Claire Sutton's family

Marvellous March and Mummy’s Magic


Lovely March, you were marvellous… but not your weather! Now let us be grateful for April and feel buoyed by the longer evenings and excited by our days ahead.

Before we speak of days to come, I must just speak of the ones just left as I had a gorgeous indulgent birthday. Maddie planned it all. “What makes Mummy happy?” she asked herself. “Family time, being together, and time at Aldeburgh” were her answers (she knows me so well), so she took it upon herself to find a dog-friendly cottage and pitched her plan to Dan the money man, lo and behold a three night birthday break was mine.

First stop…

Claire Sutton

… gin making at 10.30 in the morning (as you do) at Adnams in Southwold. A Christmas present from Dan was to make my own gin, and as we love Adnams Copper House I wanted to create something similar but with my own twist.
Well, what a fabulous morning I had. I LOVED it. I had no clue that vodka is the start point for gin, which rather blew my theory that I can’t drink vodka following a rather unfortunate experience in Monte Carlo… (tables and nightclubs and that’s all I can care to remember or care to divulge!) Having being educated fully about the distillation process we set about creating our own recipes using kilner jars of dehydrated delights and a pie chart where it was suggested we keep to threes rather than darting around the circles and randomly selecting things which have no hope of ever going together. Why is it as soon as I am told not to do something like that, I want to do… just that! Our gorgeous guide persuaded me otherwise and, aside from some raised eyebrow moments at a couple of my requests, I created “Mummy’s Magic” my own personal secret recipe! What would you call yours I wonder? Have a go, it’s harder than you think.

Gin making

We watched as our gins dripped slowly and seductively through the handmade copper stills testing by way of a mere drip on the finger as the various fruits, florals and spices travelled through and changed the taste. We were warned it was not to be drunk at this 84% proof stage as it would be lethal (in this instance and unusually for me, I recognised this was NOT a moment to go against advice) however, drink we did! This lot!

Alcohol bottles

The fumes alone of my x3 vodkas x3 gins x3 whiskeys x1 limoncello and x1 sloe gin tasters were enough and windows were immediate lowered when I was collected by Dan and the children. “Oh dear, Mummy” was my greeting as I happily and giddily waved goodbye to lovely Nikki, who had known it was me from QVC from the start but kept it to herself till we knocked back our testers! My voice was the give away apparently. She was super lovely and has QVC on lots at home, it was a treat to meet her and I’m glad she came out with it so to speak! Max, her partner, was intent on adding honey to his gin, even reputedly secreting some about his person… he runs a pub called The Beehive in Horringer so clearly it would have been perfect. A honey infusion added afterwards was recommended and I bet it will taste delicious, though I wasn’t as keen on the idea of coconut flavoured gin that one of our team created… still, each to their own. I really loved the session and would thoroughly recommend it.

Claire Sutton's family

The weather whilst we were away was quite gorgeous, cold yes, however sunshine prevailed. The light on Aldeburgh Beach never fails to thrill me and the pictures we take are repetitive yet seem so totally new each time, as although the landscape doesn’t change, we all do of course and as we’ve grown, so too has what we see… I don’t think I will ever stop loving it.

Talking of loving it…

Claire Sutton's dog

Gus LOVED it (with capital letters and fully underlined). It was so gorgeous seeing him so happy, happy to be away with us and happy in his surroundings. He is not a water boy for sure but our walk over to Snape and the beaches we went on meant he was in heaven. Maddie was playing with portrait mode on her phone snapping away and Joe was getting all arty for a photography project, though don’t even ask why his camera was left at home…! Some of the family shots are below, I hope you like them.

My Helene Berman coat looked amazing against the sea and sky… such a great buy. I’m getting lots of compliments when I wear it, and just popped on with jeans and pumps it feels rather cool as oppose to formal. Versatile… bonus!


The beady-eyed among you will indeed have spotted the Kipling bag in my above picture I’m sure. Actually, wouldn’t that be an interesting experiment to see what our eyes “see” first. In a photo, I would probably lock onto my face to see if it looked okay! I’m being honest! Some of you would go straight to my handsome Gus but, I reckon loads would clock the bag. I spotted so many Kipling bags around that weekend; Kipling and Skechers seem to be the super trend and we can’t get enough of shoes and bags after all! What was so great about it and makes it even better value is the versatility with the extra zipped area… Honestly, once that’s opened there is soooo much more height there, so I got much more in when I was packing to go away and then for a neater and more handbag style, I zipped the zip. Being able to do this was super useful during the days as extra layers, bits of shopping and the “Mummy can you carry my coat” moments all happened. Having emptied my bag to decant into it, the benefits of lightweight and durable sprang immediately to mind as I cart this little lot around on a daily basis and that’s before all the extra things I mentioned earlier! (For the inevitable Adnams purchases of gin and beer, the crossbody strap came in very useful to spread the load!) It is our Today’s Special Value for Saturday 7th, created especially for QVC and called Airaz, and the monkey’s name is Haike.

