'Fantastic' new café at Needham Lake beauty spot opens its doors
- Credit: Gregg Brown
The highly-anticipated new café at the Needham Lake beauty spot in mid Suffolk has served its first customers.
The Duck & Teapot is the latest addition at Needham Lake and will operate as a café and visitor centre at the countryside attraction.
Visitors to the mid Suffolk nature site will now be able to get stuck in to a range of drinks, fresh meals, snacks, cakes and ice cream when they come to enjoy the lake.
At the café, there will be both breakfast and lunch menus – including waffles and smoothies as well as dedicated vegan and child options.
Councillors from Mid Suffolk District Council were joined by the new café manager, representatives from construction company SEH French, Needham Market Town Council and other partners involved in funding and delivering the new café to mark the opening.
The Duck & Teapot will be open seven days a week between 8.30am and 5pm.
In addition, a community space in the Duck & Teapot will be available to rent and use by groups both during the day and in the evenings.
Designed to complement the natural surroundings, the Duck & Teapot meets Mid Suffolk District Councils’ climate change ambitions with several environmental features, including solar panels, sustainable drainage and building materials and an air source heat pump.
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The café will also play host to the local wildlife with a number of bird boxes being dotted around the building.
Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for communities, said: "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 & Teapot will be run by the team behind Cabbages and Kings - the popular café in The Mix in Stowmarket.
As part of the The Mix Youth Charity, Cabbages and Kings donates all its profits to help fund the charity’s important work.
Faik Cavus, the new manager at the Duck & Teapot, 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 & Teapot to share our new menus.”
The name of the café was voted for by members of the public last summer, with more 1,000 people selecting the name Duck & Teapot from a choice of three.
The site was constructed by local building firm SEH French Limited.
Contracts manager Simon Hubert said: "It has been an honour for SEH French to be a part of this project.
"Needham Lake is one of our county’s gems and many of our staff will have very fond memories of visiting here with family and friends.
"The new café and visitor centre will undoubtedly provide a great boost to the local area and we look forward to seeing it being enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike.”