Why I Love Suffolk: James Barber

James Barber, general manager of The Lion Brasserie in East Bergholt

James Barber, general manager of The Lion Brasserie in East Bergholt - Credit: Contributed


My favourite memory is of my first trip to Portman Road in 1987! We played Manchester City in the old second division and won 3-0. I remember as we were driving to football I had my scarf hanging out the window. Grandad would take us to football while dad took mum shopping in town. We would stop for breakfast and a milkshake at a café in Kesgrave first.


It has to be the Abbey gardens. I grew up just outside of Bury St Edmunds and have very fond memories of playing there with my friends in the school holidays. I love the wildlife and colourful flowers, I also remember when peacocks used to wander out freely!

Place to eat

Suffolk has so many amazing places to eat and I have many favourites. Although it’s a take-away and technically not a ‘place to eat’ I love Simply Thai takeaway in Manningtree. I love Thai food, and they do it really well there, it’s especially nice with the open kitchen.


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Being a Suffolk boy, any pub that sells Adnams gets a big thumbs up from me, but I really like The White Hart in Aldeburgh, a very traditional pub, a real pub! It's even better in the summer months when they have the pizza oven lit in the back courtyard.


For nostalgic reasons I love Felixstowe beach. We used to have a beach hut there when I was growing up. I have fond memories of swimming in the sea, followed by fish and chips, then off to the putting green.


We have many things to be proud of in Suffolk. One of my favourite Suffolk brands that is enjoyed all over the world is Dingley Dell pork. I have been lucky enough to visit the farm with director Mark Hayward. They have a very high welfare sophisticated breeding programme, and the product is delicious! Dingley Dell also have the Million Bees project on the farm, and are great supporters of a Suffolk-based children's charity I am a patron of, Over The Rainbow. 


I love Suffolk Owl Sanctuary. They do a lot of good work with injured owls and other birds of prey, and it’s really lovely to see the flying displays, they also have meerkats!


My favourite event has to be the Suffolk Show - I absolutely love it. It’s been sad without it over the last couple of years. I normally do a cookery demonstration.

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