New cafe and visitor centre at Needham Lake is officially opened

Julie Flatman (front centre) was joined by councillors from Mid Suffolk District Council and partners from Cabbages and Kings, SEH French and key stakeholders involved in delivering the new café and visitor centre. Photo: Gregg Brown Photography.

The doors of the Duck & Teapot, the new café and visitor centre at Needham Lake, were officially opened for the first time today, Monday, May 16.

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.

Officially opening to the public tomorrow, 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. These include solar panels, sustainable drainage and building materials and an air source heat pump. Feathered visitors will also be able to enjoy new bird boxes which have been introduced around the building.

Visitors will be able to enjoy both indoor and outdoor seating; overlooking one of Needham Lake’s play areas, while the introduction of a Changing Places facility will make the lake more accessible for people with disabilities.

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 successful 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.

The Duck & Teapot will offer breakfast and lunch menus including waffles and smoothies as well as a dedicated vegan menu and options for children.

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 to share our new menus.”

The name of the café was voted for by members of the public last summer with over 1,000 selecting the name Duck & Teapot from a choice of three names and it was delivered by local building firm SEH French Limited.

Simon Hubert, contracts manager at SEH French, 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.”

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