Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sutton Gault

I've been staying with the bf for a couple of days yesterday we took a brisk walk down to Sutton Gault, and a really excellent lunch at The Anchor Inn: Pork and black pudding terrine, with pickled apple and apple puree; Ox cheek with smoked kale, spiced carrots and potato puree, Christmas pudding with orange curd, candied orange and eggnog ice cream.  Delicious. Casual and friendly service.  A 'Thank you' to the bf for being such a brick in these past months.

Sutton Gault is quite a remarkable place in itself, so very English in its understated character: very small with only a few scattered bungalows, cottages and the Inn itself and a rather lovely early nineteenth century manor of yellow gault clay bricks.  'Liminal' has been a favourite (and hence over-used) word in intellectual discourse recently, and although I don't want to contribute to its over use, it does describe Sutton Gault really well.  The hamlet lies on the very western edge of the Isle of Ely where it is clipped by the Ouse Washes - a long linear system of water meadows (approximately 20 miles long and up to a mile across) that are flooded, mainly in winter, when the river Ouse is full with water from the high ground to the south.  The atmosphere is such that instead of a very prosaic concrete bridge over the New Bedford River there should, I feel, be a ferry boat, as I presume there once was, or even a beach and a wild and choppy North Sea.  Instead the lane down from Sutton-in-the-isle climbs over the embankment and the river, before descending to the level of the washes. In the winter this road is sometimes submerged and to help pedestrians cross there is an immensely long and narrow footbridge the whole width of the washes.  Then the world of my imagination takes on a transient reality with cold grey water stretching out to the horizon. We walked there last January when washes were flooded and it was indeed an amazing sight what with the water raging under the footbridge and between the willows that line the road.

(The photos are a mixture of those taken last spring and those taken last week)

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