about writing and life and God

Happy birthday in Hoxne

on May 14, 2013

One of the joys of Suffolk is that there seems always to be more to explore! Today, my Tuesday morning friends took me to Hoxne (pronounced Hoxen) for my birthday lunch at the Swan Inn. The original building was built by the Bishop of Norwich in 1480 and the Inn today retains a fascinating jumble of roof lines and wonderful old timbers.

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The huge 12 foot inglenook fireplace boasted a wonderful log fire but sadly there wasn’t a spare table in that room.

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Instead we were seated in the snug and provided with an extensive menu. The decision to go for main course plus pud rather than starter plus main was taken rapidly and without dissent. Duck for four and belly pork for one was followed by creamy almond rice pudding served with plum compote, vanilla cheesecake with raspberry coulis (for two), rhubarb and apple crumble, and a luscious chocolate brownie with ice cream. Yummy!

Hoxne is a picturesque village (first settled 320,000 years ago) with a fascinating history. Legend has it that King Edmund was captured by the Danes here and martyred when he refused to renounce his Christian faith. His head was severed from his body and thrown away, but found and guarded by a wolf who called Edmund’s followers so they could restore the head to the body – which then miraculously joined up again!

Hoxne’s other claim to fame is the Hoxne Hoard – the biggest discovery of Roman treasure in the UK. Over 15,000 coins and more than 200 artefacts (spoons and ladles etc.) were found in 1992 by a metal detectorist out searching for a farmer’s lost hammer. The items, of silver and gold, dated from the late 4th century.

Hoxne has a great website which, like the village itself, is well worth a visit. Oh dear, is it obvious I did some copywriting for a tourist magazine once upon a time?


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