Monday, 31 August 2009
I've had a hankering to go to the seaside for a while now, and took advantage of last weekend's lovely weather to head down to Southwold on the Suffolk coast. I'd never been before but had heard a lot of talk about beach huts. Luckily due to the power of Twitter (thanks to @EssexEating) and a blog post by Around Britain with a Paunch I also had some top food tips, which proved to be excellent- I do love the internet.
Southwold is a little bit of a trek from my patch of East Anglia but it was definitely worth it. This little town does indeed have a lot of beach huts but it also has a lot of lovely beach, quaint little streets with funny houses and lots of places to have a cream tea.
During a wander around we stopped off at Munchies for an ice cream. My strawberry ice cream was some of the nicest that I've had- lovely and fruity but with a rich creaminess and not too sweet. The male companion person had a toffee crunch cone that also disappeared very rapidly, and there was serious consideration about going back for seconds.
An ice cream-powered stroll along the beach all the way to the harbour followed, with sand dunes gradually evolving into families crabbing from the rocks, and eventually lots of little boats moored in the estury. As you walk further into the harbour area there are various ramshackle huts that would normally be selling fresh fish, though as we were there quite late on a Sunday afternoon they were mainly closed or on the verge of shutting. Luckily we were just in time to join the end of the queue for the fish and chip shop (phew) and as we were waiting felt a little smug as various latecomers tried to get in only to leave disppointed when they realised it had already shut.
Mrs T's was run by possibly the poshest ever fish and chip shop proprietor that I have ever encountered. A request from one customer for a battered sausage was given a disdainful response, as she pointed out (quite reasonably actually) that they specialised in seafood. There was no sign of any battered fish sitting around here and everything seemed to be freshly cooked. This did involve a bit of waiting around, taking of tickets and checking of numbers but the final outcome was definitely worth it. My plaice came in an amazingly crisp batter that required some concerted effort to break into. The fish inside was soft and moist, and there was barely a trace of grease present. The chips were nice if unremarkable but the portion size was just right, which meant that the walk back along the beach was an enjoyable one rather then an over-stuffed waddle.
I would happily spend a lot more time in Southwold as I'm sure there are many more foodie spots and other things to see and do. In fact I'd be happy just to go back and laze about on the beach (and eat more ice cream and fish and chips of course).