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Set on Church Street in Woodbridge, Vanil is an independent, Scandinavian-inspired lifestyle and interiors shop. Coming from a design background, owner Mandy Leeson has an eye for beautiful pieces. She says Vanil, which is based in her home, offers an ever-evolving, eclectic mix. “We love ceramics, textiles, mid-century furniture and supporting local artists,” she says. “This Christmas our Pappelina rugs and Danish candles will be a big feature.” Mandy is always looking for new and interesting pieces to offer through Vanil. She chooses items she likes and that bring something different to Woodbridge. “This autumn, for example, we have some new ceramics from Sue …

Abigail Mill

Can you tell us a little about your work as an artist? I am a textile artist using machine embroidery as my medium. I have been working as a commercial artist for the past 25 years, selling my work and licensing my images to the giftware industry and at one stage running a successful greetings card publishing company, distributing my cards worldwide.   How has it evolved in recent years? My embroidery technique is self-developed. I layer up and embroider the fabrics, some overdyed, in order to use a huge colour spectrum. In some places it can be very three-dimensional. Often when I exhibit …

Suffolk’s best

Since taking over the kitchen at Tuddenham Mill, Lee Bye has not only been keen to attract a broader range of customers but also to serve up food they recognise and enjoy.     “I try to push the boundaries with everyday dining,” he explains. “I want to be serving people food they understand, dishes that are based around meat and two veg, but with a difference and using the right ingredients. “It is important to me to use good, seasonal, Suffolk ingredients – and that those ingredients are treated with respect.” Lee has headed up the kitchen at the luxury boutique hotel and restaurant …

Leaves of Gold

Take time out this autumn to absorb the glorious reds, yellows and golds of the Norfolk and Suffolk landscapes Sheringham Park, Norfolk Watch the changes of autumn in the leaves at Sheringham Park, which was famously landscaped by Humphry Repton. Here some of the beautiful specimen trees are often the first to turn – look out for the Japanese maple and golden larch along the main drive. The leaves on the giant branches of the ancient beeches becoming yellow are also a spectacular sight and the autumn hues of the oak woodland viewed from the end of the drive are picturesque. Thetford Forest, Norfolk and …

Blackthorpe Beauty

Handmade Christmas decorations, exquisite gifts and freshly cut Suffolk-grown trees – Christmas at Blackthorpe Barn promises everything you need for the festive season. George Agnew, owner of the Rougham Estate and the Medieval barn sums the whole experience up as “a big bunch of festive delights.” “There is so much for everyone in the Country Christmas Shop – from beautiful, Christmas decorations in all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes to amazing nostalgic gifts,” he says. “Plus, for the perfect centrepiece, there are our Rougham Estate Christmas trees.” Christmas begins at the estate near Bury St Edmunds, with the opening of the Country …

The art of learning

From its beautiful base in a Tudor merchant’s house on Fye Bridge Street, Anteros Arts Foundation promotes fine art and teaches its traditional skills. Now the registered charity is extending its range of not-for-profit courses with a Fine Art Diploma, which is being promoted at an open day on Saturday 5 November. Felicity Hemmant, managing directorof Anteros, says introducing the diploma was the next logical step for the organisation. “We have six years of experience teaching short fine art courses and growing our collection of equipment and resources. We are now looking forward to demonstrating the breadth of our expertise,” she says. “We …

The Dabbling Duck

All manner of delicious seasonal flavours are being served up at the Dabbling Duck in Great Massingham this season. Owners Mark and Sally Dobby say the pub with rooms, which sits opposite the green and ponds in the Norfolk village, will be offering some exciting and interesting dishes. “These might include pan-fried pigeon, with toasted buckwheat, raspberry balsamic dressing and pickled blackberries; moules marinière, made with local mussels, white wine and cream, and served with skinny fries, or smoked duck, with malt loaf, burnt grapefruit and liquorice gel,” says Sally. The Dabbling Duck is also known for its game, as well as its beef, …

Days in the Park

Surrounded by scenic Suffolk countryside and within easy distance of the Heritage Coast, Ufford Park Woodbridge, Hotel, Golf and Spa welcomes a spectrum of different guests. There are those who book into the hotel and choose to make use of its exceptional facilities during their stay and then others who come for the day or even just a few hours – to play golf, dine, have a drink or enjoy the spa. Debbie Ratcliffe, marketing manager, explains next year sees the 25th anniversary of the opening of the family-run and owned business, and in that time it has grown to become something …

Going barefoot

It has only been a few months since Barefoot Retreats opened its new store in Burnham Market but it is already attracting visitors from far and wide. Barefoot Living complements the property side of the business, explains owner Emma Tagg, and brings something new to the North Norfolk area. “We are able to source unusual pieces of furniture for homeowners,” she explains. “A very popular range, for example, has been our driftwood tables, lamps and mirrors. “And we are also seeing our holiday guests coming to the shop, looking to achieve the same style in their own homes.” Barefoot Retreats is a luxury holiday …