Wait and Sea! A slow burning love affair with Felixstowe
Published: Wednesday 10th Apr 2019
Written by: Sally Owen
This blog entry has kindly been written by Dave Girling, the owner of Hideout in Felixstowe
It took me 30 years to fall in love with Felixstowe, not the fastest romance but Felixstowe is not what I call ‘fast paced’ so maybe I just needed to get in sync with this seaside gem. As a child born and raised in Suffolk it was the family beach of choice, to me the seaside was Felixstowe. Aged 5 I only knew two shops in the town (both unfortunately long gone), the pier with its slippery dip slide (also sadly gone), Manning’s amusements and the sea; thankfully both of these remain!
As I aged, my knowledge of Felixstowe shrunk, if that’s even possible. I rarely visited, when I did I only ever went to one area of beach and my assumptions of what else existed was based on the limited and outdated memories of a child.
Fast forward another 25 years and finally I get it, and I don’t think I’m alone. Felixstowe is not cutting edge nor old fashioned, it’s laid back and unique. From the ferry to the fort and quite literally everything in between, there is something for everyone. Vintage, contemporary, lively or relaxed, cafés of every style, beautiful cliffside gardens, golden sands and it’s just getting better and better. The pier has been rebuilt and looks stunning, restaurants are growing in number and there’s a new, or should that be old, Diner in town; Delphine’s.
On the bottom of Constitution Hill, Delphine’s Diner is a time-warp of delight, as 50’s as it gets. Pastel vinyl, Formica tables, pink flamingos, root beer, cream soda, ice cream floats and hotdogs served to the sounds of yesterday, I love it, I absolutely love it. Does it fit in with Felixstowe? How can it not, it’s exciting and new with a foot firmly and unashamedly placed in the past, just like the pier, Manning’s amusements, the Palace cinema; oh the Palace. Bingo on the left, Cinema on the right, food delivered to your seat, is this old fashioned, retro, or the way it should have been all along, the latter of I have no doubt.
For anyone wanting to hideout in Felixstowe, to immerse themselves in its charm or escape the outside world, Suffolk Secrets self-catering cottages even have the perfect place to stay, ‘Hideout’. Yards from the seafront, packed with mid-century decor, this retro delight is 21st century living in mid-20th century style, tucked away in peace and quiet.
I love Suffolk and I’m proud to say I love Felixstowe too, it has sun, sand, sea, shakes and style by the castle shaped bucketful. I say it’s time to embrace the past, it’s the future!