A Travellerspoint blog

Clambering through Constable Country

sunny 22 °C

‘I accept not everyone will agree with my decisions. But I object to swearing, tattoos and dogs sitting on chairs. If I was going to take my mother to dinner there I would not wish her to be exposed to that sort of thing....I’m not trying to be difficult. I’m thinking of the 98 per cent, not the 2 per cent.’ - Marco Pierre White

Foodie moment

Finding an affordable pub in Lavenham is not easy, its popularity with tourists and the B&B crowd have made it an expensive location. We decided on the pub in the main square as the bar menu appealed to us, and were surprised to find out it was Marco Pierre White's pub The Angel. He had recently taken over the 600 yr old pub, and was certainly trying to make it a bit more than a local village pub. I read that he recently removed Fosters and Strongbow from his taps (yes, apparently this was a bad thing according to locals! Personally I agree that Fosters should not be drunk!) and the bar menu was quite expensive for what was on offer. Having said that, it was a spectacular steak sandwich, delicious chips (cute presentation too in the tiny saucepan) and probably the only time I will financially be able to eat at one of his restaurants!


Cultural moment

A drive with Barbara to explore the bordering shire of Suffolk took us to the historical town of Lavenham. It's a very cute town jam-packed with half-timbered medieval cottages and a large, impressive 15th-century church. The half-timbered cottages are really interesting to look at, as not only are they painted in all sorts of bright colours, but most of them seem to lean forward or to the side at quite an alarming angle. This is because the timbers in the house have warped over time leaving the house set at unusual angles. I wouldn't want to try and furnish a room with those angled walls!


Wow moment

On the way back to Colchester from Lavenham we stopped at Dedham, Essex. A lovely walk through the fields next to the river Stour (dodging the cows!) lead us to the heart of 'Constable country'. John Constable was a famous English Romantic painter in the early 19th Century. He grew up in the Dedham area, and his most famous paintings are of the Dedham countryside, the Dedham Mill and the Parish church. You can see why he chose to paint the area. It really is beautiful countryside, especially on a sunny day like the day we visited when the riverbanks are covered with people having picnics, people rent rowboats to take down the river and children are paddling in the water.


What we learnt today

The Hay Wain is one of the most famous paintings by John Constable, finished in 1821. It depicts a rural scene on the River Stour in Suffolk. It hangs in the National Gallery in London and is regarded as one of the greatest and most popular English paintings. It was impossible to recreate it accurately in a photograph as the area and countryside has changed... but we gave it a go!


Posted by travellinglise 10:05 Archived in England Tagged dedham lavenham

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