My Suffolk - Peter Osborne

Peter Osborne is the general manager of The Brudenell and White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh. He’s also the inspiration behind the charity fund-raising events Proms by the Sea and 60s by the Sea which take place on the sea front by Albeburgh’s Moot Hall. This year he’s organising another event - Soul by the Sea which is taking place on July 5. This is how he describes his Suffolk.

How did you come to live in Suffolk?
I was born in Cambridge and was a chorister at Kings School Ely but then our family moved away. I joined the army and was in the Household Cavalry. Every year we used to bring our horses to Holkham for two weeks and I always used to slip over the border to Suffolk for a pint of Adnams. After the army I started work in the hotel trade and have been in Suffolk now for six years - working at first in Ipswich and then in Aldeburgh.

Where do you like to eat out?
If you are talking about pubs - The Froize Inn at Chillesford. For hotels I’d say The Angel in Bury St Edmunds and The Crown at Woodbridge. I particularly like Bury St Edmunds because it’s different to the coast and The Angel because it’s got great food and service and it really different inside to its ivy-clad exterior. 

Adnams or Green King?
Adnams as I think they are an innovative company with everything from their gins and liquers and their various beers too.I really like their Dry Hop Lager - I am not a bitter man - but I also enjoy their Ghost Ship beer.

Do you like to walk?
My life is spent walking up and down the seafront at Aldeburgh for work and I’m really lucky because it’s a beautiful place to walk. On my days off my favourite place to walk is around the back of Snape or along The Sailors Path. I might also stop off at the Plough and Sail for a pint as well.

What makes Suffolk so special?
We have some fantastic food producers and some fantastic festivals celebrating poetry, literature, music, art and food and drink. There is so much going on and right across the county there are some fantastic places to eat and lovely little country pubs too. What’s really special about living here is that I have an amazing drive to work and the beauty of it is that it’s always different. When I come past Glemham Hall sometimes the sun will be rising or there’s mist over the fields and I come through Snape and to Aldeburgh and sometimes the sun is just coming up and it’s a wonderful sight- seeing the sea glisten and the skyline constantly changing.

If you had to take people on a tour of Suffolk where would you go.
We’d start with the view from the top of the House in the Clouds in Thorpeness and then we’d go to  Bury St Edmunds and take them on a tour of the Cathedral and The Abbey Gardens. We’d head back towards Aldeburgh, stopping at Snape and take a walk around there - take in a view of the reed beds and do some shopping. We’d then head back to Aldeburgh for lunch overlooking the sea.

Why is Suffolk such a great place for the arts?
I think it’s a lot to do with the people who live here. Aldeburgh and Suffolk is full of characters with a great deal of drive who want to promote the county. They just don’t sit around talking about things but they get up and make things happen. Of course we have Aldeburgh Music but there are so many other festivals around too celebrating art, culture and literature. Flipside, which is coming to Snape in October, is fantastic. There are some people who might think “sleepy old Suffolk” but it’s anything but.

Is there an organisation or charity you support?
Aldeburgh United - which is a combination of charities in the town some of which are hundreds of years old. It helps senior citizens, young people and those in need. My concerts - Proms by the Sea and 60s by the Sea raises funds for it. Soul by the Sea is also raising money jointly for Aldeburgh United and Help an East Coast Child and Town 102 Kids Trust.

Have you got any hobbies?
I play golf at Thorpeness – which is on my doorstep when at work and even in the wettest weather hardly ever closes which is a bonus. My other true passion is music and the concerts ‘by the sea’ I’ve organised are about the music I love. I am a Beatles fanatic and I collect all memorabilia. Of course original instruments used by The Beatles are really expensive but the sort of thing I go after are sensible money - things like a plectrum used by Paul McCartney or the glasses that John Lennon used when he played on the roof of the Abbey Road Studios. I also play guitar. My step father taught me to play with FBI by the Shadows as the first thing I learned. I think this was the start of my ‘love affair’ with 60s music. There was a Beatles tribute band that came to Aldeburgh that I’ve played in a few times which I really enjoyed. 


Is there one picture that perfectly illustrates the county?
For me it’s looking towards Sizewell Power Station from Aldeburgh. Although I know it still splits opinion I think that building is iconic. You know exactly what it is and where you are if you see it on any picture.

More information on this year’s ‘Soul by the Sea’ event can be found at www.soulbythesea.net

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