My life has truly come full circle.
That was my first thought as I carried a glass of beer back to the table in the newly-opened cafe, restaurant, deli and pub, Goldings.
The new venture, which has been opened by Lucy and Richard Golding on the corner of the Saturday Market place, is a much-needed upmarket place to socialise in Lynn.
It is a deli and cafe by day, a restaurant and bar by night. It is the slightly brasher big brother of Market Bistro, the acclaimed restaurant that is also owned and run by Richard and Lucy.
Thirty years ago would have also found me carrying a beer from the bar to a table in the same building.
There the similarity of the experience would end.
Then, the beer would have been the cheapest on offer. The floor by the bar would have been awash with spilt alcohol and my feet would have been sticking to the carpet with every step I took.
There is every chance those steps would have been a bit wobbly as the clientele, including me, were generally pretty inebriated by mid-way through the evening.
Back then, the air would have been fuggy with cigarette smoke.
I have been into Goldings several times in the past few weeks – all in the name of research obviously – and despite the changes there is an incredible sense of coming home.
The Wenns – as most people in Lynn would have known the building – was an institution in the town.
It was where you came of age. It was where you learnt to drink, it was where you first chatted up or got chatted up or where you had your first drunken row.
On every visit I have met people who used to go into the Wenns to drink as teenagers and young adults and now, many years later, they are returning as grown-ups with fond memories of what had been before but also very happy to embrace the new.
I don’t know if it is the drink – an excellent Jinzu Gin – talking, but I can’t help thinking that Wenns/Goldings could be an alcoholic analogy for the future of the town.
Could we start to see Lynn turning from its brash, slightly rowdy, slightly grubby self into something that is just a little more refined and upmarket, but which maintains its sense of fun and feistiness?