Hello everyone

I got back from our holiday in the Suffolk town of Woodbridge late on Saturday and have been catching up and doing the washing ever since. It was great to get away, but it’s lovely also to be back home where you know where everything is and you can get to anything you want, because actually, I continue to find other people’s bathrooms a bit of a nightmare. This time it wasn’t a bath situation as there was a working shower (phew) but gosh, was it a small one! We have a shower that is the length of a bath and when we got home and got into it – it was totally wonderful not to have the sides of the shower pressing into you, which felt quite claustrophobic. But my main peeve was that in the two bathrooms of the Little House there was absolutely nowhere to put any of my makeup, or makeup remover, or any of the paraphernalia that I use. I must sound such a grumpy old woman but I don’t think holiday cottage owners think things through at all.

Anyway, enough of that because the main thing is we had a great time. Mind you, the weather was very British in that it rained a lot and the first 4 days were quite cold!  What’s more I’d packed in the hot weather as the previous week we’d had our one week of summer weather! I really tried to be sensible by saying to myself, ‘no, it’s going to be cooler next week’, but I kind of failed and didn’t pack the near winter clothes that were needed. In fact I had to buy a raincoat (from Peacock’s at £35) as I’d only brought a thin pac-a-mac, and yet despite being lined it still needed several layers under it. I hear there is a heat wave going on over the pond but in the UK, look that’s a woolly winter beret I’m wearing in June, which was much needed I can tell you as there was a cold north wind during those first 4 days.

This was such a contrast to our other holidays in Woodbridge, which have mainly been in much better weather. Here’s a photo of me in 2018.

Oh boy, I remember the heat of that year.  And nice as those pants are they went into the charity shop bag earlier this year as they are a UK size 10!

During those first few cold days I also bought a beautiful wooly jumper, which wasn’t a charity shop item!  Here I am wearing it over my Pilates kit.

As you can see it’s over-sized.

It’ll be great to wear in the winter as it’s really warm. The owner of the shop said I was the fourth person that morning to buy a wooly jumper!  During my week away I also found several items from local charity shops, which you’ll see soon, but enough of fashion. Here are some shots of the beautiful coastal Suffolk I know.

The first one shows you the cold and grey but rather beautiful landscape of the Woodbridge riverside. The town lies 8 miles up the river Deben from the sea so the waterline is tidal and the shot below rather sums up the chill and the damp of the first few days.

We did a lot of walking along the coastal path of the Woodbridge river increasing our steps every day. On Tuesday we ventured further and went to Snape Maltings. Originally a malting brewery it became the site of Benjamin Britten’s Aldeburgh festival and is now a famous arts complex.  It was another grey and very windy day and there’s Mr F pointing his camera at the reeds that rustled in the wind.

We’ve visited Snape Maltings many times over the years and I have dozens of photos of the children looking through this sculpture. I have to say that sadly, while I can remember when the site was scruffy and unspoilt, it’s now a bit of a tourist trap and it’s full of ‘shops’ enticing you to buy, buy, buy at what I think are horrendous prices. Safe to say I resisted!

And oh joy, on Wednesday the sun came out!  This was the day we went to Aldeburgh (pronounced Albruh, I know!) which is a little town further up the coast with some lovely houses right on the seafront. Like this.

And this.

And this.

It was actually the best and hottest day of the week. However, despite the hot weather (for the UK) when you visit Aldeburgh you have to have eat fish and chips for lunch on the beach.  There are 3 fish and chips shops catering for this tradition and there are always huge queues for this very British feast, which of course in Aldeburgh is eaten from a paper bag with a wooden fork whilst sitting on the beach. But is anyone old enough to remember when fish and chips was wrapped in newspaper and you used your fingers to eat your chips?  Mine btw, have to be doused in salt and vinegar.  Mr F is the opposite to me and doesn’t like the taste of vinegar, but truly that is the best way to eat fish and chips.

