Given I am going to blog about a holiday I have just returned from, I feel I should begin with providing two caveats. Firstly, having seen many in the past bore their too polite to stop listening friends with their holiday tales, I quite understand if folk wish to turn off now. Secondly, having been bemused in the past when old dears (as now I arguably am) repeatedly return to the same old boring holiday destination, I can declare that I now understand why.
I think it was six years ago when we were looking for somewhere, not too expensive, to spend our holiday at fairly short notice, we came up with the idea of hiring a nice caravan at holiday home park in Felixstowe. It turned out to be an enjoyable and relatively inexpensive holiday, even though I might be tempted to describe the town as quiet and sleepy and its inhabitants as reasonably well off but courteous. We liked our stay so much that we returned, and the week we had away and have just returned from is our fourth visit.
As for things to do, trips to make, places to eat etc., no doubt there is lots to choose from. But that was not our intention. We simply hung out at our comfortable abode where I got to read a lot and went for twice daily walks. This comprised variations on the theme of walking less than a hundred yards to the beach and either turning right and walking to the dock area, where we couldn’t go any further unless we took the ferry across the River Orwell, or turning left and walking past the run down pier and if energy allowed onto the old town, where we couldn’t go any further unless we took the ferry across the River Deben. We declined both ferry trips this time but have kept this in mind for future visits. Then there is the High Street area where the shops I understand are interestingly nice, and the people in them mostly pleasant and helpful, although I preferred the old bookshop and library. Perhaps the highlight of our walks was rests on the way looking out to sea and watching ships come and go. I was particularly attracted by the bare narrow nature reserve with blackberry bushes we picked from in previous years, reassuringly wedged between the nearby busy dock area, ever a place of thriving activity, and the ever inviting sea with ships and fishermen and people with dogs to see as we walked our merry way.
What more to add? It was just nice to chill out, take things easy, spend time together (me and my wife, joined by my sister for a couple of days) and get through a fair amount of reading, no TV but we did connect to Wi-Fi. One tradition we continued was to visit the “happy clappy” less than ten minutes walk away “River of Life” church, where we always get a warm welcome and a sense we are among folk who sincerely seek to live out their faith. The Park Holiday set up that provided our accommodation is impressive and we had no complaints about where we stayed (other than not always delivering on promises) and the tranquility of our surroundings, believing it to offer good value for money. Food was no problem and, while the option of cooking gourmet meals was open to us, we tended to eat simply, stocked from the nearby Lidl’s, and sometimes we ate out. We did so with a view to economy, and chose largely based on other peoples’ recommendations. There were some places not visited but we hope to do so the next time we are in town.
My verdict on the eating out places we visited, along with a score for our overall eating experience.
Prezzo: This is part of a chain of Italian Restaurants that my sister liked and has money off vouchers for. The service and décor was pleasant but the authentic Italian tasting food in two out of three cases was a shade disappointing. Also, it was on the wrong side of ok when it came to value for money. Score 5/10
McDonalds: It could have just as easily been in our own town and now there is a slick and effective ordering system in operation. We stopped there for breakfast on our way out of town and despite no longer offering their “Big Breakfast”, we enjoyed it. Score 6/10
Kiosk by our nearest beach: for tea and cake after a long walk. The loose leaf tea according to Mrs B was outstanding. Score 7/10
Landguard café / visitor centre: mainly for light meals and conveniently placed at the end of some of our walks near the dock area and with great views. Food was nice but not great. A touch expensive. Clearly popular with visitors. Made friends with greedy starlings wanting our food. The broccoli and stilton soup offering was something worth writing home about though. Score 8/10
Harbour Inn: (actually this is in Lowestoft, opposite South Pier, which we visited on our last day before returning home). Nice food, friendly service and good value. We hope to return to again next time we are in town. We went for the fish and chip deal for two and loved it, noting many other mouth watering menu items. Score 9/10
Bombay nights: doesn’t look much from the outside. Every dish served met with our approval. Outstanding vegetarian curry. Good, traditional Indian fayre I love, including Kingfisher lager. Plenty of it (some food left over), good service and excellent value. Tempted to mark down because the Tandoori offering was not as good as my wife’s, but as it was our best eating out experience… Score 10/10