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 White Lion, Aldeburgh and Thorpeness
The restrictions on overseas travel this year have made many of us turn to our own shores for a holiday. Here Richard and Karen Bryson head for Suffolk’s Heritage Coast while, overleaf, David Robbins visits the Cotswolds
Unless the British winter is doing its absolute worst - we’re talking gales, sleet and biting cold - there isn’t really a bad time to head
for the coast. All that sea air, with perhaps an indulgent plate of fish and chips after a stroll along the beach front, makes for a satisfying day of exercise and reward.
I was, however, reminded of a particularly numbing and foolish stay by the sea when visiting Aldeburgh’s White Lion Hotel last autumn. As a teenager, myself and a friend had camped close to the hotel in dunes a stones throw or two from the water’s edge. Layers of T-shirts and jumpers hardly kept out the January cold and, having retired for the night with a few ales, we gave up our beachside vigil in the early hours and,
shivering violently, headed home. It felt good to think back on that adventure while warm and comfortable in one of the White Lion’s seaview bedrooms.
If The Brudenell is the Hotel Folk’s flagship hotel in Aldeburgh, the Lion loses little in comparison. With pleasant rooms, friendly staff and the lovely Sea Spice restaurant, it sets you up for an ideal coastal break. Turn right out of the hotel’s entrance and you are soon into the town’s High Street, go left and you can walk towards distant Thorpeness, passing the infamous Scallop sculpture.
We have previously eaten in the stylish surroundings of Sea Spice but this time, having brought our dog, we ate, (socially distanced) in the hotel’s brasserie. Perhaps it was the slight waft of curry from next door but we had to order the Tandoori Chicken (on the bone marinated
overnight in yoghurt, ginger and garlic paste, chilli and chef’s own spices) and Lamb Rogan Josh. One word: delicious.
The next day we enjoyed an excellent breakfast in the brasserie including (hats off to the chef) a ‘Full English’ containing fried bread.
Further indulgences came by way of a visit to the town’s Fishers Gin distillery. Just off the High Street it occupies a converted beach house not far from the local shingle and salt marshes. With views of the North Sea, and a lounge space with a wood burner for the colder months, it’s an interesting place to visit. The 90-minute tours, priced at £30 per person, offer an insight into the history and origin of Fishers and the local area, including a virtual tour of the River Alde.
You get a fascinating local history lesson and the chance to sample and buy

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