What’s new at this year’s Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival?

Flint and Harding Vodka and Gin. Pictured is Chrissie Charie. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Flint and Harding Vodka and Gin. Pictured is Chrissie Charie. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Homemade doughnuts, craft spirits and free-from bakes part of the tasty line-up at Snape.

Next weekend (September 28 and 29) one of the region’s biggest gastronomic events returns – Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival.

Held in the grounds of Snape Maltings, just moments from the seaside town, the festival draws in a wide crowd from across East Anglia and beyond, and brings together a delicious melee of attractions across both days.

Entry is £8 for adults and free for under 15s, with more than ever before planned for the 2018 line-up.

On the live demo stages alight your senses watching chefs such as Thomasina Miers, Joe Hurd, Richard Bainbridge and Dhruv Baker cook up their favourite dishes.

Take part in one of the popular masterclass workshops in the Marriage’s tent. Ride on toy tractors, eat ice cream and make pizza in the family area. Find out more about foraging over at Wild Suffolk. And get your chops around samples from the dozens of exhibitors and street food sellers.

To whet your appetite, here are some of the new producers you can meet at this year’s festival.

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Ampersand Brew Co: Hailing from south Norfolk, this craft brewer has become a favourite locally with beer aficionados. The family team make simple, small batch seasonal beers in Earsham near Bungay, including a sessional ale, Bidon with Pilgrim, Citra, El Dorado and Chinook hops making an easy to drink, crisp, fruity brew.

Cocoa May: Delectable brownies and bakes made from scratch with high quality ingredients. The original brownies are very tasty, but try the variations too – from beetroot, to sea salt, or pistachio. The sticky date bars are ace too.

Coyote Loco: A Bury St Edmunds based street food purveyor selling authentic Mexican street food, including super fresh tacos.

Doodle Donuts: Made in Framlingham, these are a world away from greasy shop bought doughnuts, with crisp golden exteriors and a fluffy middle. As well as the classic and ever-popular jam varieties expect seasonal flavours such as blackberry and apple. There’ll be hot doughnuts for sale over the weekend too.

Fishers Gin: A London dry gin that draws inspiration from rare and unexpected botanicals growing wild along the East Anglian shoreline. The mysterious, aromatic end product is distilled using spignel, rock samphire, wood avens and bog myrtle.

Flint and Hardings: Gin and vodka made using sugar beet from the family farm. Working with British Sugar in Bury St Edmunds, the owner turns her own sugar solution via 40 distillations into the very quaffable Flint vodka. It’s then distilled with baskets of aromatics such as angelica, burdock, rose petals, orange and rosemary to create Hardings gin.

Healthy Ediballs: Not so naughty, bite sized treats made with natural ingredients.

Heart of Suffolk Distillery: The husband and wife founders of this distillery make their gins in small batches in the middle of the county. Betty’s Gin is best served with a slice of orange and premium tonic, while Rosie’s Gin (with seven botanicals) has a floral vibe.

Jakes Bakes: Got a gluten or dairy intolerance? Look no further than this stand where the majority of the indulgences are free-from. Think billowing, blousy meringues, dark brownies and miniature lemon meringue pies.

Peck: If you live or work in Ipswich or Colchester you might have seen these guys on the market or perhaps at a pop-up over at Arcade Street Tavern. Suffolk reared chicken is marinated in buttermilk for tenderness and fried until lip-smackingly golden. Choose from wings or burgers.

Slim Gilly’s: Love a cocktail but watching your weight? Look no further than this local brand’s tasty drinks, made with sparkling water, premium spirits and natural flavourings with no artificial sweeteners. Coming in at only 90 calories each there’s a passionfruit spritz made with vodka and a rhubarb and ginger spritz filled with gin.

The Kraty Braumeister: If you’ve had beer in Germany, you’ll know it’s a different beast altogether. Brewer Uli uses methods from his home country to make his small batch, naturally fermented, authentic German beers just up the road in Leiston.

Tuk-In Street Cantina: A vintage tuk tuk truck dishing out pulled meats, fluffy breads and homemade sides such as hand-cut slaw and sweet potato fries.

The Suffolk Distillery: Chemist and master distiller Gary wants to showcase the wonders of Suffolk with his London dry gins. The recipe is top secret but uses a unique blend of exotic botanics from around the world, including liquorice and cinnamon. Also from the distillery is Suffolk Vodka with Rhubarb and Honey, made with rhubarb grown alongside the river Stour, and Suffolk honey from a local farm.

Bracey’s Bees: Lucious honey, trendy comb honey and a variety of beeswax products. Did you know beeswax candles help purify the air in your home?

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