The festival is a wonderful platform for all local producers and suppliers to showcase their delicious foods and goods. I visited my lovely client, Hillfarm Oils, who were sponsors of the event and were providing an area where the kids could escape to, to ‘drive’ tractors, make pizzas and explore a real-life massive combine harvester!
I started off the day with the obligatory coffee from local brewers, Paddy & Scotts – I always grab one of their coffees when I can. Paddy was also involved in a food venture with Vernon Blackmore (of The Table, The Anchor, The Old Mariner and many other foodie events fame), called Bubble and Squid. However, when I went to buy my portion of chilli calamari they had run out! It was so popular, but not to worry though, I went back the next day especially to have some!
Other people I visited were The Artisan Smokehouse, where I tasted lots of smoked meats and fish, Gressingham Ducks for a crispy duck wrap, Lane Farm for some salami, Scarlet and Mustard for their sauces, Pump Street Bakery to try their new, specially-developed-for-the-festival chocolate spread (of course I had to try a few dollops on their sough dough bread before purchasing a pot…) and many more stalls where I tried numerous sweet and savoury delights. By now I was getting a bit thirsty (!) so we headed to the Aspall’s tent to get a jar of the finest cider, another of my lovely clients here in Suffolk. We actually snook to say quick hello to Henry from Aspall’s before he did his workshop on Cider tasting.
One that stood out for me though was Salter & King, the craft butcher from Aldeburgh. I was tempted over to their stand by the tray of juicy cooked rump steak that they were handing out! It was delicious and I was so surprised to hear it was from an 8 year old cow. Gerard King, the butcher, specialises in pasture fed, slow grown meat which is organic and free range. Of course I had to buy a couple of steaks for my supper that night, and my mouth still waters when I think of that meal! I’ll be back for more….and definitely before the next Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival.