Since Benjamin Britten came to Aldeburgh in the Forties, this fishing town has always had something of a bohemian feel to it. The food festival reflects this, and offers not only wholesome food but also some wholesome intellectual nourishment. Though if all that feels a bit too wholemeal, you can escape to the high street — Aldeburgh’s fish and chip shop is said to be one of the best in the country.
The Festival had a friendly, family orientated atmosphere, something which always impresses the visiting chefs and journalists. It’s a very inclusive event, with over 90 exhibitors of Suffolk produce going out of their way to co-operate and compete with, rather than against, each other. Not only could the public purchase local food to take home in their jute Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival shopping bags, but there was a range of stalls selling food to be eaten in the beautiful riverside setting; locally caught Aldeburgh cod and chips, Red Poll burgers, locally made sausages, salads using locally grown salad leaves, spit roasted local venison, Mexican and Indian food, all things chocolatey from Chocstar, freshly made to order sweet and savoury crepes and all washed down with locally brewed Adnams ales, Aspall cyder or local apple juice.
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