Thursday, 26 February 2015

La Dolce Vita In Orford

We had a short break this week. I follow lots of local businesses on Twitter and am always looking out for what's happening. So when I saw a tweet from The Crown And Castle in Orford advertising an Italian themed dinner on Tuesdays from Feb through into March I checked it out. 

We've cycled to Orford quite a few times since we moved to Framlingham and have always liked the look of this hotel which stands just across the road from the castle. But we've normally been dressed in cycling gear which wouldn't be quite right for their stylish dining room and bar. Here was a chance to dine there in normal clothes. 

It's only fifteen miles down the road from home but driving home after a four course dinner with a different wine accompanying each course was out of the question and a taxi would put a bit of a dampener on the evening so booking an overnight stay was the best solution.

I booked a "best" room and we were in the large room on the first floor to the right in this photo borrowed from Orford's website. 

This was the lovely view from our room across Orford Ness and towards Havergate Island Nature Reserve. We arrived at three and enjoyed a pot of tea while reading our books downstairs in front of  a roaring fire before getting ready for the meal. The room was spacious, very comfortable and stylishly appointed. The bathroom was luxurious with both a large shower and a super deep bath.

The Italian meal was a great success and we enjoyed, antipasti, scallops risotto  venison, and cheese/dessert with four generous glasses of delicious wines. Marion doesn't drink as much as I do so I was more than happy to finish off the wines that she couldn't manage. The food was excellent as too was the freshly cooked breakfast in the morning. It just shows that you don't have to travel miles to enjoy a short break.

After breakfast we checked out and then had an enjoyable morning exploring Orford's church. 

There are some really interesting and rare brasses on tombs in the church.

The nave is spectacular. 

And there are many more treasures. I couldn't find out anything about this painting but its in the renaissance style and its frame is quite spectacular.

Marion outside the church.

Leaving Orford we headed to Woodbridge, had a stroll round the town and a coffee in the excellent Firestation Cafe and then went to the matinee performance of Whiplash at The Riverside. Phew! What a film! It's extremely tense and brilliantly done. You will already have heard all about it but J K Simmons' bullying music tutor is one of the best characters I've ever seen on screen. It's no wonder that you couldn't get any odds at all on him winning the best supporting actor Oscar - he is that good. (It is a dream part mind). Miles Teller in the lead role is dwarfed by Simmons but that's basically the gist of the story and, as Teller's character grows in confidence, his role in the film does too. This was another Best Film nomination. We've seen five of the eight nominations this year and, although they were all different, the standard has been very high.

We got back home in time to head out to The Railway in Framlingham where we enjoyed fish and chips before competing in the quiz. Our team "The Runners Up" were the runners up (again). It was a good night and a great way to end our short holiday.

This morning we went up to the gym for spinning and "body blitz" to counter the effects of Italian dinners and fish and chips. On the way home I popped into the Post Office to pick up another eBay buy. 

This small tureen from c1825 is beautifully hand painted and elaborately gilded. At the moment I can't identify the maker but if I can pin it down to a top factory (and the quality suggests that it is a top manufacturer's piece), then it should be worth a fair bit more than the low price that it cost.

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