A walk on the wildside and lunch with a pig!

Written by  //  April 19, 2016  //  Upcoming Events  //  No comments

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Located just a few miles out of Woodbridge, Sutton Heath is the perfect destination for a lazy Sunday walk, which is just what we all felt like a few weekends ago. With a late lunch booked at the Unruly Pig, we met in the public carpark at 1 o’clock.

As usual there was the initial debate about which way to go, the shouting and silent swearing as the dogs disappear in different directions, and the inevitable “I’m hungry”, “I’m thirsty” comedy routine from the kids just seconds after we finally set off! Once calm is restored, even though we all secretly know we are already heading in the wrong direction, we settle down to enjoy our surroundings. Sutton Heath is part of The Sandlings, an area of lowland heath that once covered much of east Suffolk, and the carpets of heather and gorse are bordered by mixed woodlands and open farmland. There are numerous paths criss-crossing the way ahead and, as the map has by now been folded and packed away in disgust, we decide to follow the dogs and just head in a circle.

As our pack starts to string out, the leisurely pace, more suited to some than others, allows time to catch up on news, to climb the odd tree, and to hunt through the deep piles of leaves for the perfect pine cone. Although Spring has graced us with her presence early this year, with daffodils and blossom cheering us at the roadside, here in the woods it is as if everything has been covered with a blanket of brown; brown bark, brown branches, brown leaves – not so handy when we all travel with brown dogs and children wearing an assortment of brown clothes. Thank goodness for Poppy and her bright red hat.

The sandy soil means the going is easy, with only a few brackish puddles to leap over – or walk straight through if you are a certain labradoodle who likes the two-tone look – and in amongst the woods we find the perfect tree for a photo session. The children all clamber up to strike a pose, including Dad Damian, who manoeuvres out on a limb and teeters manfully. After a few games of hide and seek and more rambling in a sort of circular path we come to the edge of the trees and see the glint of the carpark in the distance.  Nearing home, a fallen tree waves its silvery tentacles goodbye and before we know it we arrive at the Unruly Pig with a half hour to spare.

Having worked up an appetite we are all looking forward to lunch and, over a restorative G&T and a few pints of Adnams, make our choices which include roasted 35-day aged sirloin with dripping roasties, grilled Sea Bream with a black olive hollandaise and also mini cheese burgers with homemade fries, all of which are delicious and cooked to perfection. The convivial atmosphere, interesting décor and excellent wine list lulls one end of the table into that relaxed state of happiness that allows the other end to take full advantage and order an extra round of chocolate brownies. It has been a truly lovely afternoon, and as the candles are lit and the curtains drawn it takes all our self-control not to stay and roll into the next sitting.


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