My Suffolk - tikkii mawson
Tikkii Mawson grew up in Aldeburgh and is now the Commodore of Aldeburgh Yacht Club. She talks about ‘her Suffolk’
How did you come to live in Suffolk or where you born here?
I was born in Nigeria but my family returned to the UK when I was a baby. My Mother had spent her summer holidays in Aldeburgh throughout her childhood. As she had loved the place so much my parents chose to settle there. My great grandfather bought them what was then the North Wing of the Old Vicarage in Aldeburgh for a remarkable £2,000. It was a most wonderful old ramshackle house with an acre of garden. I think I can safely say it was the most idyllic place to grow up, climbing trees in the winter, romping around the marshes and living on the beach and in the sea in the summer.
What do you think make the county so attractive?
For me it is access to the water. We have the most fabulous coastline with some gorgeous towns and villages that are either nestled next to the sea or rivers. I love the sea and the river. As a child I honestly believed that the world began at Aldeburgh because you were not permitted beyond the gate just past the Martello Tower and all you could see was the sea and the river! Obviously I now know differently particularly since I discovered sailing and all the beautiful places beyond.
Do you have any favourite restaurants?
For special occasions I would always chose the Wentworth Hotel which is a lovely family run hotel that has a style all of its own as well as fabulous food. For the more casual evening and reasonably new to Aldeburgh is Sea Spice - an exotic Indian restaurant with delicious food, as well as an old favourite being The Regatta. We feel very fortunate that we don’t have to venture far in Aldeburgh to find somewhere lovely to eat. In the summer Eliza’s Thai food from DP’s is simply delicious.
Where is the best place to go for a pint?
My favourite place would always be Aldeburgh Yacht Club, which has unsurpassed views of the River Alde. I love the atmosphere there. Come rain or shine you are either huddled in the club house watching the weather trying to do its worst to those hardy souls sailing in it, or basking in the sun on the terrace.
Is there somewhere you like to escape to for ‘thinking time’?
My most favourite place would always be in a boat of any description on the River Alde. A particularly beautiful spot that I can never get enough of is a beach known as Little Japan. You can only really get there by boat and the tide has to be high to get to it. On a glorious sunny day the water is warm and I feel like I am in paradise.
Do you have hobbies?
I have come to love sailing, whether it be going for a potter on the river or racing. I feel very fortunate that I was invited to join the crew on a friend’s 32ft cruiser where we race most Wednesday evenings during the sailing season from Aldeburgh Yacht Club, as well as venturing further afield to Ramsholt and Levington. I think over the years my biggest hobby has become the Yacht Club which I am very passionate about. Having seen the amazing benefits it has had on my children (now 24 and 26) and if I am honest for myself too. It is an amazing place to learn to sail or operate a motor boat; a place from an early age to make friends for life, develop independence and confidence on and off the water as well as to enjoy probably one of the most amazing locations there is to be had on the East Coast. Having got involved with Junior sailing when my two were learning to sail I seem to have continued to be involved from hoisting flags to running our Regatta Ball and now rather remarkably find myself as Commodore!
Do you walk, run or cycle?
I like to cycle and we have some really lovely country lanes and paths to cycle on all of which feel in reach for someone who is not as fit as she probably could be. For example Thorpeness, Dunwich, Orford and Snape are all very ‘doable’ even for me!
What do you think are the highlights of the Suffolk Coast?
Quite frankly I love it all, however seeing the county’s river banks and scenery from a boat offers one an entirely different perspective on the countryside as we know it. I have visited Woodbridge more times than I can recall yet when I sailed up the Deben to the Tide Mill it was like seeing it for the very first time. We have some beautiful estuaries that I would say are a true highlight.
And away from the coast?
I think we have some fantastic schools in the area that offer something for everyone whether it be the state or private system. We also have some lovely market towns Framlingham I think would be my favourite with its great coffee shops and some lovely unique shops. Not to mention of course the numerous golfing opportunities for those that partake and of course bird watching. I genuinely believe Suffolk and perhaps more particularly Aldeburgh offers something for everyone!
Where would you take people on a tour of Suffolk?
The Sailors Path walk from Aldeburgh to Snape is a lovely walk (or cycle ride). Visiting Snape Maltings whether to go to a concert or visit the Lettering Arts Gallery, or enjoy the amazing variety of shopping opportunities that are there. Walberswick is a wonderful place to walk along the beach or go crabbing all rounded up by a delicious lunch at The Anchor.
If you had one picture or view that illustrates Suffolk where would it be?
A sunset from the terrace of Aldeburgh Yacht Club or sunrise from Aldeburgh beach.