Don’t miss the Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival 2018

What food will you try at the festival? Picture: ROB HOLDING

What food will you try at the festival? Picture: ROB HOLDING - Credit: Archant

There’s something for the whole family to enjoy say organisers of the Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival 2018.

Organisers Our Bury St Edmunds are relishing hosting one of the town’s biggest attractions over the bank holiday weekend.

The Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival will meander through the centre of the beautiful market town on Sunday, August 26 and Monday August 27, offering a flavour of more than 100 businesses, who’ll be scattered from The Apex, right through Cornhill down to Angel Hill.

Mark Cordell of Our Bury St Edmunds says he’s proud not only of the popularity of the event, which has grown over the past few years, but of the town itself, which really has become a destination for dining in East Anglia, being home to numerous award-winning restaurants.

“When Jackie and I came up with the idea in 2012 of running a food and drink festival, at that stage the town was just starting to change.

“When we started out in 2011 the nice restaurants were just Maison Bleue and The Angel but over a period of time that’s changed. We’ve always had a good number of food and drink places in the mid-range but what we’ve got now are places like The Northgate and Ben’s and 1921. The Casa and Francella.

“With all the challenges facing town centres and high streets in retail you have to have a centre that offers more, and Bury St Edmunds really does. We’ve got great variety. When we started we had about 20 restaurants in the town centre and now I think we’re up to 30 to 35.”

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If you begin your day at Angel Hill you’ll discover a farmers’ market where everything has been scrupulously checked for origin and provenance by the organiser to ensure it is made within 50 miles of the town. “For example,” says Mark, “If we had someone selling waffles with honey, the waffles either have to be local or homemade and the honey has to be local. It’s actually very strict, much stricter than we appreciated.”

In this area will be up to 30 stalls, where you can meet the producer and find out more about what you’re putting on your plate.

Further up, and Cornhill is the hub of the attraction, with between 80 and 90 stalls from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and further afield setting up base for the two days. As well as food producers there’ll be loads of street food to tuck into as you wander around.

Here too, outside Moyse’s Hall Museum, is the Stoves Cookery Theatre, with a line-up of chefs that includes locals from Maison Bleue, The Angel, Casa, The Northgate and the LP, as well as celebrities James Tanner on Sunday and former Ready, Steady Cook favourite Paul Rankin on Monday.

There’s plenty for the kids too, says Mark. “This is a two-day, free event that highlights Bury as a foodie destination but out concept has always been, if the kids are happy, mums and dads are happy. So we’ve got a mini farm, beach, helter skelter, face-painting. It’s a great day out.”

8 stalls to look out for

Yum Yum Tree Fudge – made near Bury with British sugar and natural flavourings and colourings. There’s so much choice you won’t know what to buy. We like the mango, salted butterscotch and mint choc chip fudges.

Herbal Haven – one for keen gardeners and cooks. The amount of plants this stall has to offer is astonishing. Whether you’re after a bog standard bay, or more exotic pineapple mint or woodruff, they’re very likely to have it.

Curry With Love – another local business selling spice and curry kits that take all the hard work out of putting a tasty dinner on the table.

Beautiful Beers – from brewing kits, to rare Belgian Trappiste brews, this iconic Bury business is much-loved in the town. Pop along to try something new from their ever-expanding range.

Kenton Hall – from the family estate in Kenton near Debenham comes some truly fabulous Longhorn beef, reared on a natural grass diet and kept in tradition round houses. At the festival the farm will showcase its excellent, very tasty, burgers.

Casa – love Middle Eastern, Med-inspired food? Head over to the Casa stand to see what they have to offer on the day. There will be loads of choice for veggies and vegans here.

Café Kottani – last year the team from this Bury café and deli sold incredible freshly prepared kebabs, straight off the grill, as well as all manner of other Greek delights. Expect more of the same in 2018.

Ben’s Restaurant – award-winning Ben’s focusses on using seasonal fruit and vegetables, and home-reared, rare breed meats. They’ll have a stand out at the festival so go and say hi.

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