My Suffolk - Alex Tarry
Alex Tarry and his wife Naomi are the masterminds behind their highly successful award-winning holiday cottage business Best of Suffolk which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Alex tells us about his life in Suffolk
How did you come to live in Suffolk?
I grew up here! My family moved to Hacheston when I was one, I went to school in Parham and Wickam Market before we all moved away when I was 11. I have always considered Suffolk to be my home and when I met Naomi at Loughborough University on our Economics degree, and we’d completed our London years working for large corporates, I was delighted that she agreed to move back “home" with me, we’ve lived between Badingham and Aldeburgh since 2001.
What do you think makes the county so attractive to people?
I’ve always said it’s the atmosphere, by which I really mean the people, way of life and the incredible natural beauty, we are all so lucky to live here…It’s a great pleasure to me that on a daily basis our work encourages people to visit Suffolk.
Have you got any favourite restaurants?
Yes! Regatta in Aldeburgh, a fabulous haven of fresh ingredients and top quality cooking in our favourite town, when in Badingham we are huge fans of the White Horse, great pub food and beer in a wonderful setting. We also love The Galley in Woodbridge, we are so lucky to have such a vibrant food scene here in Suffolk.
Where’s the best place to go for a pint?
When in Aldeburgh the White Hart, everything you need in a pub and nothing you don’t, I love the fact that as soon as you walk through the door everyone is equal. We also love the Harbour in Southwold, especially after a walk from Walberswick with Rosie, our Jack Russell.
Are you interested in local architecture?
Naomi and I love the period buildings of Suffolk, a big part of our lives over the last 15 years has been restoring our own farmhouse and buildings, as well as saving a number of historic buildings, which we’ve restored and kept as holiday cottages, meaning lots of people can now enjoy them.
Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, lots - lately it’s been running, I have applied to enter London Marathon next year, I literally love every mile! I also have a love for classic and sports cars, a great way to enjoy the Suffolk countryside, we have some great driving roads here. I have cycled the Suffolk Sunrise, a 103 mile course, every mile is beautiful, running along the coast is one of life’s great pleasures and I am proud to have walked from Aldeburgh to Southwold, and back in a day!
How do you fit your running/cycle training into your business life?
Good question. These days I run two busy, fast growing businesses and as you can imagine there is never a dull moment, however one thing I believe all business people have in common is taking time out to look after their own wellbeing. So, I guess being the boss does have some benefits, it’s not unusual for me to take time out to go for a run or cycle during the day, although as an early riser I usually go out first thing in the morning, which is also a wonderful time to enjoy Suffolk at its most peaceful.
Where would you take people on a tour of Suffolk?
We’d start in Framlingham, admire the castle and the area where I grew up, then drive to Aldeburgh for fish and chips on the beach, then walk it off over the Dingle marshes from Dunwich to Walberswick, finishing with a pint of Adnams at the Harbour Inn in Southwold.
If you had one picture that illustrates Suffolk where would it be?
I think the ruined windmill on the Dingle marshes, near Walberswick at dusk…I love that view.
Apart from the coast what are Suffolk’s highlights?
I love the wool towns of the west of the county, we used to live near Clare, and have just expanded a new business into Sudbury, so are looking forward to spending more time in the west of the county.
Adnams, Aspall’s or Greene King?
Definitely Adnams, I’ve been known to say that if everything Suffolk stands for was wrung out into a glass it would be a pint of Adnams Bitter, I absolutely love it!
Where would you choose for a summer picnic?
Well life has changed for Naomi and I, last year I’d have started talking about barbecues on the beach, a wonderful tradition we used to have in Aldeburgh, but having lost five stone in the last year we’re much more likely to be found having a raw food salad or vegetable juice, for which we’d choose our lovely garden at Lime Tree Farm. We’ve spent 15 years creating our rural paradise, which for us is a natural wildlife garden where we can have that picnic in a wonderful Suffolk environment we’ve created ourselves.