Why I Love Suffolk: Lee Parker

Lee Parker, MD of Coversure and independent district councillor for Babergh

Lee Parker, MD of Coversure and independent district councillor for Babergh - Credit: Paul Nixon Photography

Memory

As a child, my parents were involved in the running of the Sudbury Carnival. I remember the excitement of the build up to the big day and then travelling on the floats from Cornard to Sudbury, through the Market Hill and on to the Priory football ground. In its heyday there were dozens of floats and great fun was to be had soaking the spectators that thronged along the length of the parade with water pistols and flour bombs.

Landmark

ITFC football stadium, Portman Road. A constant in my life from the time I used to stand on a milk crate in the old West Stand to the current day. As a child in the 70s, I watched Ipswich entertain the biggest clubs in Europe. In the winter, during the mid-week games, I can still recall vividly the air thick from the pipe smoke on the terraces. The competition might not be so renowned currently but the buzz from a full stadium is the same now as it ever was.

Beach

Aldeburgh for walking along the prom with fish and chips. Southwold for the long, wide beach. Also they hold a sausage dog walk each year which, for a sausage dog owner, is just the ticket. Felixtowe, because it’s the most local but also because it’s changed so much recently. Beach Street is a great new venue to stop and get something to eat or to browse the quirky shops and artefacts. The Spa end also has some great bars and restaurants.

Town or Village

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I live at Newton, which itself is picturesque with the golf course nestled in the centre. We are blessed to live in an area teeming with quaint villages. Kersey, Chelsworth, Monks Eleigh, Cavendish and Lavenham to name but a few. Bury St Edmunds is undoubtedly a beautiful town but Sudbury is where my heart is. And seriously underrated in my opinion. The scene as you enter the town from Ballingdon Hill is a delight with its rooftops and church towers, especially in summer. It really is an attractive town. Gainsborough’s House and St Peter's are going to be a phenomenal addition to the cultural experience when complete.

Places to eat

The Secret Garden on Friars Street in Sudbury. Situated in one of the town’s most historic buildings, it has a charm of its own. When sitting in the courtyard garden in the summer you could just as easily believe you’re in the Mediterranean. A simple menu but always well presented in a relaxed manner. Love it. Also, the Crown at Stoke by Nayland never fails to delight.

Attraction or day out

Ickworth House. We used to go all the time with our children. There’s always something on and the house itself is really interesting with its rotunda and gardens. You can walk around it pretty much all day with its various trails.

Event

LeeStock Music Festival. The best, most family-friendly music festival in Suffolk. Situated in the grounds of Melford Hall which provides a stunning backdrop, especially on a fine early summer’s evening as the sun goes down – wow! The event attracts some big name bands as well as showcasing some real local talent. And all in support of the fabulous Willow Foundation who provide special memories for seriously ill young adults.

Shop

Partridges in Hadleigh. Another staple that’s been there forever in which you can get practically anything for the home and garden.

Export

Any of the ales from our abundance of breweries. Adnams, Mauldons, Nethergate but for me it’s Greene King IPA. Debates about peoples favourite beers are always most fulsome but I just think you know where you are with a Greene King IPA. A great session beer, I haven’t tired of it yet.