Places to Explore in Ipswich
Three years ago, I couldn't wait to move away from little Suffolk into a big vibrant city up North. I felt like Ipswich had nothing to offer me, but I never really explored it, until now! Since I moved away to Newcastle, I developed a love for Suffolk and now it's one of my favourite places, despite 18-year-old me wanting to escape - isn't it funny how life turns out? Like any town or city, it has its nicer parts and I've often found that the loveliest places are just outside of the high street so, here are all of my favourite places.
Located on St Peter's Street, this is one of the cutest little coffee shops I've ever laid eyes on. I am a lady that loves quaint, pastel and vintage anything! Independent businesses are so so special, they always make you feel more 'at home' and create a personal experience, because they truly are a little dream of someone's bought to life. Made up of wooden floorboards, homemade cakes, a little green courtyard, bunches of flowers on the table that looked freshly picked that morning, coffee art and pastel chair legs - if I had to draw up my own coffee shop it would look exactly like that. Their food is also delicious! I've had afternoon tea, breakfast and cake there, all of which have been divine. Their menu constantly changes which I love because it forces you to always choose something new rather than stick with a usual. Check out their Instagram to bring some aesthetics to your dashboard and keep up to date with their latest bakes!
I should first disclaim that I have never actually been here, however I stalk their Instagram on a daily basis. It's basically a space that hosts creative workshops and events of all sorts! They've had stained glass workshops, origami workshops, sign writing workshops and so many more coming up. I'm hoping to book into their Christmas workshops to get me in the festive spirit or create something to give as a gift. I thrive on learning and being creative. They can be quite expensive and if you have a busy schedule, it's not always a priority but one of my life goals is to keep creating and trying new things so I really believe we should make time for opportunities like this. I attended a ring making workshop months ago now in Newcastle and it was one of my favourite experiences ever! I love wearing something every day that I created with my hands - it reminds me that I am creative, and I can do something new. Definitely check out their workshops and message me if you fancy attending together because it can be a little daunting going on your own.
Why am I so surprised that there is something cool and urban in Ipswich? I ate here for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I had no clue why I hadn't visited before because it was right up my street! Firstly, the drinks are super funky! Max and I had a teapot cocktail to share that smoked, it was called smoking' squid and basically looked like black ink, it was so delicious. I've only eaten their tapas dishes, but the main menu looks SO good, a good mixture of everything you might fancy like burgers, fancy pub classics, fish, veggie options and a cracking dessert list! Back to tapas though - I've been to some places and thought 'did I really pay £13 for 3 tiny dishes?' but these were huge! We shared the peppered squid, mini camembert and chicken wings but I would eat every single dish on the list, which is rare! The decor is very forge-esque in that there's a lot of steel, dark colours and lighting which makes the atmosphere really cosy and edgy! Definitely my new favourite place to dine in the evening and it's not far from the quay to squeeze in a romantic walk.
A new discovery today, I always walk past this florist and smell the flowers but never actually go in. It always feels a little daunting going into florists because I don't know what I should be asking for, but it looked so autumnal and inviting I forced myself to get a grip. I didn't go in with the intention of buying anything, I just wanted to browse the aesthetics, but I treated myself to a ready-made bunch because it was filled with my favourite colours! I've always wanted proper flowers that came in brown paper from a florist, and what was stopping me? I 100% want to make it a monthly treat to buy nice flowers rather than Tesco cheap ones!
It's an independent men's clothing and lifestyle brand, I'd say it had a high-fashion, urban streetwear kind of vibe. You know the kind of shop it's going to be as soon as you walk in because it looks like your Instagram feed - super aesthetic and everything is symmetrical and in the right place. It smells earthy, like a greenhouse because of the candles and terrariums. I love it because it's exactly the decor I'd like in my dream house, so it's filled with lots of inspiration. The men that work there are also super friendly and every time I've been in, they've always told me something new, cool and exciting! To sum up, it's a really great vibe and lush clothes.
A vegan and whole foods cafe, this is right opposite Applaud Coffee and shares a similar kind of vibe. All their food is super nourishing and wholesome, so I love going to treat my body. It's got a hippie vibe from all the bold colours, plants, cushions, benches and overall bright theme. They change their menu all the time too so it's great to try different vegan foods and get some inspo to cook at home. I particularly love their waffles because you can choose your toppings and they're always delish. It's just so pretty - everything is in little mason jars, cute typography signs and colourful pottery, a lot of thought has gone into creating this happy little space. My next venture will be for brunch because I've stalked the Instagram tags and it looks lovely.
Also located on St Peter's St, this little creative space hosts workshops and events of all sorts. They have so many fun workshops advertised, and I would love to attend every single one if I had the money, but they can be quite pricey! There are a lot of festive ones coming up, so I'd recommend checking out their Instagram, so you don't miss out. You don't have to be super creative, good at art and been to any classes before - you can start anywhere, and it might be fun to learn something completely new. Surprisingly the workshops are different to Stoke Bridge, so you know there's LOTS of creativity around Suffolk to try.
This isn't a 'place' as such, it's more of a community, that aims to connect and promote creatives. I've recently been attending their Ipswich creatives meet up which is completely free and involves creative people coming along to the venue and networking basically! It's a chance to talk about various projects, find collaboration opportunities and share ideas. For me, I haven't quite mastered the 'networking' thing, so I like to observe and listen to people's ideas and viewpoints which really feeds my creative energy! The people that attend are all so different - students, professionals, artists, writers, musicians, the lot so you'll learn so much and won't feel alone. I think it's such a great idea - you don't have to go along each month but the odd one might give you the little boost you need. They also host creatives talks which are live conversations with creative guests that aim to inspire and invite conversation. I attended the Remi Morrison talk about perfection, Remi basically owns a media company which produces videos and the talk highlighted so many important issues about chasing perfection and how it can actually hinder our progress. Definitely check out their website to find out more and hopefully attend one of their events to boost your creativity!
Stone and Sage
This is an online interior shop based in Suffolk. The best thing about this shop is the fact it's made up of all pre-owned items that have all been sourced from Suffolk which is so necessary at the moment as we're all trying to help the world a little bit, aren't we? There is absolutely no need to buy new homeware items, you can usually find vintage pre-owned items that are just as nice for way cheaper. The website has completely developed with sophistication and chic that is really easy to navigate to find your perfect item. The Instagram is feeling so autumnal right now and I am absolutely loving it!
Hope you enjoyed the little round up of my favourite places in Ipswich! Let me know if you visit any and what your thoughts are! x