We've just spent a little time on the Suffolk coast. Southwold to be more precise, or Adnams-on-Sea as I shall now call it. It doesn't matter how far away from the classic town brewery I drink their ales, I'm always left with a self-satisfied beam on my face. But to drink a Southwold Bitter or, my current preference, a few Broadsides, within a handful of miles of the town is a very distinct pleasure. Anyway, Friday evening found us on Southwold Pier, running about like children as we enjoyed Tim Hunkin's joyful slot machine arcade called The Under The Pier Show. Gloriously old fashioned, utterly eccentric and delightfully bonkers. The one in the top photo is his Quantum Tunnelling Telescope, but sadly, like many seaside telescopes when the money runs out, the view from it was strangely absent. But it did make lots of noise.
More sedate was the Dovecote Studio at Snape Maltings. (Get your cow-shaped butter dishes here.) Snugly positioned in the stabilised ruins of the original 'cote', this is a Cor-ten steel monocoque shell that was prefabricated and then dropped in by crane. The architects were Haworth Tompkins. I pondered its use for so long, but had I bothered to walk round it, instead of complaining when anybody walked in front of it as the sun came out, I'd have seen that it had windows. It's used by musicians and artists in-residence and, I expect, as a useful hideaway for the Snape Maltings staff as they discuss the latest balsamic vinegars. I love this kind of thing, practical innovative thinking for a building that not only looks good, but also fits in (literally) with its surroundings. A good place to quietly put a few Broadsides away, staring out across the lonely marshes towards the sea, Britten's Sea Interludes in your ear and... (that's enough arty-crafty Suffolk references: Ed.)