Secret Ipswich

all the things you didn't know about our town

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Wine tasting

Had a lovely evening on Wednesday at a wine tasting event at Arlingtons ( There are lots of events going on at this lovely brasserie including poetry nights, a book group and retro vinyl nights as well as wine tasting. The building was the original museum in Ipswich but the collections soon outgrew the space and the museum in High Street was built instead. The lovely big staircase that you take to get up to the restaurant was rescued from a Tudor house. Arlingtons was also used as a ballroom and dance school.  The name for the restaurant comes from the name of the old ballroom. It was left derelict for years after the ballroom closed so it is great to see a really good use for this historic building.

The restaurant area has a lovely airy atmosphere and the food is delicious too. We had the most amazing chocolate eclairs with caramel ice cream for dessert!


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Ghostsign - Robert Ransome pub Ghostsign – Robert Ransome pub

I love it when I spot a ghostsign. They are the faded painted advertisements you can see on the side of buildings. I love these little glimpses of our social history. Painted from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, like all adverts these were never meant to be permanent but painting on a building seems like much more of a statement than the bus stop posters and billboards we have now. A lot of these ghostsigns are faint and barely legible now, advertising shops and products that often no longer exist.

Sam Roberts started the ghostsigns project to create a permanent record of the signs in the UK before they all disappear and to celebrate the signwriters’ art. Take a look at the project or follow on Twitter @ghostsigns