Aldeburgh: Emma Crowhurst goes home-from-home at the coast

A FEW weeks ago I enjoyed a complete break away from home and work and even children.

With my mother staying to look after our children, Alistair and I travelled the extraordinary distance to Aldeburgh to stay at the White Lion Hotel.

I have worked with Jason Shaw (the chef) at a number of food shows so I knew the welcome would be warm.

We checked in and went to our room. Having booked late we didn’t have a sea view but the room was roomy and stylish, we then popped out for a walk, along the breezy seafront. Thorpeness and back again, through the town and back again. A quick wash and brush up and we were ready for dinner.

The hotel has an informal reception area and a large and modern restaurant.

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The main dining area was in full swing and rather busy.

The service was friendly and efficient and before we knew it we were served with our starters. I had Caesar salad with parmesan and smoked salmon, fresh, delicious and the perfect size. Alistair had a tasty haddock fishcake with spinach.

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Mains were a luscious lamb shank with roasted root veg, beetroot and a rich lamb jus, accompanied by pomme puree. It was set off to perfection by a suggested glass of Rioja.

I had a classic confit duck leg with sharp, fruity red cabbage, duck jus and saut� potatoes. The duck skin was nicely salty and the flesh melted in the mouth.

There was room for pudding and mine was a tart tatin, cinnamon ice cream and blackberries, a gorgeous combination. Ali had a favourite of his: crepe suzette.

We followed the meal with coffee and tea, then we had a last wander around a very still and quiet Aldeburgh.

It was a fabulous home-from-home weekend break, delicious food and wonderful service.

If you need a lengthy moment away or just fancy a trip to the seaside, you can’t do better than a visit to the White Lion Hotel. Thank you to all the staff for such a pleasant stay.

The White Lion Hotel, Market Cross Place, Aldeburgh, IP15 5BJ; telephone 01728 452720.

Cookery courses at the Cookhouse

September 22

Classic patisserie: macaroons, meringues, tarts and chocolate layer mousse and more…

October 13

Skills Day: filet a fish, bone a chicken, general knife skills, seasoning - how to use salt, sugar and acid to balance your food. Bread and pastry techniques and tips and more…

November 10

Game: pheasant confit, venison casserole, partridge with walnuts and squash and more…

December 1

Christmas: Christmas bone stuffed chicken, cranberry ‘no cook’ cheesecake, chocolate truffle roulade and more…

January 12, 2013

Enriched doughs and sourdough: go home with your own sourdough starter. Follow the process of sourdough, make panettone and brioche and more…

February 9

Fish and vegetarian: learn how to filet flat and round fish, pan fried mackerel with caponata, flat fish with bacon and mustard,

Roasted pepper, lentil and feta salad, shallot tatin, aubergine bread puffs and more…

March 16:

Easy entertaining: learn how to cook and dress whole salmon, Parma ham & pesto chicken breasts, Roasted pepper and goats’ cheese tarts, pecan pavlova and toffee sauce and more…

April 27

Italian Spring: homemade pasta, risotto, black olive and parmesan polenta, red onion tatin, Biscotti, tiramisu and more…

May 18

Men in the Kitchen: not just for men! Beginners course for all, perfect for young and old! Learn how to cook the basics: casseroles, fish, steak, sauces and puddings to increase confidence in the kitchen

June 8

Summer entertaining: boned stuffed chicken with ricotta and sundried tomatoes, roasted Mediterranean vegetable tart, rose petal and raspberry meringues, chocolate and summer fruit tart and more…

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