We went further along the coast to Thorpness where we had a nice cup of tea! And then we walked for miles along the delightful beach which as you can see is not made up of sand!

I absolutely love the sea kale and sea cabbage that grows on the shingle.

It’s such an unspoilt quiet spot and is well away from the usual crowds that one can find in Aldeburgh.

Wednesday was the best day for the weather but the next two days were warm enough and it didn’t rain – yay!  Here are some more shots of the streets of Woodbridge which might explain why we return to this small town again and again.

Do you see the pink houses? Apparently houses in Suffolk have been painted pink since the 14th Century when juice from berries such as elderberries, blackthorn and sloe was mixed into the white paint.

And here is a well known Woodbridge pub.

On the Friday it was overcast but we went on one last long walk along the riverside.

And then on Saturday we traveled back to Brighton.  Thank you for allowing me to tell you the tale of my week away, it has helped me remember the highlights of this lovely part of England.

I hope you too manage to get away. It was our first holiday since August 2019 and it was such a joy to have a change of scenery.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

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42 thoughts on “Back from my holiday and so much to show you!

  • 30th June 2021 at 8:18 am

    I live in Essex and often visit all the places you mention. I too have photographed my children peeking through the statue at Snape, such happy memories. I once went mad in one of the ridiculously expensive shops and bought SEVEN fake lemons, but 15 years later they are still in a beautiful Italian bowl on my dresser and have given me a lot of joy.

    • 2nd July 2021 at 7:23 am

      I know, those photos… Great to meet someone who knows these spots. Actually I have bought stuff in the past from Snape Maltings but this year prices seemed to be stratospherically high. Thanks for the comment Lucy 🙂

  • 30th June 2021 at 8:34 am

    Lovely pictures , woolly jumpers ,berets.
    Flaming June.
    Best wishes to all.🌺

    • 2nd July 2021 at 7:24 am

      I know, flaming June it isn’t! Thanks Ro, best wishes to you too 🙂

  • 30th June 2021 at 8:45 am

    I love the traditional pink colour of so many old houses. Although recipes for limewash and distempers would traditionally have depended on locally available ingredients, they often incorporated bulls’ blood which gave the distinctive pink colour. This must have been thought to improve the mix, though in what way I don’t know.

    • 2nd July 2021 at 7:26 am

      I would say that in Suffolk it would have been pigs blood that would have been mixed in to the distemper. There are still huge numbers of pigs around. The pink houses look lovely and even lovelier in the sun.

  • 30th June 2021 at 8:56 am

    I used to work for a company based in Woodbridge and travelled there to the office every week. It was good to see the place again. Never knew about the red houses tho. I revisited about 4 years ago and followed more or less the same route you did. Bit of a trek from NW England so think it might’ve been my last trip over. It’s a bit flat for me. I’m more a fan of the Lakes tbh.

    • 2nd July 2021 at 7:31 am

      We love Woodbridge but think next year we’ll go somewhere else in Suffolk having done it nearly 3 years running (2020 was missed out). I like the Lakes but not been that often as for us that’s a bit of a trek! Suffolk is lovely and for me that includes the flatness of the county. But of course, my parents lived in Felixstowe so I also have many memories when I visit – and we have been visiting this part of the country since 1974!

  • 30th June 2021 at 10:04 am

    Thanks for sharing. Your pics are a joy to behold. Such beautiful scenery but I must say I find that east coast
    area quite depressing for some reason.
    I’ll do a bit of research on the area to see why.
    I know what you mean about holiday cottages and I think as we age and we have surrounded ourselves in our choice of comforts and routine small things like sitting comfortably in front of a mirror in a good light with your make up laid out becomes a must and I so recognise the problem.
    So glad you had a good time and enjoyed yourselves.

    • 2nd July 2021 at 7:37 am

      I think I know what you mean as the cold and the grey of the first 4 days was verging on the depressing plus the combination of the low tide on the Woodbridge quayside but I found it beautiful as well.

