Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Needham Market to Framlingham (the long way)

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle, from across the mere

Woke up (for the nth time) about 06:30. The sky was grey with cloud, not just being just before dawn; and the road outside looked damp. This was not the bright day that the forecast suggested.

Leisurely breakfast, and a quick stroll at about 08:00 to judge the temperature -- cold enough for breath to steam, and a strong wind, bringing only brief snatches of blue sky. An hour later, somewhat more blue sky, and the sun was warm when it was visible.

Setting out towards Debenham, it was clear from the damp and the puddles that the rain must have been quite heavy.

Taking it easy, reached Debenham by about 10:30, and then carried on the long detour to Stradbroke, intending to stop there for a pint. Alas, the White Hart looked very shut at 11:45, though supposedly opening at 11:30 -- so rather than just kick my heels until 12, carried on through Wilby (stopping for a picnic at Wilby Green, as the cloud had now pretty much all burned off, and it was pleasant when sheltered from the breeze), then to the Old Mill House at Saxtead Green for a beer.

The post mill was closed and also being repainted; so as it was still only about 14:00, carried on for a long loop around Framlingham to the south, partly checking out some of tomorrow's route, before looping back to pass Shawsgate Vineyard (only a very small patch of vines visible through hedges), to enter the town from the north, passing by the foot of the castle mound. Recollection from last time took me pretty much straight to the car-park at the back of the Crown Hotel.

Checked in, then discovered WiFi, so this time took the hit to reconfigure the networking. Strolled around in T-shirt in the bright sun -- though I have experienced warmer February days, it was marginally comfortable to leave the jacket off -- deciding where to dine.

Decided on Off the Square, just a few yards further towards the castle, where I had chicken liver and wild mushroom for starter, and goats cheese and spinach gnocchi for main. It may have been a bit nouvelle cuisine but together they were substantial enough that I didn't feel the need for dessert.

And so to blog…

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