i love going to my suffolk cottage, even just for a day, and especially if the weather is as good as it has been . the only thing i dislike is the 2 and half hours drive to get there. so what i have been doing is breaking the journey with a stop for a cup of tea in one of the many lovely towns along the route – i pick a different one every time. this time i stopped in snape maltings – the 1800 buildings originally used for storing barley – that are now a concert hall, shops, eating places all set in a tranquil setting surrounding by reeds. i chose here because my friend Maria is particularly interested in art, and i knew that she would love the hepworth sculpture set amonst the reeds it really is a lovely focus point. there is also the lettering arts trust with its beautiful carved stones. i noticed that beggars velvet are stocked there – beautiful gifts all with words and letters. look out for unusual exhibitions in the beautiful dovecote gallery. there is a lovely exhibition by Berthold Wolpe, a master of calligraphy and type design, who did a lot of dustjackets for books too. i have tried all the cafes there and the granary tea shop is the best; i think that the food hall is probably more interesting for gifts.