On a cold winter’s day in 2013 I dined at the Queen’s Head in Eye and regretted the fact that it was far too cold for us to have a wander round the town: this time – it being the first day of summer and all that – we set off early to allow a certain amount of poking about, and rummaging.
Eye boasts a selection of interesting and varied shops, but the most seductive is ‘Poppy’s’; a tiny gem of a shop full of old fashioned sweets in glass jars; humbugs, winter warmers and the like. One room is filled with gifts, toys, pictures and jewellery, and an upstairs room boasts Poppy’s Dress Agency with rails of lovely pre-owned dresses and coats and children’s wear, with the largest changing room I have ever seen. Eye’s old Midland Bank is now an arts centre and coffee shop with a display of paintings and the most deliciously strong coffee.
But Cocoamama called from further down the street, so we hurried there regretting that the ‘first day of summer’ was actually freezing!
It’s not a large shop; there are two small dining areas of about three or four tables each; the rest of the shop was filled with displays of chocolates fit to melt the heart of any ‘we-never-eat-sweet-things’ disciple. We were greeted with a cheery welcome and shown the lunch options displayed on a brown paper roll hanging on the wall; we quickly made our choice. This is a light-lunch establishment rather than a full scale restaurant, but we were able to choose from a selection of panini with fillings such as tuna, salad, cheese, and chicken; also there were two different soup-and-rolls to choose from, and a selection of salads, and savoury scones. So I chose a chicken and pesto panino with salad, and my friend had the sweet potato soup: there was no dispute about afters, just two of the shiny domed Belgian chocolates each.
Service was brisk and we were soon tucking in; my panino was hot right through and filled with chargrilled chicken and a liberal amount of pesto – lovely! The salad garnish was very large and elegantly varied without the inclusion of raw onion; crisps, pumpkin and sunflower seeds completed the plate-full. The salad dressing came in a separate dolls’ house jug giving me the option – for which I was grateful.
My friend’s soup was a good sized serving, and came with bread and an olive oil dipper, and a small dish of seeds. Having exceeded my caffeine ration for the day at the old Midland Bank, I asked for a saintly glass of water, and my companion chose a Rose Lemonade which fizzed intensely and tasted of summer.
Our ‘pudding’ chocolates were delicious and worth taking time over; my Café Crème was made with a strongly flavoured coffee filling, as was my caramel one. My friend’s ginger one was milder, but still delightful.
One good thing about a light lunch is the light bill that results from it; perfect if you wish to take home a box of chocolates from the extensive range, each one chosen by yourself; little shiny jewels with tiny decorations on top, and the thickest ever chocolate coating.
Bottom line £18.45
Lunches typically about £6, the chocolates £1 each.
Cocoa Mama. 1st June 2016
Broad Street Eye, Suffolk, IP23 7AF
Phone: 01379 870688