Why I Love Suffolk: Christine Webber

Christine Webber, novelist and former About Anglia presenter Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation

Christine Webber, novelist and former About Anglia presenter Picture: Suffolk Community Foundation - Credit: Suffolk Community Foundation

Memory

My first memory of coming to Suffolk is way back in 1974 when I was driving from London to Southwold, so that I could act in the Summer Theatre season of that year. As I progressed up the A12, I felt a sense of joyful connection with the county. This was intensified when I reached Blythburgh, which was stunningly beautiful that day, and then headed to the coast down the A1095. My love affair with Southwold and the county began that afternoon and has endured.

Beach

Southwold

Landmark

There are three sparkling white, stately wind turbines near the back of my house on a former American air base. And whenever I am walking on the many footpaths I can reach from my front door, I know I’ll never get lost if I head home in their direction.

Walk

Most Read

When I moved to Suffolk just before Christmas 2020, we went into the third lockdown shortly thereafter. So, I decided that, as we were not supposed to drive in order to exercise, I would walk daily from my house and see where I could get to. That way, I learned all about the immediate vicinity in way that would never have happened in normal times. There is a circular route I use quite often, which takes in woodland, fields, farmland, footpaths and a majestic row of ancient oak trees which have been sculpted by the prevailing winds. My heart leaps when I see them. I love the fact that so much of the county has looked the same for centuries.

Place to eat

On Christmas Eve last year, two of my very closest friends took me to the gorgeous Auberge near Eye on the A140. The food was outstanding, and we had a marvellous evening. I am so lucky to have great chums who pick the best places and are wonderfully generous!

Pub

I’m afraid I’m going to break the rules and pick three. The Queen's Head in Eye, Four Horseshoes in Thornham Magna, Sole Bay Inn, Southwold.

Shop

The Handyman in Eye. The variety of what they sell is mind blowing. And Ollie, a real local celebrity, works there. Not only does he know where everything is in the shop with his eyes shut, he’s also a fantastic source of information about everything and everyone in the area. His videos on The Handyman’s Faceback Page are enthusiastically viewed and shared worldwide. Check them out. Priceless! 

Attraction/day out

Snape Maltings. Is there a more perfectly scenic setting for a concert hall anywhere else in the world? I think not.    

Export

Again, I am sorry to break the rules but I need to mention two.

Betty’s Gin. I no longer drink alcohol so haven’t sampled this myself but I love to give it to friends – and they seem very thrilled when I do!  It’s made by the Heart of Suffolk Distillery in Bacton, which is an amazing operation.
And chocolate from the fantabulous Coco Mama in Eye. I love giving gifts which are made locally, and you absolutely cannot go wrong with their products. They’re so exquisite to look at, and taste divine. As one London friend said: ‘Better than anything you can buy from Fortnum and Mason’! 


Christine writes a weekly column in the  EADT on positive ageing, and pens novels about older people. Her latest title, So Many Ways of Loving, was short-listed for the Selfie Book Awards.