Ruth Cutts tells us about her favourite cafés to curl up with a book in Suffolk

  1. Applaud Coffee in Ipswich

Situated on the cobbled pavements of St Nicholas Street amongst the indies of The Saints, Applaud Coffee is a cute little cafe with a small but interesting menu of all home made, locally sourced, seasonal treats. The cosy decor is a combination of pastel shades, vintage furniture and a gorgeous reclaimed fireplace and the walls are adorned with the works of local artists and crafters- keep an eye out for any of their upcoming workshops too.

Check out their Facebook page at ‘Applaud Coffee’

  1. Paddy & Scotts in Bury St Edmunds

The origins of Paddy & Scott’s coffee brand began a few short years ago by two gents called, as you can probably guess- Paddy and Scott. Their passion for producing top quality, artisan coffee is palpable- highlighted by the use of their stylish hand built machines and range of unique tasting international coffee options. The decor feels trendy and modern with wonderful exposed brick walls and dark, wooden floors and tables.

  1. Suffolk Food Hall, The Cookhouse

The Cookhouse restaurant is home to Suffolk’s most impressive views of the River Orwell- the huge glass walls run along the entire length of the venue and provide an almost panoramic perspective to watch a winter storm come in from the comfort of your chair.  The food is spectacular with the focus on local produce and seasonal recipes with brunch, main meals and afternoon tea on offer.

  1. Cafe Knit, Lavenham

Combining great coffee with a passion for knitting, Cafe Knit is a must visit for all crafters and creatives alike. The vibe is as cosy as a thick, wooly jumper itself and there’s a great selection of home made snacks and cakes that will make you glad that you wore your thick, wooly jumper slightly on the baggier side that day.

  1. The Secret Garden, Sudbury

The Secret Garden in Sudbury is more than just a place to grab a quick drink and a bite to eat as this place is really something very special. With French owners, this tearoom and restaurant oozes continental charm with home made pastries, breads and jams on offer alongside many coffee options from either the espresso machine or the traditional French Press. In the winter, the open fires are roaring providing a cosy retreat from the winter winds and once you’ve finished with all the wonderful food and coffee, why not sign up to one of their wine tasting evenings, bread making classes or French tuition sessions instead- c’est parfait!

  1. Really Rather Good, Bury St Edmunds

A cute little cafe nestled amongst the shops of Bury St Edmunds, this place is…really rather good. There are plenty of coffee, loose tea and lighter food choices such as fresh cakes and pastries, brunch options and sandwiches. They are also super dog- friendly, even going so far as posting a ‘Dog of the week’ photo on their social media- the perfect place to relax for you and your pooch.

  1. The Firestation, Woodbridge

A wonderfully quirky coffee spot along the main thoroughfare of Woodbridge, The Firestation provides great coffee and lighter food options sourcing it’s cake from ‘Britain’s Best Bakery’ next door (The Cake Shop Bakery). The decor is a combination of mismatched bric-a- brac and sociable canteen style wooden benches and at the weekends the place transforms into a nocturnal haunt of good music and even better cocktails.

Check out their Facebook page at ‘The Firestation Cafe’

  1. The Common Room, Framlingham

You’ll feel like you’ve just strolled into somebody’s front room when you enter The Common Room in Framingham such is the homely and friendly vibe of the place complete with book shelves and a vintage record player. The menu is described more of a ‘guide’ with the chefs willing to cook you almost anything…as long as they have the ingredients.

As the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee, why not find a reading nook and snuggle in with one of the EAUX team’s three favourite books of the moment:

  1. A Night on the Orient Express by Veronica Henry

Set before, during and after a trip of a lifetime on the Orient Express, this book tells the tales of a fascinating cast of characters and how their stories intertwine with one another on their journey from London to Venice – a beautifully told tale of decadence and intrigue, of glamour and deceit.

4/5 star rating


  1. The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

Combining fantasy, sci-fi and thriller this book follows the journey of main protagonist- PhD student Ariel Manto, stumbling across a Victorian copy of ‘The End of Mr Y’ written by 19th Century writer- Thomas Lumas. Find yourself, along with Ariel, transported into the time-travelling wonderland of the Troposphere where an adventure of time and space awaits.

3.5/5 star rating


  1. Skating to Antartica by Jenni Diski

Like many of the treasured pilgrimage memoirs that we know and love (Strayed’s ‘Wild’ is a prime example), Diski’s memoir is an uplifting, but sometimes bleak, tale of her search of an escape from a difficult home life. The vivid descriptions of the bleak, Antarctic backdrop is the perfect winter read this season.

4/5 star rating