gainsborough bust by nicole farhi at gainsborough's house sudbury


Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury is making quite a name for itself in the fashion world. In 2016, this Gainsborough Bust was part of a special collection designed by Nicole Farhi for the house.

These busts were auctioned as a fundraiser for the house over the course of the year.

If Farhi’s involvement isn’t enough to inspire would-be fashionistas to visit, both Anna Wintour (Editor-in-Chief of US Vogue) and Vivienne Westwood (celebrated British designer who has named a collection of jewellery after Gainsborough) are also supporters of Gainsborough’s House and its ambitious growth plans.

Follow the trend and plan a visit to Gainsborough’s House.

Sudbury is full of hidden gems, including beautiful landscapes and three working silk mills, plan a trip to the area with Visit Suffolk.


Photo: Gainsborough’s House
Ickworth Estate


Ickworth is one of Suffolk’s grandest sights, a Georgian manor in Italianate style, surrounded by acres of sculpted parkland.

One of the best ways to explore the grounds is on this Ickworth History Walk. Roughly two and a half miles long, it takes you around the estate’s highlights including St Mary’s Church, ancient woodland, and clearings where deer can easily be spotted.

See the full walk here.


Photo by Jimmy S (Flickr)


Built in 1845, the Old Custom House stands at the heart of the Ipswich Waterfont, and now houses the offices of Ipswich Port Authority.

Whilst the Waterfront area has recently undergone a massive regeneration with restaurants, a hotel, marina and new homes, the Old Custom House still stands as a reminder of the historic significance of the River Orwell to Ipswich history.

The classical style of the building is particularly impressive from the dockside, with its four columned porticos bearing the Ipswich Coat-of-Arms of lion rampant and the stern of three ships supported by sea-horses, a reminder of the town’s maritime heritage. Architectural features include a striking red and cream brick design and a raised four-column portico displaying the Ipswich Coat of Arms. The building is Grade II listed

st james mill in norwich during daytime


St James Mill is the archetypal English Industrial Revolution mill in perhaps an unexpected part of the UK. It was built on a site occupied by the White Friars (Carmelites) in the 13th century, and an original arch and undercroft survive.

The building has undergone a number of different uses over the years. When the local textile trade went into decline, St James Mill was bought by Jarrold & Sons Ltd for use by its printing department in 1902. The building was subsequently leased to Caley’s – the chocolate manufacturer – for their box and crackers department, and sold to the government as a training factory for war veterans in 1920. Jarrolds bought back the mill in 1933 and today it is a private office complex.

Photo: Martin Pettitt


In February 2016, Pattern Recognition was performed at DanceEast. In this visually arresting work, DanceEast Associate Artist Alexander Whitley (2015 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award nominee) and digital artist Memo Akten (Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica winner) join forces at the cutting edge of dance and motion-responsive technology.

Using a system of moving lights, which can track and intelligently respond to the dancers it observes, Pattern Recognition opens up questions about learning and memory in relation to the technology of artificial intelligence.

This duet features a score by critically acclaimed electronic composer Scanner and Southbank Centre artist-in-residence cellist Oliver Coates. At the time of the performance, Alexander Whitley had recently been commissioned by Rambert, Candoco and BalletBoyz, and is a Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate, DanceEast Associate Artist and former Choreographic Affiliate of The Royal Ballet.

See what’s on at DanceEast.

Plan a trip to Ipswich for a future DanceEast performance, with All About Ipswich as your guide.


The Last Five Years at the New Wolsey Theatre, included in Culture365


As part of their 15th birthday celebrations in 2016, the New Wolsey Theatre produced a brand new version of The Last Five Years, which opened on 25th February.

Starting and ending with the beginning of a passionate love affair, the unique style of storytelling and infectious score makes this one of America’s best modern musicals.

Actress Cathy’s story starts with the end of their relationship following their tale backwards to when she first fell in love with her young talented lover. Novelist Jamie’s story begins with their first passionate encounter and heads forward towards heartache.

As part of their mission to create theatre that is as accessible as possible to all, the New Wolsey Theatre made every performance of The Last Five Years audio described for visually impaired audiences using integrated recorded audio description that audiences could experience through a headset.

