations. If you like retro caravans, camping and quirkiness it’s a great place to stay. The Airstream caravans are really cool, the campsite has a nice atmosphere with friendly owners and the facilities were great. 

Anyway onto the food...

The campsite was in Saxmundham. A mile down the road was a Waitrose store. To us Waitrose is a real treat as we don’t have any close to us at home so we always like a browse. It had a nice Free From section with all the staple items. I found quite a few items that were naturally free from too. We brought some Gourmet Burger Kitchen Burgers that were pure beef to use on the bbq and some chipolata sausages which were also safe. We didn’t need too much as it was just for the first nights bbq.

Day two - I booked lunch at Jimmys Farm near Ipswich. For the last few years we’ve been to the Sausage and Beer Festival (read here)which is a great day out but couldn’t make it this year so it was nice to be able to visit the farm and have lunch in the restaurant. The restaurant has a separate Gluten & Dairy Free Menu which is always bonus as it elevates asking as many questions.

I chose to have the Rare Breed Salt Beef Salad which I can honestly say was one of the most tasty salads I have ever eaten. The beef was really flavoursome and tender, I loved the combination of salad leaves, gherkins and dill dressing and the star of the show was the crispy capers which were amazing. I rarely eat capers as they aren’t something that I buy very often but since being home I have tried them out myself on a salad and they are fab. Just dry them off from the jar and fry for a few minutes in vegetable oil until crispy. Yum!

For dessert I chose a scoop of Elderflower Champagne Sorbet and a scoop of Raspberry. Both were really nice and refreshing. It made a change to be able to have a dessert (no fruit to be seen for once). The Restaurant staff were all really helpful and I’d highly recommend eating there and the food is really really good.

The farm has a great shop filled with meats from the farm and lots of lovely items from local suppliers. I spotted the Bionita Gluten Free Gnocchi which I was really wanting to try so I brought a few packs to take home. I also got some local coffees, rasberry salad dressing, a local Gin and some Old Colchester Forest Bacon for our evening bbq.

The farm is a lovely place to spend a few hours wandering around the fields, woods and shops. If you have kids there’s lots of fun stuff for them to do and see.

Day Three – The lovely Pippa Kendrick (The Intolerant Gourmet) had recommended some places for us to visit so to start the day we headed out to Snape Maltings which is a very nice place with some lovely craft, homeware, clothes and art shops plus a big Farm Shop/Deli. The shop had a section of free from baking mixes, biscuits and sweet & savoury treats. I like farm shops as a lot of other products are naturally free from too. Just read the labels. I picked up a few packs of biscuits, a pizza base mix and a pasta meal. The pasta meal was ok but not something i'd buy again. Both biscuits were good. I've not tried the pizza mix yet.

Afterwards we headed to the coast to have lunch in Aldeburgh. Pippa had mentioned a hotel restaurant which sounded perfect so we had lunch at The Brudenell Hotel. The waitress was knowledgeable about allergies and told me to choose what I liked the look of and it could be adapted. I had to have seafood being at the seaside so I went all out and ordered half a lobster grilled and served with boiled potatoes and a side salad. It would have been nice to have some sort of dressing for the salad but the meal was still delicious and fresh. It was a lovely place to have a meal with views over the beach and sea.

We had a walk along the seafront and came across the local fish sellers in their little huts. I love smoked anything so we stopped off at one of them to get some smoked fish for our tea back at the campsite. I picked out some hot smoked salmon and king prawns and my husband had a seafood platter which was a selection of everything. We threw them on the bbq for tea and everything was delicious.

All in all it was a very successful weekend for free from food. The county has lots of farm shops and deli's around every corner with great local produce. I love Suffolk and would highly recommend Happy Days Retro Vacations as a place to stay.