A couple of weeks ago, we ventured into what we affectionately refer to as ‘The Badlands’, also known as Suffolk: our neighbouring county. I guess there is an underlying friendly rivalry that influenced our choice of name!
I’ve been wanting to visit the picturesque village of Orford for some time, as it is home to the now fairly famous Pump Street Bakery, whose award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate I am very partial to. They combine flavours such as sourdough, rye crumb, and sea-salt with single origin, organic cacao beans, roasted in their bread ovens. They work with small-scale, owner-operated farms and co-operatives too, ensuring that the process is as fair and ethical as possible along the way. I find their story really inspiring as one day I would love to properly explore making my own chocolate and confectionary.
We stopped in for a little light lunch and a couple of rounds of pudding. We have our priorities right! First up we started with a ginormous cinnamon roll, which we shared as it was the size of a small island. More bready and much less spiced than the variety that I usually make, it made me reminisce about my childhood love of iced buns. It had a very similar texture to a classic British iced finger bun and was filled with cinnamon and orange, finished with a white icing glaze. Then we split a perfect pasteis de nata, AKA a Portuguese custard tart, which was rich, buttery, vanilla infused, and flakey.
Round two consisted of a meringue, covered in pistachio nuts and fresh cream, and a fennel, aniseed, and orange peel bun. I actually managed to photograph round two, as we were getting pretty stuffed by that point! The meringue was crunchy on top, but jammy in the middle and the double cream made it a super decadent end to our lunch.
Everything was washed down with a delightful pot of Rare Tea Company Earl Grey (for me), and a cup of Monmouth coffee (for Tristan). Afterwards, we got more to take away and wandered the quaint streets and alleyways of Orford, which were incredibly pretty in the low sunshine. We strolled out to Orford Ness, which is a National Trust nature reserve and watched the seagulls swooping around in the wind. Being by the coast makes everything feel ok.
I would highly recommend Pump Street Bakery as a destination if you’re in that neck of the woods, but my hint would be to try and visit at an off-peak time, as they are quite small, and seating is, therefore (lovely but) minimal inside.