Sunday, 25 March 2012

Another trip to the seaside!

The Boy and I jetted off to the coast again last weekend on the hunt for our perfect seaside wedding venue. This time we picked the gorgeous Heritage Coast of our neighbouring county of Suffolk. Even though the weather wasn't as dazzling as it was for our trip to Cornwall, the short two hour journey to the Suffolk coast made a big difference to our moods compared to the seven hour hell we embarked on a few weekends earlier!

Thorpeness Meare - the boating lake

We know the beaches and heaths of Suffolk well. The Boy holidayed there for years with his family and we've had some great times revisiting his childhood holiday spots together and discovering some little gems of our own. The quaint and quirky holiday village Thorpeness was our first stop. Just a couple of miles from the popular town of Aldeburgh, the tiny village retains the 1930s charm of the resort created by the Ogilvie family for English tourists to enjoy traditional pursuits on their summer holidays. Much of the architecture is resonant of small town America, with some quintessential English touches like the boating lake and brightly coloured beach houses. The village looks out to the north sea, over a wide sweeping beach of pebbles, with amazing views along the coast in both directions. When the sun is out, the neat black and white timber buildings of Thorpeness nestle quietly (almost eerily so) in between huge blue skies and glittering turquoise waters.

The House in the Clouds
For such a popular strip of coastline and considering it's proximity to resorts such as Aldeburgh and Southwold, which have become increasingly overrun by upmarket yacht clubs and exclusive holiday homes, Thorpeness has remained a unique and fairly unspoilt haven of good old fashioned fun. Home to a friendly and welcoming hotel, golf club and country club, as well as a good selection of Bed and Breakfast and holiday accommodation, the village also has a cute refreshments kiosk and boat house, a good foodie pub, and a no-frills bar and restaurant serving fish and chips alongside an antiques and bric-a-brac emporium! It's all delightfully intriguing.

The Country Club
We had a fabulous time. We put wellies on and walked along the beach in the wind and rain. We ate burgers and nachos at The Beach House, looking out on the meare and watching the landlady chalk up the specials board and sports TV listings for the day. We drove along deserted heath roads and lanes bordered by the unmistakeable Suffolk gorse bushes with their little specks of gold flowers. We drank refreshing Aspall cider and lazed around in our cosy guest house, which had been completely renovated last year, when the owner salvaged some lovely original Victorian features... to use as planters in the garden!

Best of all, we found the perfect church and reception venue for our special seaside wedding next summer and we're now busy planning all the delightful little details! I'll keep you posted :-)

Enjoy the sunshine! 

Aspall at the Engineers Arms, Leiston
Home from Home, Leiston