local life: inside aldeburgh

Susie Medland, owner of Munchies grew up in Aldeburgh. She opened her café 13 years ago after she’d spent ten years spent living and working as a chef in London.

Ali and camera shy Susie
Ali and camera shy Susie

In between serving customers and saying hello to passers-by  (she’s clearly a much-loved local) Susie told what she loves about her hometown  – and shared her tips on what to do when you visit.

What’s unique about Aldeburgh?

“I love everything about this town, but it’s the community that brought me back home. I hit 30 and I suddenly missed knowing people, really knowing people. London is fun, but timeless: you don’t see people grow up, grow old and pass away. I love the fact that here we all know and care about each other.

What made you decide to open Munchies?

I’m sociable, I love cooking and it ocurred to me that I could open a place back home where friends could come and chat to me while I cook for them…and then charge them for the pleasure!”

Ali hannging with the locals
Hanging out with the locals!

Susie’s 3 insider must-sees:

Aldeburgh cinema

Aldeburgh Cinema

This art deco establishment opened in 1919 and still retains original décor like the lights and seats. “They always have an imaginative programme full of classic films, festivals and brilliant kids screenings,” Susie told us. “This place really brings the best of the world cinema to the heart of the community.’’

Fresh fish from the seafront

The fisherman shacks are a well-known part of Aldeburgh’s seafront, but according to Susie, Alby and Dean Fryer are the two go-to-guys for the best fresh local fish. “They usually come back in from a haul around 11am so that’s the best time to go and get some fresh crab, lobster or –  my favourite – dover sole from them. You’ve never tasted anything like it.”

Fish on the beach
Freshest fish on the beach
Aldeburgh beach
Aldeburgh seafront

The garden pizzeria at The White Hart

“This is a hidden secret tourists have yet to discover,” Susie says, and one worthy of the Sicilian rather than Suffolk coast: “The other locals won’t be happy with me for telling you about it, but the two guys who run the outdoor wood-fired pizzeria here roll serve up the most delicious thin-crust pizzas using their own handmade dough. It’s the best pizza you’ll get for miles.”