Monday, 14 March 2011

Ipswich and Old Leigh On Sea

What a weekend! Here's a nice little outfit post from my night out with the Muskerbeers. Mmm sequinny.

The 80s has landed, note tasteful Audrey-Hepburn-style Muskerbeer in the background.

Check my fashion-blogger stylee pose
The pictures of the night start respectable, then tumble rapidly into (Facebook): SECURITY: who can see these? Everyone/friends of friends/friends/customise/burn them
Edited highlights included:
  • 'Prawns In Jam' ... is it a dessert? What happens when sweet n' sour loses its sourness
  • Desperados. It's beer. With Tequila in it, innit;
  • Is it just me or does this cocktail taste like sick? (or, why the Old Orleans chain isn't famed for their mixologists);
  • The woman paid by a well-known chain of nightclubs to get people on the dancefloor gets arsy with repeated drunken men letching her: you go girl!
  • Wowzers, have hemlines gone up again or are we getting old..?
  • Sultry-or-serial-killer smouldering photofest. Luckily we're none of us single, they wouldn't do as pouty Facebook profiles;
  • Prawn sarnies prepared 'a la Muskerbeer' and neatly wrapped. No post-club kebab for us, oh no indeedy not.
Sunday, it was time for a healthful trip to Old Leigh On Sea. It's a bit of a tradition, a bracing walk followed by chips, seafood and/or ice cream. The more bracing the better, we call it 'extreme cockling' if the chilly wind actually takes the top off your fingers.

Old Leigh has a beach, but is mainly a little old fishing village. Tourism means there's plenty of tourist facilities, including souvenir shops, art galleries, a historic centre, some cute olde-worlde tea rooms and four pubs. The beach is small and sandy: at high tide, there's plenty of paddling- but at low tide miles of mudflats with stranded boats stretch out across the estuary. It's all set out along a tiny strip and gets super-crowded in Summer with families daytripping and car/bike enthusiasts (who use it as an endpoint to a drive, similar to parts of Brighton). The whole place is tiny and can be 'done' in a day, so what keeps people coming back? Fish. Yup, seafood is key in old Leigh...

There's a fish co-operative selling fish to cook at home, the colourful boards advertising the catch of the day. But most people can't wait to get home, opting for fish n' chips or seafood from Osborne Bros seafood hut, which shares a seafront terrace with The Crooked Billet pub. Which sells a lot of Guinness and white wine, natch. When visiting, it's a good idea to split labour: one Muskerbeer to the pub (elbows a must), one to the seafood shed and one to nab a table...

Chips for £1.20... you'd not see that in London!
Thanks to Essex Muskerbeer, for posing with the salt (note the
fab studded jacket)!

Pub and seafood, can't beat it.
I had smoked eel and cockles- the eel was really smoky and delicious although (unusually) the cockles were a teeny bit gritty. I also went back and indulged in a crab roll. And some chips. Greedy. The crab roll was full of nommy crab, both light and dark meat, but I had to pick out the lettuce because it was strangely bitter- mind you Osborne's does seafood not veg, so meh. My fellow extreme cocklers went for the good old jellied eels, superb this visit- 'very creamy' with a good eely taste. If you're squeamish about jelly (and indeed, eels), other offerings include shell-on prawns, shell-off prawns, smoked salmon from their smokehouse, oysters, tiny brown shrimps, dressed crab, anchovies, rollmops, whelks, mussels... basically if it comes out of the water and you can eat it, you'll find it. Extreme weather optional. And if you're very squeamish- well, the Billet does pub grub, but extreme burger and chips doesn't have the same ring to it, really.

One For All and All For One!

To sing us out this time, it's Hitcher from The Mighty Boosh, on that kind of fish, the slippery eel...


  1. Hilarious and cheap chips to boot - wonderful xx

  2. Could I have a crab roll and chips please ,yummy scrummy, keep you cordon blurrrrr....super pictures, what a great weekend away,thank you so much for taking me along Jan xx

  3. That's where I grew up!!! Have never tried the jellied eels, mind! you've made it sound lovely, thank you! (Leigh, I mean, I'm still not convinced by the eels) Catherine x

  4. Crab roll and chips sounds wonderful. There's nothing quite like seaside chips is there?

  5. You look delightfuly scrumptious in sequins,yo uneed to show yourself more amor.
    sea side chips are the best.miss the beach.

  6. Pub & seafood. What a sublime combo! x

  7. You look like you had a fab time! I've never been there but it looks like my kinda place, that's definately on the to visit list now!

  8. Love the sequinned number. I love chips at the seaside, a rare treat in the landlocked

  9. Prawn desert, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Love the sparkly outfit x

  10. Hi my dear-what a wonderful outing away, I adore Old Leigh on Sea, I had my chips from that seller and we also bought skate home which was yummy!! Just adore your 80s outfit, gorgeous indeed!! xxx

  11. Love the outfit and all of the post. The Eels episode is one of my favourites of theirs. x

  12. Inspired by your post I must take The Actor. Being a northerner he definitely won't have been.

    Love the sequins. I'm mad for a sequin. I bought two dresses on Ebay this week. There must be a helpline or something? xx

  13. Got mad fish and chip cravings now!

    Ps: Lovely butterfly dress.


Let me know what you think!