Sunday, 23 November 2008

Framlingham Castle and Something Fishy

Wednesday, the day after my birthday, was not the best day of our trip. I developed a headache at breakfast time and the weather was cold and wet. However, not wanting to waste an opportunity I took some Migraleve and we set out inland to visit Framlingham Castle. We drove 18 miles on very twisty narrow lanes (not good when one's head aches) only to find that this being November the castle only opened on 3 days of the week and this was not one of them. We therefore had a coffee at the Castle Inn and just walked around the outside.

The castle is a magnificent 12th century fortress - a symbol of baronial pride, and once the refuge of Mary Tudor who mustered her troops here before being crowned Queen in 1553. The castle has seen many uses during it's long and colourful past:
a medieval stronghold, the home of the Earl's and Duke's of Norfolk, an Elizabethan prison and a 17th-century poor house.

This mere has supplied the castle with water for over 1000 years
Having walked around outside we decided to drive back to Aldeburgh and on the way visit Snape Maltings nearby. Known for it's Concert Hall, Music festivals and the U.K's largest provider of of performance training for the world's young professional musicians, Snape is also an Antique's, Art, Craft and gourmet food centre.
We had lunch and managed to buy some Christmas presents at which point I really did not feel my best so without taking any photographs we returned to our hotel and walked along the front in the bracing sea air instead. I know this bit is boring, but it is how life is sometimes.
Let's jump to Thursday, our last day in Aldeburgh. We had planned before leaving to buy some fresh fish to take home. (I had come prepared with an ice box and the hotel had kindly kept my icepacks frozen) In fact our hotel even offered to refrigerate our fish if needed. Not many places would do that today.
We arrived at the Fish Shack on the beach to find that the boat had only just come in and the fish were not yet sorted. Would be 90 minutes. We decided to just make our way home. We drove 4 miles when I realised I would be disappointed arriving home without some gorgious fresh fish so we turned the car around and went back to our hotel and sat drinking coffee until it was time to go back for the fish.

The Fish Shack

This guy who was more than happy to pose for a photograph had been a fisherman since he was 15. He was now retired from fishing but loved to help out on dry land and do all the jobs that everyone else hated like preparing the bait etc.

The Gulls are waiting for the fish to be sorted too

The boat comes up this ramp from the sea

and here it is just before unloading

Here is one of the fishermen cleaning out the 2 very large Cod that I bought which meant some time spent preparing it for the freezer when I got home. Sixteen portions of the freshest and tenderest fish ever. It was worth the wait.
Stay tuned for the wrap up of this particular trip. We stopped off at Dedham, in our own county on the way home, a beautiful village with a 16th century tea room.


Charm and Grace said...

I can almost smell the fish... happily enough computers aren't yet equipped with a "scent" feature. But, oh to taste one... I do love good fresh fish. Looking forward to Dedham's tea room report!


Susan said...

Sorry the one day didn't turn out exactly as planned but at least you were able to enjoy some things.

Linds said...

There is nothing like fresh fish straight out of the sea! I used to go diving in SA and we would catch crayfish and cook them on the beach in seawater. Wonderful!

Patsy said...

To think that Castle is still standing there. I hope the brisk sea breeze helped your head.

Lorrie said...

MMMM, fresh fish - so wonderful. We like to go down to the docks here and buy a salmon, then cut it up in suitable portions for the freezer. So great to have on hand.
What a lovely trip you've taken us on.


Tess Kincaid said...

Nice fishy pix. I love how the guy is really enjoying posing for you! Too cute.

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Lovely pictures. What a history with the castle!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

I'm betting that fish was so fresh it smelled like the clean and salty sea and nothing else! What a wonderful treat for you when you get some out of the freezer later and remember your birthday holiday in Aldeburgh!

That old fisherman could be the spitting image of one of his Viking ancestors, don't you think?

Perhaps because I more or less grew up next to the sea, it is what calls to the deep in me the strongest...and so your photos and commentary about Aldeburgh are extra special to me...particularly the ones of the beach and sea, and talk of the fresh, bracing air. I can almost smell, hear and feel it!

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Finally I can say I have been to the place you are describing ... Framlingham Castle. It is an amazing site to visit and I hope that you get to go back one day when it is open. And somewhere in my collection of leaflets/postcards I have a little book all about it.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am enjoying your trip recap very much! And am quite sorry about your headache. Do you get migraines?

Aubrey said...

That stinks you couldn't see the castle like you wanted--on top of a headache, too. Headaches ruin everything! You must have a really nice husband to turn around and go back for fish.

Willow said...

Interesting information about Framlingham Castle. I'm sorry you had a headache and the castle was closed. The photos of the boats are lovely! The seacoast reminds me of Leigh on Sea.

I too am looking forward to the tea room review!

Merisi said...

The cod looks so tempting, and imagining going to a proper tearoom makes me want to whip up some scones,
for comfort.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

What a great tour! I pray your headache stays away. You have the prettiest scenery around you. I love the picture of the boats. Sorry you didn't get to go in the castle. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Ouch sorry about your headache. I take the pink and yellow ones too.

What a shame about the castle. I wondered at one stage if I was ever meant to go to Siezah Castle as it was always shut when we visited the lakes for years!

I love the shape of the wooden hulls on the fishing boats- so pleasing to the eye compared with modern fibreglass hulls.

Thank you for sharing and your kind compliment. I just get so curious that i have to find things out. Some info even sticks in my brain if I'm lucky. :-)

Vee said...

Hmmm, I really love cod. How do you prepare it? Probably many different ways...and do you make a nice chowder with it, too?

Yes, life is just that way sometimes...still, it must've been disappointing.