Miss Scar­lett’s guide to life in Suf­folk

Miss Scar­lett (aka Sandy Rud­dock) is a mother, step-mother, god­mother, aunt, daugh­ter, sib­ling, daugh­ter-in-law, friend, boss and en­tre­pre­neur


Hav­ing just spent a few very hot days in France, oohing and aahing over the huge bunches of ripe pur­ple grapes hang­ing heav­ily from rows of neat vines, wait­ing to be har­vested, I am re­minded that, here in Suf­folk, we are in dan­ger of rather qui­etly and gen­tly beat­ing oth­ers at their own game – the French at wine and cheese, the Ger­mans at salami, the Ital­ians at oil (rape­seed oil sales are up, olive oil go­ing down – who’d have thought?) and the Span­ish at Iberico style ham.

With some truly pas­sion­ate lo­cal wine pro­duc­ers, such as Shawsgate Vine­yard, Flint Vine­yard, Gif­fords Hall and Wyken Hall, we can be very proud of our ter­roir, knowl­edge and in­no­va­tion, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to the fizzy stuff. The Amer­i­cans are, ap­par­ently, call­ing it Bri­tish Fizz, which is a lot bet­ter than other sugges­tions, such as Cork Blimey, and Brub­bles and ShamPain (yes re­ally). Our lo­cal Fram­ling­ham vine­yard has a fan­tas­ti­cally named sparkler, Fram­paign, a win­ner in this year’s East Anglian wine awards. Other An­glo Saxon sugges­tions have in­cluded Spearclen (Mid­dle English for sparkling), Sax­one and LizFizz, none of which have taken off. I rather liked Britagne, but per­haps it sounds too French. It’s time we set­tled on a name, once and for all. Per­haps Suf­folk should have its own Ap­pel­la­tion Con­trolée, non? Sugges­tions please!

When it came to wine, Mrs Bee­ton had some very strange ideas. One was a recipe for egg wine, made with an egg, wa­ter, sherry, sugar and nut­meg, which sounds per­fectly dis­gust­ing. But per­haps the idea will catch on and the happy hens at Havens­field Eggs can start a new trend. It could ap­peal to fad­dish food blog­gers. Mrs B’s recipes also in­cluded Cowslip Wine, Le­mon Wine and Malt Wine, which have huge amounts of brandy and sugar in them and prob­a­bly tasted more like medicine.

Out in the field on an au­tum­nal day I rec­om­mend a cup of warm pump­kin soup fol­lowed by a crusty sausage roll (surely one of the world’s best com­fort foods), washed down with a slug of one of DJ Wines de­li­cious fruit liqueurs – made with fruit picked from the lo­cal hedgerows.

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