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What’s on in Suffolk & Cambs this November

A comprehensive guide to all that's good in your hood this month, from ice baths to art exhibitions to festive tipis and new restaruants.

Muddy’s pick of the month:

Ways With Words Literary Festival (4-8 Nov) in Southwold is going to be wonderful. All events throughout the five days take place at Southwold Arts Centre and there are some mighty names on the listings, including Deborah Moggach discussing her new book and Esther Freud chatting about her latest novel, I couldn’t Love You More, which covers love, motherhood, secrets and betrayal. 

Wine & dine 

Say bonjour to Fancetts! This new Cambridge bistro serves mouthwatering French-influenced dishes like confit leg of poussin, which sounds like a very good idea to me. Run by Holly Minns and her chef partner Dan Fancett (formerly at North Street Bistro Norfolk), the Mill Road restaurant is open for business four nights a week and just looking at this image of their delicious dark chocolate dessert with malted milk ice cream is making me hungry *makes booking*

The Packhorse Inn’s Winter Garden Tipi is back! Muddy loves this gourmet wintery hideaway in Moulton, West Suffolk, from the faux fur blankets and roaring log fires to the twinkling fairylights and delicious (Michelin guide dontcha know) food – there’s a festive menu available from 20 Nov FYI. 

Theatre & comedy 

Suzi Ruffell’s leading the line-up of comedians performing at Huntingdon Comedy Club (6 Nov), which also includes Scott Capurro from 8 out of 10 Cats. You might recognise Ruffell from TV’s Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week and The Jonathan Ross Show or maybe you’ve heard her on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz, either way, chuckles are guaranteed. 

Want to get your Panto in early this year? Oh yes you do! Well Jack & The Beanstalk kicks off at Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre on 25 Nov and then runs throughout the Christmas season. Apparently it’s a rock n roll show full of well-known tunes like Lady Marmalade and Hit The Road Jack, so a singalong is inevitable. Matinee and evening performances available. 

Art & culture 

Go high brow with an evening of valuable verse from award-winning poets Luke Wright and Patience Agbabi at Snape Maltings (21 Nov). Proceeds will go to support INK Festival 2022

Another must-see is Creating Constable (from 27 Nov), a free exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of The Hay Wain by Suffolk-born, world-famous landscape painter John Constable. It’s on show at Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich and will cover the artist’s early influences and friendships plus there are loans from the V&A and some of his artwork which hasn’t previously been displayed. 

Spas & wellness 

Take the plunge and sign up for an ice immersion and breathwork session with Wim Hof-certified instructor Graham Fairley at Paus, an outdoor, natural wellbeing centre near Bourn. And why on earth would I do that I hear you cry? Well, learning how to control your stress response and cold water therapy is proven to aid all kinds of things from boosting your immune system to combatting signs of ageing (farewell fine lines and wrinkles), relieving inflammation and even helping against depression. Clever huh? To warm up there’s a hilltop sauna, wood-fired hot tubs and Hillside Bistro. 

Fairs & farmers markets 

Bang on time for Christmas gift shopping (though some items for me might just end up in my bag) are this month’s jewellery fairs hosted by Hadstock-based Rural Magpie. The first takes place at Great Chesterford Community Centre (13 Nov) followed by Foakes Hall, Great Dunmow (20 Nov) – both give you the opp to browse trinkets handcrafted by local artisan jewellers from Suffolk & Cambs, plus a range of art deco and antique jewellery too. 

Head to Ely Farmers Market (6, 13, and 27 Nov) and make a beeline for George’s Bakery stall to drool over his sugar-coated creations, like this Lindt strawberries and cream blondie cake. George is a huge hit on TikTok and Instagram now though, so you might have to elbow some keen regulars out of the way…

Family fun

Wild Weekends: Family Forest Fun takes place in Bradfield Woods near Bury St Edmunds (7 Nov). Enjoy a day den building, learning woodland craft skills and eating snacks around a fire – suitable for ages three and up, though younger siblings are allowed to attend.

Got a budding artist on your hands? Better book them onto ReMake!, Cambridge University Museum’s series of artist-led workshops for 11-18 year olds. The next one, Beautiful Earth, takes place 13 Nov and your protégées can join book illustrator and ceramic artist Elena Arevelo Melville to learn how to create their own sculptural drawings inspired by Magdalene Odundo’s beautiful pots, which they’ll get to see close up in an exhibition.

And if you’re planning to head to a family fireworks display this month, be sure to read our Muddy local fireworks displays round up before booking – Heveningham Hall’s event (6 Nov) even has live music from indie chart-toppers Razorlight as well as Freddie & the Freeloaders and Little Red Kings performing, plus a fun fair, food stalls and probably the biggest fireworks display you’ll see in Suffolk. Gates open 4.30pm. 

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