Snape Maltings

Beach sculpture

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

Everyone seems to be writing about Snape Maltings so I thought I ought to pen somethings because it is the strangest of places.
Coming out of the wilderness of Suffolk to Snape is like travelling through the snow of Norway and finding yourself in Santa’s grotto, almost. I often think of Suffolk as the best wilderness of England. Remote coastal heaths and marshes with spectacular birds. Where else can you see a bittern and a group of bearded tits in one morning? In the afternoon you can wander around Dunwich heath and see red deer. Maybe spend a week on the Walberswick marshes looking out for barn owls or wandering along the remote eleven mile shingle spit that is Orford Ness.
Then you go to Snape to visit the The Maltings. What a strange name and redolent of music and Radio broadcasts – “Welcome to the Aldeburgh Festival and tonight’s concert is broadcast live from The Snape Maltings…” From seeing no-one to being with everyone, that is the Zen of the place. The place is packed on a Sunday afternoon. There are gift shops, book shops, art galleries and a kitchen shop so huge and throbbing with people it seems as if the entire county’s population is packed into one place. All the papers write about the lush restaurant but the Ravenous Rambler doesn’t have time for such indulgences and retreats to the tea shop. Here, buxom waitresses serve home made cakes and sandwiches with lashings of tea and hot water. The seating area is surrounded by art and photography which gives me a great feeling of inner warmth. There is seating outside too but it’s too cold even if the sun is shining.
It’s worth a visit as it is so unusual but it is being built up even more outside. The old maltings are being turned into luxury homes for the very rich who can afford an extra holiday home. Maybe just pop by on your way back home on a Sunday afternoon


Plough and Sail

Sculpture at Thorpeness
Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

Snape Maltings

Telephone: 01728 688413

It was a cold foggy evening in February that we ate at the Plough and Sail. Its in a complex with tea shops and the world famous Maltings Concert hall. The pub is a spacious place with a modern dining room. There was jolly crowd of locals at the bar and enough people in the restaurant to make it welcoming. The polished wood floors and pictures of the Maltings through history were quite inviting and there were some enticing specials on the boards. Seabass and other local fish dishes but on a cold night there were other temptations…
We ended up with Steak and kidney pie and I had Irish stew. The Irish stew was delicious, lovely tender lumps of meat offset with dumplings and vegetables. All washed down with a pint of southwold ale. We didn’t have room for puddings so had to leave it there and we headed off into the fog completely replete.