For those of you who aren’t aware, at QVC each midnight we share something special and specifically priced, but for 24 hours only! It’s a first come, first served moment as sometimes our available stock is sold out before midnight strikes again.

I wanted to end with my heartfelt thanks to you all for the amazing response and kindness in your messages following my blog about World Down’s Syndrome Day on March the 21st – you never cease to amaze me. Dan and I (plus Joe, Maddie and of course Tom) are truly, so very very grateful to you all for your continued care and support of us.

Lots of love and here’s to April and fingers crossed some nicer weather!

Claire xxxx


  1. Marie April 4, 2018 at 5:15 pm -  Reply

    Claire what a lovely blog. Such happy family times to treasure.
    Love seeing you on the Q.
    Marie x

  2. Josephine Jennings April 4, 2018 at 6:37 pm -  Reply

    What a wonderful birthday surprise Claire. You and your family look so relaxed and happy.

  3. Pam April 5, 2018 at 9:17 pm -  Reply

    Oh my goodness love Aldeburgh beach, will be there tomorrow for a whole week with our lovely golden Labrador Ruby, can’t wait! Looks like you’ve had a wonderful relaxing time with your family – ideal place to unwind and leave the hustle and bustle behind. Off to check out Kipling bag …………….. X

  4. Jessica April 5, 2018 at 9:27 pm -  Reply

    I want your hair!!! It looks gorgeous.

  5. Linda Marshall April 6, 2018 at 10:06 am -  Reply

    Dear Clair, your pictures are lovely, but the one where Tom and Dan are looking at each other shows the love they share as father and son.
    you should be very proud
    love to you and your family. Linda xxx

  6. Noreen April 6, 2018 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    What a lovely family you have Claire along with your lovely dog.
    Great photos. Everyone looking so happy. x

  7. Claire Sutton April 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm -  Reply

    THANKYou Marie – see you this weekend!! On the Q xx

  8. Claire Sutton April 6, 2018 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    Josephine, it’s so lovely to escape sometimes isn’t it- from all the normal stuff so you can just ‘be’ xx

  9. Claire Sutton April 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm -  Reply

    Oh Pam, wonderful- you will be there now.. and what a gorgeous day for it- I hope you keep this sunshine , I hope Ruby loves it too xxx

  10. Claire Sutton April 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm -  Reply

    Jessica THANKYOU!!! Xx

  11. Claire Sutton April 6, 2018 at 4:38 pm -  Reply

    Oh I know Linda… I loved it, I cropped it to that so I could see their faces more , it’s so special – thank you xxxx

  12. Sandy Hill April 6, 2018 at 5:25 pm -  Reply

    I love, love, love that coat! I tried to get the sand colour but my size was out of stock! I shall keep checking.Lovely photos and Gus is gorgeous, xxx

  13. Julie April 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm -  Reply

    Claire so lovely to see you and your lovely family enjoying Aldeburgh, I feel very privileged to both live and work here and still enjoy its wonderful magic every day. Thank you for sharing your special family time with us.
    Julie xx

  14. Jane caldwell April 8, 2018 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Looks like you all had a fab time it was lovely to meet you at the exclusive showing of my feral heart a few months ago Lots of love jane xx

  15. Jackie April 8, 2018 at 1:42 pm -  Reply

    Aldeburgh ,Snaps and Southwold (and Adnams), my favourite places to wander around. How lucky to have had such a lovely break. Really envious!!Can’t wait to be there again.

  16. Alison Court April 8, 2018 at 4:44 pm -  Reply

    I love Adams brown sauce. Have you ever tried it? We stayed at one of their lovely pubs in Norfolk +had it on our full English. I think I need to try their gin next time. Xx

  17. Claire Sutton April 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm -  Reply

    Oh Sandy how annoying- I really hope it’s back in stock for you soon – and Gus says Thankyou !! X

  18. Claire Sutton April 9, 2018 at 2:20 pm -  Reply

    Oh Julie , how lovely , one day maybe I will too- we nearly bought a teeny tiny place in blythborough some years ago – it fell through tho I spotted it back up for sale on this visit- one day … ! X

  19. Claire Sutton April 9, 2018 at 2:22 pm -  Reply

    Oh Jane yes indeed, and you too. Wasn’t it simply amazing, I was rather emotional watching it, thrilled it’s done so well
    Love Claire xx

  20. Claire Sutton April 9, 2018 at 2:24 pm -  Reply

    Me too Jackie.. tho Snape ends up a dangerous place to wander in their furniture section!!!
    The good news is we will be back soonish once our chairs are delivered !!! And oh the sofa I saw… just need to teach Twinkle not to scratch before I can commit to that!!
    Maybe we will coincide one day, do say Hello ? xxx

  21. Claire Sutton April 9, 2018 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Adnams brown sauce now on my shopping list next time!!! And yes do try their gin ! Xx

  22. martin forbes April 30, 2018 at 10:22 am -  Reply

    hi claire fit like as we say in aberdeen which means how are you and your family iam well

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