Monday, 11 July 2016

A Day Trip to Orford, Suffolk

Last Saturday I visited Orford, a very pretty little Suffolk coastal town. Aside from getting some gloriously fresh sea air and the odd precious glimmer of sunshine, our day turned out to be pretty food-orientated - the absolute best kind of day!

What nicer place to sit and read a book?

A pretty wisteria-draped doorway spotted along the way

We started off with breakfast in the form of the most delicious freshly baked pastries and Monmouth coffee at the somewhat iconic Pump Street Bakery. From the outside, Pump Street Bakery looks like your standard Suffolk-pink chocolate-box town house. But to the side of the building, just above the door, you'll see the swirly and rather lovely sign painted onto the shell-pink wall, behind which lies a cosy, top-notch bakery.

Pretty as a picture, Pump Street Bakery

Aswell as buying a stash of baked goodies to take home for later (when in Rome...), we had a breakfast fit for a King, sharing sweet and sticky cinnamon buns, the most delicious buttery almond croissants, and a bear claw (an almond paste filled pastry which is shaped a little like a bear claw, hence the name). There's not all that much space to move inside the bakery, and as you'd expect it's a busy and bustling little place, but we managed to grab a table outside. My advice- get there as early as you can bear to. They also do more extensive cooked breakfasts- I saw a rather substantial and heavenly looking bacon and avocado bap floating past to a nearby table, so if you're in Orford, this is definitely your breakfast spot (and possibly lunch and afternoon tea too!)

Freshly baked goodies at Pump Street bakery

Decisions, decisions.....

But first, Coffee- a perfect flat white to perk me up

A soft and sticky cinnamon bun, devoured within minutes

An almond paste-filled bear claw

Honestly, everything you buy from this bakery will be top-draw. We took chocolate brownies back home for later, which we kept in the fridge- a cardinal sin some might say, but actually I would recommend doing this, as eaten cold they became even more chewy and fudgy. We also bought baguettes, a ham sandwich and some of there Pump Street Bakery chocolate to take home (yes, they make incredible chocolate too, which is mixed with excess bread crumbs- sounds weird, but trust me it delicious). We were officially out of control and living some kind of carb-filled dream!

Make sure you don't miss their beautiful bean-to-bar chocolate range too, what a lovely present it would make

Goodies to take home

After breakfast we went for a long walk along the sea wall, to burn off some of that pastry (it's all about balance guys..), before heading to our lunch venue, The Butley Orford Oysterage. With a name like that I knew I was going to like it before I'd even set foot in it.

As unpretentious from the outside as it is on inside in terms of decor, service and food, The Butley Orford Oyster serves up some seriously comforting home-style cooking. It is primarily a fish restaurant (so not the place to take your veggie mates), but if you like your portions big and your flavours strong, then this is the place for you. I'm talking hot and bubbling fish pies straight out of the oven, a giant fillet of cod, simply grilled and smothered in parsley sauce, and of course the most deliciously plump oysters, home-grown in their own oyster beds nearby, and seriously some of the best I've had. They also have an off-site smokehouse, where they smoke their own trout, mackerel, salmon, cods roes and more, all of which is served up in the restaurant. The desserts too were simple but good. A selection of fruit sorbets was a nice palate cleanser, and a slice of warm chocolate and almond cake with pistachio ice-cream was the perfect sweet treat to end on. The interior is informal and humble, and almost cafeteria-like. I don't mean that in a negative way, I just mean that the interior won't wow. But when the food is this good, who cares!

A humble starter- smoked mackerel pate and hot toast

Grilled prawns, simple and delightful

The Butley Oyster legendary fish pie

About as unpretentious and as delicious as it gets

Because every good meal ends with warm chocolate and almond cake with pistachio ice-cream

Hopefully this review of my day trip to Orford will inspire some of you to visit this great little town with plenty to shout about. In summer particularly it's a great destination to get some fresh sea air and jolly good food too. I know I'll certainly be revisiting!