Felixstowe; Orwell Hotel; Bombay Nite
Quite a few years ago now, when we were working out where to go for holiday, we stumbled on the Suffolk Sands Caravan Park, Felixstowe, conveniently situated yards from the sea, half way between the Pier and the Docks (and what was to become our two main walks). We fell in love with the place and have visited it every year since – staying in the same caravan park, re-visiting old haunts.
If I were to describe Felixstowe, it would be sleepy, quiet and quaint, without too much (from what we could make out) going on, friendly to visitors and the sort of place I would like to retire. Just like Southend-on-Sea, it is by the sea and where one can gaze out to see ships coming into the docks or Harwich, the other side of the River Orwell, or going out to be lost over the horizon. Besides walks along the sea area, anywhere between the Orwell and the Deben, and some nice garden areas worth checking out, there really isn’t much to do if you discount shopping or out of town visits. That is how we like it!
It happened we made a spur of the moment decision to go away for a few days break. There was no availability at our favourite caravan park so we decided to stay at the Orwell Hotel, which we had noted in previous visits, and the cost was reasonable for what was on offer. This is old fashioned in the nicest sense and while we booked a standard room, this was perfectly ok and I loved the quaint lounge. The staff were friendly, helpful and eager to please. We had breakfast once and an evening meal once in its bright, airy restaurant. While the food, service and price were good, it lacked a wow factor and it was limited in choice regarding dishes on the menu (although few other customers). Hopefully, we will be back and as a place to stay I would happily recommend the Orwell Hotel.
Besides reading and relaxing at the hotel, we did a number of walks – and despite being on the cold side (we were in winter after all) these were all enjoyable and always plenty of places to sit and service calls of nature – and lots of friendly dogs! We walked to the Beach from the hotel, returning via the High Street. Mrs B chose to check out the charity shops and I reacquainted myself with my favourite second hand bookshop, Treasure Chest. Twice we decided to revisit an Indian restaurant, Bombay Nite, which we discovered on previous visits – we chose to walk both times from the hotel – 20-30 minutes. The food was superb, and plenty of it, and it also had the wow factor. Although service was efficient it was a bit on the slow side (although once orders were taken there was little waiting for the food) but there was not much dessert wise (although by the time we finished the main there was little room left for more). We arrived sixish, but given the number of customers, and from what we could make out – locals and regulars, it is evident others shared our view this was a great eating place serving great food in a nice setting and at a reasonable cost, with lots of freebies thrown in (on our second visit we had Bombay potato, Baileys and ice cream!)
We were certainly pleased we could spend four pleasant days in what has become our second UK home (only 90 minutes on a clear drive from our first home – but definitely away) and recharge our batteries. So it is now back to “normal” but God willing we will be back to Felixstowe soon, ok there is little left now for us to explore.