      Oh my word and where to put everything. Mind you this was the second time we’d stayed in this cottage so I should have been prepared (but it has a parking space so that in itself is a big reason to stay there) but it was actually worse the previous time as I had contacts – now you really need space for putting those in and taking them out! Nevertheless we still enjoyed our stay – did loads of reading.

    • 4th July 2021 at 6:43 am

      We love Suffolk too and have stayed in Aldeburgh many times since 2008.
      By coincidence we visited Woodbridge on the day you visited Aldeburgh. We stayed this year in Crag Cottage, which was literally next door to the amazing blue house in your photo.
      I enjoy your blog very much, Love your style, film and TV choices, very similar to my own.

  • 30th June 2021 at 10:28 am

    Welcome back home, Penny! I enjoy living vicariously through your travels! I am currently on a holiday with my 94 year old mother, two sisters, and two nieces! It’s a Girls Getaway on the beautiful Central California coast. Today, we are actually heading home. One sister to Northern California, another sister to Indonesia (works for the U.S. State Department/Foreign Service division), and our mother and myself to Southern California. We have not been together in two years. So much FUN! We’ve had lots of laughter, delicious food, more laughter, endless chatting, and shopping! This great time was much needed by all of us!
    We had the same bathroom issue as you! No place to set out our toiletries! Thankfully, I use a traveling bag with a hanging hook which helped! And, we did have a beautiful walk-in shower in one of the two bathrooms.
    Not much mask wearing seen. I would say about a third of the people we intermingled with, wore masks. A few times, I wore mine, but otherwise, it actually did not come to mind to put on my mask.
    I am heading home with a refreshed spirit after a very challenging month of May with my husband in the hospital. I am so thankful to our two sons and their wives who cared for their dad so that I could getaway for five days!
    Thanks for sharing your holiday! Sounds like you returned home with a renewed sense of appreciation, too!
    Charlene H

    • 2nd July 2021 at 10:40 am

      How lovely to hear of your wonderful family (girls) get-away which is very much deserved I’d say. And how truly wonderful that you still have your mother. It all sounded so much, yes, fun!

      Ah the mask thing. We have the dreaded Delta variant rampaging around our country and although there is meant to be a full relaxation of all restrictions come mid-July I shall jolly well wear my mask for many months if not years to come. I think it would be great if we were all more like Japan where it is normal to wear a mask in winter and I shall certainly do so – it is the new normal.

      So glad to hear of your refreshed spirit – I too feel the same

      Thanks Charlene for your lovely comment 🙂

  • 30th June 2021 at 11:46 am

    Is there any other place you eat fish&chips? Of course on the beach! Lol. I remember eating it out of a newspaper, and I still love it when I get mine wrapped in paper! With salt and vinegar! I also remember when I was 14 we went to Lands End. And 20 years later, when I went with Gerben for the first time, we went there again. What a horror!! It had turned into some kind of commercial fairy ground! Awful. I am glad you had a good time!

    • 2nd July 2021 at 7:40 am

      Oh yes, there has to be salt and vinegar and if possible they’re always to be eaten outside! Cornwall has become THE place to go to now, it’s so popular but so very very crowded. Most of the Suffolk coast is unspoilt with very few people around with the exception of Aldeburgh at lunchtime – ha ha LOL – when everyone is queueing for those fish and chips!!!

