EDitorial ± 24-Aug-2023

Light Lunches: The Old Drapery, Grundisburgh

Chauffeur service from Andy is usually hard to beat. Sure, the punctuality can be a little wanting but that's true for the both of us, and that's where Find My Friends comes in: what, he's still in Melton? None of that today, though the door-to-door service ain't happening 'cos he's forgotten his pass. Two minutes later and I've freewheeled out of Adastral to find his endangered Panda. And off we go.

Five years ago, on a trip for grub with the gee-gees at Newton Hall Equitation, we spotted Williams Stores of Grundisburgh. Six months ago, we aimed for it and instead found ourselves up the road at the delightful Grundisburgh Dog Deli. Today's finally the day with Andy leaving his Fiat by the ford by one of his (shhhh) quiet lanes. Opposite's a large premises with three magic words: "coffee shop open".

Inside has echoes of Deadwood general stores although they probably didn't sell too many jigsaws or garden tools in the wild west. Here, they offer a laundry service, there are plants, there's BBQ fuel, et cetera. Oh, and through the Mr Benn doorway on the right is The Old Drapery coffee shop, dressed for the coronation and currently empty. Both rooms were full this morning, reassures the nice woman in charge. Take a seat!

Sometimes the savoury simply sorts itself out: that's true now with a shared sausage roll and bacon & cheese twist enhanced with a bag o' crisps, and somehow we both chose the ginger beer. Place has been a shop since 1840, she says, and once sold fashionable clothing direct from London, hence that Are You Being Served? name. As time's gone on they've continued to diversify, no longer renting out TVs but now offering coffee 'n' cake.

Talking of which, that sweet selection requires a tad more thought. Blueberry and lemon ring? Coffee and walnut? Frank Lampard's Chelsea bun? Bit of classic Victoria sponge for me, ta, and a big-as-your-hand Danish for the driver. Loves his icing, that boy. Continuing that precious things vibe, a huge dresser standing behind the counter has various items for sale including teapots, vases, and even a black and white Grundisburgh calendar. I'm very happy with my mug of milky coffee, and I see the place is dog-friendly too as well as offering umpteen meeting group. Venerable Williams Stores is a veritable hub.

If it was a car -- Frank Williams FX3B.
If they were passing by -- John Hawkes.