Why I Love Suffolk - Patricia Mattinson

Patricia Mattinson

Patricia Mattinson - Credit: Contributed

Driving over the Orwell Bridge behind the removal van nearly 11 years ago - a long and tiring journey from ‘down South’ - the Suffolk sky so huge and welcoming. We have never regretted the move.

The Scallop by Maggi Hambling at Aldeburgh. It looks different each time I see it, depending on the light, the weather - quite stunning. I love her work, and try to go to her exhibitions (often at Snape Maltings, another favourite haunt of ours).

Southwold in the winter. We can stroll on the beach, wrapped up warmly, then head for the pier for a restorative coffee.
Aldeburgh in the summer. However busy the high street is, if you’re lucky enough to find a parking space you can often find that the hoards seem to disappear by the sea, and a walk down Crag Path towards Thorpeness is lovely. We often pick up some prawns from one of the huts on the way back.

Place to eat
Sole Bay Fish, Southwold. The first place we had a meal after we moved up here, when you took your own drinks and bread! It has grown a lot since then, now has a drinks licence, but still retains its character and charm.

The Queen’s Head, Bramfield. Great food and a lovely garden to sit out in. Cosy and warm in winter too, with a gorgeous wood burner fired up.

Focus Organic, Halesworth. Another place we have known for years. There's a wonderful range of organic food, the best coffee in Halesworth (they can grind the beans for you if you want to make it yourself at home - Cameroon Boyo is our favourite). And a great shop for cards, jewellery, bags - an Aladdin’s cave, where I can always find the right gift.

Day out/attraction
Back to Southwold Pier! You can mooch for ages in the little shops, gaze out to sea (I particularly enjoy using my Marine Traffic app to find out what ships and boats are around). And a leisurely lunch at The Boardwalk is always a treat.

The Suffolk Candle Co's candles, made in Saxmundham. They have wonderful fragrances and are made with soy (so eco-friendly). They make great gifts. I take one of the travel size ones with me when we go away.

Halesworth (town) - we are so lucky to live nearby. A great range of shops,  a brilliant podiatrist and a super dentist. Cutlers Hill doctors and staff are wonderful too.
Chediston (village) - it’s a joy to live here. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful when we arrived, and that spirit has continued over the years and through the pandemic - the village WhatsApp group has been a lifeline.