EDitorial ± 25-Jan-2013

Light Lunches: Earsham Street Cafe, Bungay

That time of year, again -- G's birthday, our very own Bank Holiday -- and muggins, self-styled king of the cafes, is lunchtime planning on the fly. Need to find a location beyond the usual radius, though not too far. Want it to be half decent, or better. Mustn't require pre-booking, lunchtime being less than three hours away. Found one: hope it's any good.

So begins our mystery tour up the A140. Takes a while to hit the A143 -- over there is Mendham, home of the Freston Brasses -- and longer still to hit Suffolk's first transition town. Quid to park in the icy wastes of the Wharton Street pay & display. Collars up for the chillsome stroll along St Mary's Street, me bluffing that I know exactly where we're going, then a relieved left down here into the eponymous Earsham Street Cafe. Ah, the whiff of hot food and warmth, tho' G. still insists on sitting by the portable heater (as per Elveden last year).

Menu offers goodly selection of light bites plus there's a blackboard of more elaborate specials, such as pork belly or venison. New soft drink alert: excellent strawberry & rhubarb from Norfolk-based Breckland Orchard. Quick look at the characterful beams and "i" newspaper, then straight into my chunky bean soup -- just the job in January -- and G's optimistically summer-tinted red pepper hummous and sunblushed tomato sandwich. Mutual observation that it's only me in here with XY chromosomes. Talking of XXs, the cafe will be doing a Valentine's Day special where you get 1% off your bill for every year that you've been married: please bring your certificate for proof. Clever.

Keeping with that Feb 14 vibe, the cakes are look good and taste good too. Portions are well proportioned and the coffee packs a punch. Everything's served with a smile, too. Top place, this, and with it comes the memory that we'll always have Bungay.

PS When you waddle out of the cafe, be sure to go admire the array of art over the road in the Cork Brick Gallery, then back into town to gawp at the sheer range of sweets and trinkets in The Chocolate Box. Must head back sometime to the cafe within the Fisher Theatre too.

If it was a car -- Lotus Elan.
If they were passing by -- Louis de Bernieres.