EDitorial ± 16-Dec-2011

Ipswich Lunches: Cafe Siena

I can dimly remember waiting for a bus while standing outside Tower Ramparts school. Mighty long time ago, since the similarly named shopping centre (which took its place) has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Headline on today's Evening Star proclaimed:

Joy Over Multi-Million Pound Boost For Tower Ramparts

Report says that "the tired complex" has just been sold and is to be revamped in a big way. For now, like many other places up and down the land, a number of units remain vacant. And yet, among the empty shopfronts at the foot of the escalators, there's a new-ish eatery named Cafe Siena.

Given its downbeat surroundings, hopes were not high. Won't be as good as either Cafe Giardino or Cafe Moda in the Buttermarket, and they were no more than ordinary. Harking back to a much-loved Heinz favourite, Andy went for the homemade tomato & red pepper soup. It being nearly Christmas -- there's a depressing £4.99 grotto touting for business -- I chose the turkey baguette, expecting a chilly bundle of sellophane.

Would you believe it, the food is far better than it has any right to be: freshly prepared, generous fillings and served with half a smile. No wonder there's so many other punters here today. Though the free newspapers (EADT, The i, etc) and WiFi must help. Since there are cranberries in my roll and I'm sipping a Frobisher's cranberry drink, I have to go for the cranberry and white chocolate flapjack. A bit different and a bit good. Darn good coffee too, plus a free Lotus biscuit. Can't quite believe I'm saying this, but I'd definitely go back there again. Oh, Siena.

If it was a car -- Fiat Siena.
If they were passing by -- Siena Miller.