EDitorial ± 19-Apr-2018

Light Lunches: Hobson's Deli & Cafe, Manningtree

First Stutton. Then Brantham. And now, like the inimitable Mick Squalor, I'm Going (to Manningtree). In that epochal song, Mick, aka Ben Brown, advises listeners to "bring something to burn." That turns out to be eerily prophetic. Now, read on.

Windows wound down, mercury in the 20s, and TOWIE. Under the railway bridge, left at the roundabout and grab a two hour parking slot on the edge of the town centre. In and out of a bakery with seating -- we shall return -- and 50m further where we find not one but two neighbouring eateries. Closest is Hobson's Deli & Cafe selling mahoosive bags of Lavazza and all the salami you can stomach. As appearling as the interior is with walls featuring fascinating photos of Ye Olde Manningtree -- tried and failed to spot the actual man in the actual tree -- it's out front for us in the Ice Cold In Alex heat.

Bit concerned that my refreshing glass of Folkingtons rhubard and apple is slowly drifting along the metal table top before engineer Andy deploys a folded up napkin under one of the legs. Top work, as are our upmarket plates with a memorably meaty roast chicken sandwich for yours truly and a brie & bacon ciabatta for the driver. Very, very good indeed.

Tell you what: Manningtree high street is busy-busy, one queue of cars pausing to let the other queue proceed, and while Andy's back inside ordering sweet stuff, I swap tables in search of shade. As Mick predicted, we're cookin' in CO11. Meantime here's Andy with a decent milkshake for him and an excellent double macchiato to cure my vapours. Kev'll be sorry he missed this one. This review shouldn't but inevitably will use the phrase "Hobson's choice" to conclude.

If it was a car -- Audi A3 Cabriolet.
If they were passing by -- Ben Ward.