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We tried Needham Lake’s new café Duck and Teapot on its opening day

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After construction began last year, a new café and visitor centre opened at Needham Lake today - and I thought I would give it a try.

The ‘Duck and Teapot’ café welcomed its first customers this morning and has been blessed with some lovely weather to mark the occasion.

The café offers more than just coffee and cakes - there’s a wide range of hot and cold drinks as well as freshly prepared meals on the menu.

Duck and Teapot
Duck and Teapot

From breakfast baps to vegan salads, Duck and Teapot has a lot of food options to satisfy your café cravings.

Led by the team behind Cabbages and Kings, the popular café at The Mix in Stowmarket, the new café will be donating all its profits to fund the charity’s work.

Barista Lauren said: “It’s been really busy all morning - which is good, but it has been non-stop”

A busy morning at the Duck and Teapot
A busy morning at the Duck and Teapot

After ordering my Americano, I decided to sit outdoors opposite one of Needham Lake’s play areas.

The café is introducing a facility called ‘Changing Places’ which will make the lake more accessible for people with disabilities.

They are also being very environmentally conscious by installing solar panels, sustainable drainage and an air source heat pump. This makes the café feel very suited to its natural surroundings.

As it was extremely busy, I managed to grab one of the last free tables outside. With no other option, a couple joined my table and we began to chat.

Duck and Teapot's menu
Duck and Teapot's menu

John and Kathleen, from Ipswich, arrived at Needham Lake for their monthly stroll. They were unaware it was the café’s first day open to the public - so they were pleasantly surprised at the chance to have a coffee and a scone before their walk.

Kathleen said: “The coffee is great and leaves a nice aftertaste. We would definitely come back - the menu has lots to try out and everything sounds really good.”

My coffee arrived and, as Kathleen confirmed, it was indeed delicious.

Duck and Teapot's Americano
Duck and Teapot's Americano

In the run up to its opening yesterday, manager Faik Cavus, said: “There has been lots of excitement about the new café from regular visitors to Needham Lake and we are all very excited to start welcoming them into the Duck and Teapot.”

Since its opening, the café has been so popular it has been forced to reduce its hours and change its menu as it looks to recruit more staff.

Mid Suffolk District Council have worked with Needham Town Council and other partners to support and fund the new café as part of their ‘Invest in Needham Market’ programme.

Official opening of the Duck and Teapot
Official opening of the Duck and Teapot

Cllr Julie Flatman, cabinet member for communities, added: “I am delighted to officially open the Duck & Teapot at Needham Lake as it has long been our ambition to build a high-quality café and visitor centre here.

“The café will be a fantastic addition to the area, providing even more reason for families, residents, and visitors to come to the area and enjoy everything Needham Lake has to offer.”

The Duck and Teapot is open seven days a week from 8.30am to 5.00pm. It will also provide a community space which can be rented by groups during the day and evening.

As I was leaving, I overheard someone say: “This is exactly what Needham Lake needed.”