The "Hut" on the riverside at Rowhedge, near Colchester, is open for tea and cake, weekends and Bank Holidays throughout spring and summer. It is run by a charitable trust who are trying to raise funds for a permanent building. There is often a small exhibition going on in the hut but the tea, coffee and cake are to be recommended. Tea (builders or fancy), Coffee (instant or posh) are available along with delicious homemade cakes at very reasonable prices. Outside tables and chairs are laid out in a beautiful riverside setting - well worth a visit.
Rowhedge on the river Colne, just south of Colchester in Essex. Frequent buses from Colchester and if tide permits then a ferry runs from Wivenhoe across the river. Wivenhoe is on the main Clacton to London rail line.
Google map: bit.ly/LBeA74
Either is a very appropriate name for, what must be, one of the coolest bars in the world. Work your way down from the Pile Gate, through the old town which is delightful, find the Jesuit Church and then the "outside wall" - there are a couple of hand written signs saying simply "Cold Drinks". There is a small doorway through the wall which leads you to a tiny bar nestling on jagged rocks. There are only about a dozen tables which all face out to the fabulous Adriatic, various rocks and small islands. Entertainment is provided by local lads slightly showing off by diving off the fairly high rocks and the conversation is a babble of languages with Australian accents to the fore (the Aussies can always find a good Buza!). Magical spot and worth the prices for the views and ambience.
This gorgeous little theatre is central to Funchal - its proper name is the Baltazar Diaz Theatre (named after a Madeiran poet).
The auditoreum is a minature Albert Hall and we saw the Madeiran Youth Mandolin Orchestra give a magnificent concert. The whole thing was absolutely charming but one could sit for ages in the empty auditorium and admire the atmosphere and architecture - large numbers of boxes surround the stalls and all the curtains and seats are a sumptuous crimson. Well worth a visit if ever in Funchal - both a musical performance or a play would be a joy.
This is a great medium sized village with quite a bit of accommodation - we stayed in a cave, of which there are several around. The best bit was arriving (unplanned) on the penultimate weekend of August when the festival in honour of the patron saints - San Cosme and San Damian (Los Santos Medicos) was in full swing with a small funfair, outdoor dancing to live bands, religious and other parades and processions, massive communal meals. It culminated on Monday lunchtime with huge paella, sangria and beer on the village. The final "event" seems to be little old ladies throwing buckets of water over young men! Brilliant - oh, and tapas free in all the bars.
Google map: bit.ly/mwz59b
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