Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival: All You Need To Know

Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival: All You Need To Know

Returning to its home on the Snape Maltings estate, Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival will take place on 24-25 September this year. The celebrated event, which offers a platform for the local community and is celebrated as one of the UK’s best food festivals, promises a stellar line up of headline chefs from across the country, food and drink exhibitors, and events throughout the weekend. 

Operating as a not-for-profit organisation, the festival dedicates itself to supporting and promoting the immediate area and the businesses within it, working year-round to give Suffolk producers, chefs, restaurants and businesses a platform to showcase what they do and earn the recognition they deserve. Now in its 17th year, all entry fees and donations are invested in next year’s festival and buying a ticket offers visitors the chance to support the individuals and businesses making Suffolk’s food scene what it is. 

Set alongside the banks of the enchanting River Alde, the festival strives to celebrate the wonderfully diverse and exceptional local food scene. The varied terrain and landscape of the Suffolk region makes for a wonderful array of local food producers and this year’s event will showcase the best of the best, from the East Coast fisheries to fruit and vegetable growers; local chefs to gin and honey producers. 

The centre stage will welcome a series of headline chefs from across the UK for a string of demonstrations, talks and masterclasses, including:

  • Chetna Makan (Demos on Saturday at 11am and Sunday at 11am) – former Great British Bake Off participant and one of the festival’s long time favourites, Chetna will be running a demonstration at the Co-Op Community Kitchen Stage 
  • Richard Bainbridge (Demos on Saturday at 12pm and Sunday at 2pm; Masterclass on Sunday at 11.30am) – winner of Great British Menu 2015, esteemed Chef Patron of Norwich’s Benedict’s will be running a masterclass on how to cook Liquorice Coated Suffolk Venison, Pickled Hedgerow Blackberries, Meadow Hay Smoked Beetroot, and Suffolk Farmed Oyster Mushrooms. This showstopper dinner party dish that celebrates the seasons and showcases the incredible produce of East Anglia. He will then move stages for a demo
  • Thomasina Miers OBE (Demo on Sunday at 12pm; Masterclass on Sunday at 2.30pm) – the winner of BBC MasterChef 2005, renowned food writer and founder of Wahaca restaurants will be presenting her recently launched Meat Free Mexican cookbook

Over 100 food and drink producers from the Suffolk region will be exhibiting throughout the festival, selling raw milk, organic vegetables, sourdough bread, award winning beer, spirits and much more. Visitors can expect Aspall cyder and street food aplenty alongside an ongoing stream of live music and fringe events. A full list of those attending can be found here

The Family Meadow also returns this year bigger and better with activities for all ages. Grow Cook Eat, for example, will be hosting classes for young people on the hour, every hour, on how to cultivate, grow, cook and eat your own food, while the festival’s youngest attendees can explore the miniature farm machinery from the Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Commenting on the upcoming festival, Lady Caroline Cranbrook, President, said: “We’re so excited to be returning to Snape Maltings for our 17th Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival. As lovers of all things Suffolk, we set about to launch a not-for-profit annual event for locals and tourists alike to showcase the wonders of food and drink produced in our region. 

Each year we’ve been thrilled to welcome more and more brands, producers, individuals and products to our line up and the constantly evolving diversity of our offering never ceases to amaze me. This year we welcome some additional headline chefs to the event whose focus on sustainably produced and exquisite food, and recognition of Suffolk’s formidable food scene sits perfectly with the event. 

I know that visitors will not be disappointed and look forward to welcoming all in September.”

Entry costs £10 per person in advance and can be purchased here, with those under 16 going free. Entry can also be purchased on the day, at £12 per person. All funds go directly towards supporting Suffolk’s food and drink community. 

Address: Snape Maltings, IPI7 1SP


Getting there: A free shuttle bus will be running between Aldeburgh and the festival, and parking is free on-site. London Liverpool Street to Ipswich (1h 5m) – Ipswich to Wickham Market (37m). An electric taxi service is available via Katch from Wickham Market. Additional info here


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