  • 30th June 2021 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for the lovely photos, I’ve never been to Suffolk. It looks very pretty. I love the coloured houses in Aldeburgh. Reminded me a bit of Copenhagen. I believe there’s a Gainsborough museum in Suffolk so I’d like to go there for a long weekend.
    I’m wearing 3 layers today, this cold grey weather shows no sign of abating. I love your big pink jumper – what a great find!
    And I am always lavish with salt and vinegar on fish and chips! Xx

    • 2nd July 2021 at 7:45 am

      Oh yes, you have to have salt and vinegar! Suffolk is not loved by everyone as it’s so flat and I don’t know much about the interior. But I do know the coastal areas and can remember when the more popular towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold were scruffy and ordinary – now they’re quite upmarket and almost twee with far too many shops selling navy striped tops (my pet hate) and I expect they would be crowded in the peak season. But there are other towns that are not so popular that are just delightful and some very interesting places like Orford Ness which can only be visited by ferry and is a wildlife haven as are other stretches of this delightful coast. Do try it one day.

  • 30th June 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing all of these pictures. I cannot believe it was that chilly: brr! I love all of the pretty colorful houses! We will be going to Arizona in a couple weekends but only for a weekend for my brother’s wedding and it is 115 degrees over there. Needless to say we won’t be sight seeing.

    • 2nd July 2021 at 7:50 am

      I don’t know how you manage to get by in those very high temperatures – hopefully they’re a dry heat as humidity would be ghastly. But I have to say it really was a bit chilly for the first 4 days! Still we layered up and went out all the same.

      I think it’s odd weather here as it is over the pond – sigh. I’m sorry to say that this is only going to get worse and we need to do something or my grandchildren (aged 15 and 8 months) will not have a good life and when they get to my age…. I shall write about this soon.

  • 30th June 2021 at 12:32 pm

    I’m pleased to read hat you had a lovely break in Suffolk, Penny! I’ve been to Suffolk a few times but I’m more familiar with Norfolk, especially the area around Blakeney.
    Great photos, but I particularly like the ones of the colourful houses in Aldeburgh.
    We recently returned from a short break in Penzance – my most recent blog post – and it was wonderful to have a change of scene and be away for a few days, our first time since Nov 2019! I felt very lucky.

    • 2nd July 2021 at 10:21 am

      We’re very familiar with Suffolk as my parents lived there for over 20 years. Every year throughout the kids’ childhood we went up to Felixstowe for our summer holidays in fact we started going there before they were born. And we return to Suffolk even though my parents are long gone.

      And the very next thing I’m going to do is look at your blog 🙂

  • 30th June 2021 at 1:27 pm

    My parents are from Woodbridge aso I knew it well, growing up, with two sets of grandparents to visit. |We lived in Ipswich but my dad worked for Frank Knights Shipwrights on the Ferry Quay and my uncle at Whisstocks boatyard. They are both gone now, as have the businesses, but I understand there is a flourishing “people’s boatyard” on the site now. Lovely to see your photos – but however did you resist the Tide Mill? As for chilly, Aldeburgh was the honeymoon destination of my parents after their Woodbridge wedding …. in, believe it or not, December 1949!

    • 2nd July 2021 at 8:02 am

      I’ve taken many photos of the Tide Mill in the past, but this year whenever I passed it the sun was hidden and it seemed rather dull, so no photos….

      I do love Woodbridge and the walk along its quayside has been upgraded a lot and we walked past a very interesting large barn-like structure where within it they’re building a Suffolk Hoo long-boat and then there seem to be many boat-yards. Despite the ending of the industry this part of Woodbridge seemed to be full of life and potential and not taken over by tourists as some other towns are like Aldeburgh. I shall carry on visiting this part of Suffolk for many years to come as it has so many memories for me what with my parents living in Felixstowe. They loved Notcutts and it’s still there!

  • 30th June 2021 at 1:27 pm

    So happy for you that you got away for a break. I do love the scenery that you show us and take us along with you. The weather everywhere this year is so strange and unpredictable. I like the fact that you are able to check out the charity shops and find new things in all the towns you visit. I am looking forward to that soon. We are slow in opening up, which is a good thing, but I am really eager to eat somewhere that is not my kitchen. Can’t wait to see what you picked up on your travels.

