A microcosm of what makes the Suffolk food economy so remarkable
Sheila Dillon, producer of the renowned BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, and a regular visitor to the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival at Snape Maltings
"The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival is a microcosm of what makes the Suffolk food economy so remarkable. You see the entrepreneurial energy, imagination and astonishing quality all brought together to produce some of the very best food in Britain. It is this web of Suffolk producers and retailers working together that keeps money in the area - creating jobs, attracting young people into the food business and producing the key ingredients that bring tourists to the area - delicious food and drink."
Ultimate food show for REAL food lovers
"This was my first visit to Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival and what a wonderful part of the country it is too. The event itself was packed with truly unique and interesting producers and exhibitors, making it the ultimate food show for REAL food lovers. Plenty to do and see, lots to eat and drink and the variety of things to participate was incredible. I don't think they will be able to keep me away next year, although this time, I plan on staying the whole weekend."
Favourite food event of the year
"The Aldeburgh Food Festival is my favourite food event of the year. What makes it so special is that all the foods, ingredients and drinks that are on offer from producers are all exclusively from Suffolk. It is in essence a market of local ingredients and as a result thew quality is superb. Apples, raw milk, smoked fish, bread, cakes, ice cream, game, Longhorn beef always seem to fill the boot of my car as I return back to London!
I always look forward to planning my demonstrations at the last minute so I can use what is at its best on that day. "
Town mouse visits the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival
What a joy it is. Each year, East Anglia’s best food producers scale new peaks— hedgerow-based cordials, unimaginable cheeses, the best burgers ever. And the extraordinary thing, looking at the smiling foodies as they made their eager, even greedy, way around this upscale village fête, is that none of them looked obese.
A joyful celebration of quality provenance and flavour
A few years back, an impromptu weekend camping trip brought me to the Suffolk coast. I fell in love. It was partly the quiet beauty of the landscape, the long, empty beaches, swaying reed beds and infinite skies. But it was also the food. Here were oyster beds and smokehouses, farm shops and butchers filled with local vegetables, meat and game, fishermen selling their morning catch from wooden huts on the shingle. Even on that short visit, this corner of England struck me as a glorious repository of good things and good ideas. I went home with a singing heart and a bag full of new discoveries.
For the past eight years, the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival has provided a unique hub and showcase for this thriving food culture, a coming together of the committed farmers, bakers, millers and other artisan producers who have helped put Suffolk firmly on Britain’s edible map. For food lovers, it is a joyful celebration of quality, provenance and flavour. From the sausages to the cider, the bread to the beans, everything you’ll find here has the undeniable added savour that comes from food produced with integrity and care by real people with big characters and stories to tell. But, just as importantly, the festival is a reminder, in its own gentle way, of all the other reasons that local food really matters: the low food miles, the benefits for the regional economy, the wider need to find sustainable ways of putting food on the table.
Aldeburgh pulls off the clever trick of making its point while also making it fun. And make no mistake: it is huge fun. This is my third year at the festival – three blissful early-autumn weekends of good food and good times. It’s no wonder that so many of the cooks, chefs and food writers you’ll see shaking their pots and pan on the festival stages come back again and again. Like me, they are here for the simple reason that they love it. Aldeburgh may not be the biggest food festival in the world, but it is undoubtedly the most intimate, friendly and warm. I can feel my heart singing already.
A unique, vibrant and wonderful food scene
"The food scene in Suffolk is remarkably strong - it makes me come back every year so that I can see how it has changed in a year. We always have the most incredible fresh produce from fish to vegetables, cheese and meat to work with. Suffolk is very special with it's fantastic quality and diversity of produce and so many affordable and vibrant farm shops - it's a unique, vibrant and wonderful food scene."