Grechaninov: Passion Week

Michael got us tickets to a choral evening last night at the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs (otherwise known as ‘the catholic church’) to hear the Cambridge Chorale sing Aleksandr Grechaninov‘s Passion Week. The chorale sang 13 pieces, unaccompanied by any music. They bravely sang in Russian, assisted by a Russian voice coach from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

The church was a great setting got the music, although it was a little too brightly lit for the my tastes and the atmosphere of the pieces, but probably not for the choir!. The choir was great – a couple of excellent soloists and strong voices.

The last piece, Do Molchit Fsiakaya Plot (Let all mortal flesh keep silent) reached a beautiful crescendo. Overall I found the composition restrained and contemplative. I’m hoping Michael will chip in with some comments here, this is more his sort of thing!

We headed over to the Alma for a beer afterwards anj just as we were half-way through the double entry doors, and plinky-plonky piano started up for some live music that was not great after an hour of beautiful singing. We ended up in the Emperor, which was still noisey and playing some rather raucous stuff.

We had a pint and moved on to the Live and Let Live for their Belgian beer selection: Sadly much depleted last night. We had a nice bottle of beer: I had something blonde and hoppy, and Michael had a wicked 12% Christmas Beer.

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Lots of mud in the Deben

We’re on our way back home. Had a lovely walk before breakfast along the Deben. The tide was out and the mud was pretty impressive.

Breakfast was pretty slow this morning, so while the food in The Crown was good, there seemed to be a problem in managing the orders. It took 25 mins for Michael to get his bowl of cereal!

Dinner was good last night: really good atmosphere in the bar and restaurant and good waitresses (who kept on touching me on the arm, which was very nice). Michael chose a good Austrian wine, which matched our fish/shellfish meals very nicely. My salt cod starter was yummy, on a bed of purple and yellow beetroot slices. Michael’s smoked eel on scrambled eggs was luscious. I had scallops for a main which were beautifully lightly cooked, but had to be strictly separated from the taramasalata sauce which, although subtle, still overwhelmed the scallop and added a coarse fishiness that didn’t work. Michael’s yellow fin tuna was lovely and came with grilled mushroom, tomato and onion rings with tuna, which wasn’t the ideal accompaniment, but was nicely done. We got a glass of armagnac for free which was very nice and an apology for not bring able to bring the wine until after Michael had finished his warm starter. Not a great start.

We had a walk by the dark Deben after dinner. Gosh it was dark, and we stumbled along the waterfront hoping we’d avoid a dip!

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Location:Tide Mill Way,Woodbridge,United Kingdom

Woodbridge weekend

We’re doing quite a bit of celebration for Michael’s birthday this year. Last night we came over to Woodbridge on the River Deben, just across from Sutton Hoo. We’re staying at The Crown close to the train station, which is lovely and smart. We got here about 8:30 and met up with an ex-colleague of Michael’s called Jamie. It wasn’t a good night for me and beer, as the only beer I really liked was Michael’s Adnam’s American Style IPA, which was great, but I didn’t choose wisely with the Adnam’s Gunhill (too ruby).

We moved on from The Crown to the Old Mariner, which Jamie used to be the landlord of. Lovely pub, but again I chose poorly with Spitfire (which i mostly left), and a little better with the Young’s Bitter. The pub had a great atmosphere and friendly customers, who all seemed to know Jamie, unsurprisingly! We continued up the hill, on our pub tour of Woodbridge, to The Angel, where Jamie’s partner works.

That was a lovely stop and we were most impressed by the huge selection of gins. I tried a Geranium gin, hoping it would be flavoured with leaves, but it was flavoured with petals, which I think have no flavour! The gin was nice though. Michael tried a G&T (I had mine straight as a shot). We got back to the hotel about 12:30 armed with local knowledge about what to see and do in Woodbridge.

Lovely kipper breakfast, which we managed to squeeze in before breakfast closed at 10. Headed back up the hill, stopping of at St Mary’s church for a poke around: rather smart and historic church with sculptures, lovely organ and 24 hour CCTV publicly displayed in the gift shop up the road.

The Market hill is the historic centre of Woodbridge and it is old and picturesque.

We wandered back down to the river, having a look at the Tide Mill, and its impressive tidal mill pond (now a marina with a rather high sill). There is a lovely walk along the river.

Lunched in the (recommended) Kings Head Inn, which had a great open wood fire and atmosphere. Burgers and great chips for lunch, and at last some enjoyable beer, Adnam’s Explorer.

Buttrum’s Mill after lunch was lovely, with lots of pretty blue wood anemone and snowdrops on the path. Not enough wind for the sails today.

Having a few hours in the Hotel room before dinner, very relaxing. Woodbridge is lavishly appointed with public toilets, there seems to be one on nearly every street. I guess these are essential for all the people crammed into the 12 excellent pubs.

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Location:Cumberland St,Woodbridge,United Kingdom