    • 2nd July 2021 at 10:18 am

      I think the weather is very peculiar – in Brighton we’re having a lot of mist and fog which sometimes remains for the entire day and the first four days of our holiday were so cold. And now we’re hearing of Canada and the States in the grip of an unprecedented heatwave, especially unprecedented in Canada. Hope you are Ok.

      Actually the weather was better towards the end of the holiday and we still enjoyed getting away and reading loads. I agree that a change is as good as a rest and hope you can travel and eat out soon. You take care where you are x

  • 30th June 2021 at 2:34 pm

    It is lovely to see your photos. I wondered where in Suffolk you were going. I was brought up nearby and I have visited Woodbridge and Snape all my life. I do agree with you about Snape but they do have good art exhibitions there including my particular interest, textiles. Some good pubs for lunch too! I look forward to seeing your purchases!

    • 2nd July 2021 at 10:26 am

      I do love that area so, but think we’ll try another town further up the coast next year. I’ve started looking!

      I wonder if Snape might be better out of season in the winter? We went on a cold chilly grey day in June but the car parks were almost full at 11.0am. I too love textiles and next year if there is a good exhibition I shall visit Snape but otherwise might give it a miss. But all the same I’m glad it was rescued and rebuilt. I can remember when it was almost derelict as you must as well.

  • 30th June 2021 at 3:10 pm

    I so enjoyed seeing the photos of your trip Penny. someday I would love to go back and explore the charming villages in your country. My friend Stella and I did take a trip to the UK and Scotland ten years ago. It was in late September, early October. It was quite temperate in the London area and thereabouts. My sweaters and trench coat were fine. However as we went North into Scotland and the Highlands I was freezing. When we stopped traveling I would look for something warmer to purchase in the shops But nothing was my size. Still, I enjoyed the vacation so much it did not matter. And now I always take one of those packable down jackets when traveling.
    I had been planning to go to Chincoteague Island off the coast of Virginia at the end of July with my daughter and son-in-law. We have been going there nearly every year since 1995. We would go to see the wild pony roundup and the auction. It is quite a tradition in the area. Also, the town is charming, a former and actually still a fishing village. There are miles of a beautiful beach on the neighboring Assatgeague island, just over the short bridge and the wildlife sanctuary. And of course the ponies. There are artisan galleries. As the family grew they all came as well most years. I have missed only two years since 1995, one because both kids got married that year and there was too much going on and the other in 2019 because I had the opportunity to travel to Scandinavia and Russia. One year there were 12 of us, and twice I went alone. The last time I went alone was 7 years ago. Last year and this, the roundup and live auction was cancelled because of the pandemic. Incidentally, we did but a pony one year and she is wonderful! So this year the three of us were to go. Even without the events it still is a special place. Then my daughter informs us she has jury duty. the trial is estimated to take 4 weeks. So now it’s up in the air. I really do not want to drive alone again.
    Not a terrible thing, but disappointing if we cannot go. As I write this here in my area we are in the midst of a heat wave, hopefully it will be a bit cooler tomorrow.
    Sending love from New York, Darby

    • 2nd July 2021 at 10:51 am

      What an interesting comment. Yes, the weather in the UK can have literally 4 seasons of different types of weather in one week as the first 4 days of our holiday were really cold and the 5th day was actually quite hot and I was caught out on our trip to Aldeburgh and Thorpness and had to buy a cotton blouse (from a charity shop) as my t-shirt made me far too hot!

      The weather around the world is not normal – I hope your heatwave is over.

