9 reasons to visit Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival 2018

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival 2017 at Snape Maltings. Picture: ALISTAIR GRANT/BOKEH PHOTOGRAPHIC

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival 2017 at Snape Maltings. Picture: ALISTAIR GRANT/BOKEH PHOTOGRAPHIC - Credit: bokeh photographic - Alistair Gr

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival is on September 29 and 30 this year. What can you see and do there?

When: September 29-30

Where: The grounds of Snape Maltings

How much is it?: £8 for adults, children free

The Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival really is one of the highlights of the East Anglian foodie calendar. It’s not just a giant food market (although, true, you’ll find tonnes of things to buy and eat), but it’s a place where producer collaborate, share their passions, demonstrate their wares and give a true slice of the Suffolk food and drink scene.

There are live demos, workshops, family areas, stalls, street food – and so much more besides. It’s a must-do this autumn. Here are 10 things not to miss.

1. The Tiptree Stage: Local and celebrity chefs will bring awesome sights and scents to the stage, whipping up delicious and easy dishes for you to make at home. The line-up includes long-time festival supporter Thomasina Miers, River Café’s head chef Joseph Trivelli, TV presenter Joe Hurd, and Richard Bainbridge of Great British Menu.

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2. The East of England Co-op Stage: Even more cooking! Meet GBBO finalist Chetna Makan, Masterchef’s Dhruv Baker, Emma Crowhurst, Galton Blackiston, Vernon Blackmore et al.

3. Marriage’s Masterclass Kitchen: Need to brush up on your culinary knowledge and skills? Look no further than the workshops being hosted in this dedicated kitchen on the day. Tickets sell out quickly so don’t delay. The list includes ‘Everything with Aubergines’ with Honey & Co, ‘Indian Street Food’ with Chetna Makan, A tutored chocolate tasting with Pump Street Chocolate, ‘Sugar Free Baking’ with Sophie Mitchell and more. Most are £20. Find details of how to book on the festival website.

4. The annual conference: Each year an important subject is debated by a panel as part of the festival. On September 28 this year, it’s Eating Wisely and Well and speakers include former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull, Professor Andrew Fearne of Norwich Business School, Oliver Paul from Suffolk Food Hall and Professor Alastair Forbes of Norwich Research Park. Questions will be raised over eating habits, obesity, diet-related disease and more. Tickets are £35 from the website including lunch.

5. Try and buy: There will be loads of opportunities to meet producers and sample (and buy) their products. Included on the exhibitor list this year are an artisan granola business, grass-fed beef, honey caramel chocolates, artisan gin, raw milk cheese, homemade doughnuts, preserves, award-winning chilli sauces, fabulous local wine, Great Taste Award winning ice cream, cordials, juices, bread. Oh, just about everything. Make sure you head for the ‘start-up’ area to meet the new producers.

6. Wild in Suffolk: A newer part of the show, this area aims to hone in on the abundance of bounty from Suffolk’s hunters, fishers and gatherers with artisans and experts at hand passing on their knowledge.

7. Hillfarm family area: Keep those little tykes happy. There’ll be pizza making classes, rapeseed pressing, face painting, toy tractor rides and a humungous combine to see.

8. The Adnams Drink Experience: Roll on over to this riverside tent which has two days of talks, demos and discussions lined up. Make coastal cocktails with Fishers Gin, enjoy a tutored beer tasting with Melissa Cole, or try out a beer taste test with Adnams’ head brewer.

9. Eat, eat and eat again: Feeling peckish? At the festival you know you won’t go hungry with so many street food purveyors to hand. You’ve got curry pies, duck wraps (and duck fat chips), wraps and grills from Hay Hay and High Steaks (amazing Argentine sandwiches), coffee roasters, and bars. Grab a bite, sit by the river and enjoy!

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