ROUND HOUSE ICKWORTH SUFFOLK // Life + Travels

On a recent family get away to Suffolk, we visited the amazing ’round house’ in Ickworth. This is a national trust site that my parents visited years ago, and despite they’re sometimes less riveting picks, this was one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever seen. The attention to detail on the building, as well as the vast expanse of land, made it a beautiful trip. The house also had two cafes, one inside and one out (the inside was not cheap, at about £7 for a simple jacket potato!) but did provide lots of options such as vegan lasagne! The outside kiosk also had lots of more affordable light bites, like ice cream, scones and sandwiches.

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NORTH/FRANKS BAR // Out

NORTH is a quirky cafe located near Colegate and Norwich Cathedral in the ‘North’ of the city, hence the name. It is a sister cafe to the well established franks bar, but has that same laid back feeling and serves drinks, lighter snacks on display like scones and cakes (including vegan options!), as well as breakfast and lunch meals.

I opted for the shakshuka with tofu (also available with egg), aubergines, and served with pita bread. The sauces itself was pretty spicy, but the more neutral, soft tofu helped tone that down. For me the star of the show was the bread, which was the softest pita I have ever had!

We also ordered chips, which are some of the best I have ever eaten. They were just the right thickness, almost wedge like with the skin on, and served piping hot, and salted (my I would ask for slightly less salt next time but a grind of black pepper helped that out).

They also do a range of ciabattas, such as this with carrot falafel, cauliflower/garlic purée and garlic. Again, the falafel did have a kick but the purée was so smooth and creamy, and you could taste the ciabatta was fresh and locally made.

NORTH is much larger than Franks, with seating going outside and attracting young friends meeting for coffee, older couples enjoying cocktails and family’s having hearty lunches.

Unfortunately it does shut Sunday and Monday, but being open from 9am to 10pm (11pm on Friday and Saturdays) means there is plenty of time to try it out. A great cafe in a beautiful part of the city that often gets overlooked as it is not quite in the ‘city centre’ with chain shops etc.

VEGAN AFTERNOON TEA @ HARRIETS TEA ROOM // Out

This week we took a short family get away to Ubberston in Suffolk, which while just over one hour from home in Norwich was a lovely week to relax and go visit places we never had before. We also left on the day of Mums birthday, and Dad had booked us a table at Harriers Tea Room in Bury as a birthday treat. Thoughtfully dad had told them I was vegan when booking, and when I asked whether they had vegan options they said they had bought in some extra vegan cakes especially! The menu does say about vegan scones, but I am not sure they have these available every day. I was so impressed they had made a special effort for a vegan diet, and would definitely recommend phoning to let them know a few days before.

They sell an avocado and tomato sandwich on the lunch menu, so I asked for that to go with my vegan scones and cakes. The bread was so soft, avocado thick and creamy, and tomatoes slices added an extra freshness (although next time I would probably ask for granary)

The scones were slightly warm, had a great texture that was soft but not too crumbly. I also had a ginger and apple cake, which was a tad on the dry side but had nice big chunks of crystallised ginger running through (I took one slice home and found it even better warmed in the microwave with a dollop of soya yogurt). Alongside was a millionaires shortbread, which as expected being vegan didn’t have a particularly rich or buttery base, but the sweetness of the ‘caramel’ and layers of chocolate, filling and biscuit was something different to what you usually get offered as a vegan.

Our seat was right next to the counter so we had this view of TONNES of scones staring at us while we waited *drool

They also do a variety of hot dishes, such as jack potatoes, fish and chips, paninis, and breakfasts including a full English and lighter options such as granola on yogurt.

Of course we had to get a selection of cakes to take home for dad – chocolate profiterole on mousse, strawberry tart and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. While they weren’t massive, priced at just over £6 for three, the detail and daintiness of the cakes were worth it.

While Harriets is located in the middle of a fairly busy high street, just five minutes away is the Cathedral grounds which, while still busy, was a lovely way to walk off all the delicious food.

The staff were all friendly and fit the traditional tea room aesthetic with their white pinafore s and head dress, the tea room itself was beautifully decorated with statement, yet not ‘tacky’ chandeliers and the food was great accommodating to everyone. Couldn’t recommend enough.

ROASTED VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD // Recipe

2 courgettes (I used 1 green 1 yellow)

1 pepper, deseeded

1 red onion

1/2 broccoli, cut into florets

large handful of mushrooms, sliced 1/2cm thick

large handful of tomatoes (if cherry leave whole, if bigger cut into 1/2)

Method:

Preheat oven 180.

Cut all the vegetables into cubes around 1 inch thick, and the broccoli into large florets.

Spread across two baking tins, season with plenty of 1tbsp pepper, 1tbsp salt, 1tsp basil, 1tsp chilli powder.

Bake the vegetables for 30minutes, taking out and tossing half way (taking out any you see browning and place in a bowl).

10 minutes before the veg is done, add the pasta to a saucepan and cover with boiling water (using that from the kettle is quicker then waiting for water to boil over the pan). Add a pinch of salt to the water.

When the pasta is cooked, drain, and add to the pan with the vegetables. Toss everything together, adding more seasoning if necessary, and serve! You can have this hot or keep in the fridge for 3 days.

I also added some sliced vegan sausages one day.