      And it’s fascinating to hear about the wild pony roundups – it all sounded so very very typically American and something that is quite unique and for me sounds almost iconic. We do have wild ponies and horses in the New Forest and also parts of Wales but they are protected and strictly left to get on with their lives which is great as we have so little in the way of wild areas in the UK – it is so small in comparison to your nation! Oh I do hope you manage to get to it. Fingers crossed and much love from Brighton 🙂

    • 4th July 2021 at 5:24 am

      Hi Penny,
      Thanks for sharing your holiday. It’s great to have your insights into this part of the country we don’t know at all well.
      We have spent many holidays in Cornwall and the Lakes, it’s so lovely but can be really busy! To be honest we really try to avoid crowds of people.
      Oh and the packing for all seasons of weather! I too end up buying items either for the heat or cold! Mind you your pink jumper was such a great buy it looks so good x

  • 30th June 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you for posting all the photos and your holiday tales, Penny. I love that part of Suffolk and getting on for 20 years ago we had a tremendous extended family holiday in The House in the Clouds in Thorpness. It’s a former water tower – a house up on top of the tower, you can’t miss it! That was one of our best holidays with my parents, sister and her family, brother and his partner and all the children. Happy days, sadly parents no longer with us but we had lots of fun and games in the wonderful tower and it’s garden, as well as trips to Aldeburgh for fish, chips and champagne on the beach, and to Southwold with it’s pier and the ‘alternative’ slot machines arcade. It poured with rain that day but we laughed and laughed. Wonderful memories brought back to me by your post. Thank you Penny, you’ve made my day.

    • 2nd July 2021 at 10:14 am

      Ah yes, that house, which I should have photographed but didn’t – it is so iconic. The tale of your family holiday there is magical – so glad you have those memories

  • 30th June 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Those flat lands can be quite magical . I love the mountains but have really enjoyed Norfolk & Suffolk holidays . All those big , big skies are wonderful & the estuaries with their teeming bird life are fascinating too . My husband is a big classical music fan & he could hear Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes in his head all the time whilst there . Very atmospheric .

    • 2nd July 2021 at 10:12 am

      I too, love hills and mountains, as in, my favourite country is Norway, but the flatlands of Suffolk has a magic all of its own. Oh yes, and the music of Benjamin Britten is something else. I still have the programme of a very early performance of the War Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall in the 1960s – it was a revelation.

  • 30th June 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Memories of my student – nurse days in England —- fish& chips in newspaper laced with salt& vinegar yum ! Taught never to eat in public we eagerly clutched the packet which also kept one’s hands warm at the bus-stop .

    • 2nd July 2021 at 10:06 am

      Hi Olivia – great to hear from you. Oh I know, we were all taught never to eat outside in public. Similarly I was also told never to wear trousers (pants) in public – goodness knows why! But my mother used to end these messages with – it’s unladylike!

      And always salt and vinegar! Take care xxx

  • 30th June 2021 at 8:15 pm

    How lovely you got away. I know Woodbridge quite well and I loved all your photos. I wondered why there so many pink houses in Suffolk! Talking of pink I loved your new jumper, too.

  • 2nd July 2021 at 10:04 am

    Woodbridge is a lovely little town and I’m very fond of it, but next year we think we’ll try somewhere else just for a change. Thanks re: the jumper – it was so necessary during those first 4 days! Flaming June….!


  • 3rd July 2021 at 1:08 pm

    What a delightful post, the village looks so pretty, How interesting as to how they created pink houses. You look like you’ve had a fun and relaxing time. Thanks for sharing on the #linkup Jacqui

  • 3rd July 2021 at 9:45 pm

    It’s so nice you got to enjoy your holiday and trip away, the houses look so beautiful and colourful! We don’t have anything like that here in Brisbane!

    it’s a shame that the weather wasn’t as good as you expected it to be and you had to buy more winter pieces, but nice you still had a good time! 🙂

    Hope you are having a good weekend 🙂 Going to be a fun day here, my son has a sports competition.

  • 8th July 2021 at 2:03 am

    So happy you got to get away! It’s so needed after all we’ve been through with this pandemic. Love what you posted and reading all the fun details!

  • 8th July 2021 at 3:56 am

    You are the proof that looking great isn’t a matter of age and it’s not a matter of money! It’s all a matter of curating the clothing that is right for your lifestyle and feeling confident in them. You really rock looking great without breaking the bank.

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