EDitorial ± 27-Apr-2018

Light Lunches: Dedham Centre Tearoom

Once you stop obsessing about Suffolk as an entity, a concept, a county, life opens up and you soon realise that there's more to life. Namely, that is, the land of East Saxons. Down, down, deeper and down into deepest Essex and, folks, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Oh yes. Wilkommen zum Dedham.

Fortuitous start with a super convenient high street parking slot and a swift stroll to the Old Bakery where we spy a free table right by the window. Ideal! Except that both free tables are reserved and the joint is jumping. Never knowingly undereaten, zimmered Andy and spritely Ed sally past the Essex Rose and into Dedham Art & Craft Centre, a mecca of gifts and gewgaws, like Bakes & Blossoms over several floors.

Wipe-clean red tablecloths and shabbily chic and chicly shabby with a whatever the collective noun is for a glut of inspirational signs:

Love is like swallowing hot chocolate before it has cooled off.
It takes you by surprise at first but keeps you warm for a long time.

Still with us? Super. Special today is a two-scones-plus-two-teas deal which in the small print excludes jam and cream, hence not for us. Large choice -- though, like Dee Dee's, they're out of jackets -- with some blackboard specials that tempt the pair of us: most acceptable tomato and lentil soup for me, nicely spicy bean chilli (with dough sticks, note) for Andy, c/w a warning from the waitress about the jalapeno level.

Plenty of other folk dining in today on a dreich Dedham day. Hard to tell but wouldn't be at all surprised if quite a few are regulars. As per Campsea Ashe, Andy's taken on about as much as he can chew with that generous savoury dish, hence just YT back to the counter. Cakes this side, explains the lady, and desserts that side, pointing to a sizeable roulade and a titanic triple layer Vic sponge. Filter coffee for me, ta, and a slice of that unusual sounding blueberry & white choc cake. Dedyum.

If it was a car -- Vauxhall Antara.
If they were passing by -- Kirstie Allsopp.