To find out more about the range of the theatre’s accessible performances visit the New Wolsey Theatre.

Planing a trip to the New Wolsey? Let All About Ipswich fill you in on all the other things to do in the town and surrounding areas.

Photo: Mike Kwasniak

photoeast young photographers 2016, in culture365


In May 2016, PhotoEast Festival came to Suffolk for the very first time.

And, as part of the Festival, the 2016 PhotoEast Young Person’s Fellowship Programme was launched to offer a small group of 16-19 year olds the opportunity to be mentored by a photographer and to help with the PhotoEast Festival, in association with University Campus Suffolk (UCS).

The four talented photographers chosen to benefit from the Fellowship were Emily Turner and Laura Bizzey from Suffolk and Dimitris Chinas and Taylor Gathercole from Norfolk.

For more information about the festival, visit PhotoEast.

Plan a trip to PhotoEast, with Ipswich as your base, with All About Ipswich and Visit Suffolk.

Photo: PhotoEast

happiness in the east, picture of eaton park norwich in culture365


Rather than looking at a physical object, event or place today, we’re looking at a feeling. A number of places in the East are regularly featured on ‘Happiest Places to Live’ and ‘Happiest Places to Work’ lists.

In January 2016, business psychologists OPP named Norwich the happiest place to work in the UK, beating Brighton, Birmingham and Liverpool to the top spot. Earlier in February 2016, the Office for National Statistics revealed that Great Yarmouth was in the top 10 of Happiest Places to Live in the UK. In 2015, Ipswich was named third happiest place to live in the UK by Rightmove.

No matter what the source, and whether it’s about work, leisure or leaving, one thing is certain, happiness is an important part of the East!

Perhaps it’s the picturesque parks (like Eaton Park, Norwich, pictured here), breathtaking landscapes (which we’ve explored in previous 365 items, such as National Trust walks) or the fantastic world-class culture (which we’ve been exploring for the past 257 days)!

Find your own happiness in the East – explore the area with Visit East Anglia.




Julia Blackburn is a British author of both fiction and non-fiction. She is the daughter of poet Thomas Blackburn and artist Rosalie de Meric.

Blackburn’s most popular book, The Three of Us, tells the story of her bohemian upbringing. It is the story of three people: Julia Blackburn, her father Thomas and her mother Rosalie. Thomas was a poet and an alcoholic, who for many years was addicted to barbiturates; Rosalie, a painter, was sociable and flirtatious. After her parents were divorced, Julia’s mother took in lodgers, always men, on the understanding that each should become her lover.

Threads: the Delicate Life of John Craske was released in 2015 to great critical acclaim. The book explores the life of Norfolk-born fisherman-turned-artist John Craske, and the mysterious ‘stupors’ that laid him out for weeks and ultimately months at a time.

To find out more about this extraordinary author, visit Julia Blackburn’s official website.

Many of Julia’s books are fixated on minute details of East Anglian life. Explore the places that inspired some of Julia Blackburn’s greatest works at Visit East Anglia.

NORWICH GUILDHALL which is one of the norwich 12 in culture365


England’s largest and most elaborate provincial medieval city hall, Norwich Guildhall was the centre of city government from the early 15th century until its replacement by City Hall in 1938.

The elaborate design and size of the Guildhall reflect Norwich’s status as one of the wealthiest provincial cities in England in medieval times. The building represents the growing economic and political power of the new ruling elite that was emerging – wealthy freemen who were merchants and traders. Norwich was given more self-governing powers in 1404 and the Guildhall was built to house the various civic assemblies, councils and courts that regulated its citizens’ lives. Evidence of these historic functions, which continued until the 20th century, can still be seen. Other parts of the building are in commercial use.

The exterior provides an excellent example of the flint work that the city is so famous for. The east end of the building was reconstructed in the 16th century and is crafted from alternate squares of faced flint and ashlar stone, giving the building its chequered effect.

Tours of the Guildhall are usually available during Heritage Open Days,  and a cafe in the building is open year round.

To find out more, visit Norwich HEART.

Plan a trip to historic Norwich and explore other highlights with Visit Norwich.