Aldeburgh Food Festival, Snape, Suffolk (September)
Nature-lovers and foodies will love the venue for Aldeburgh Food Festival. The historic buildings of Snape Maltings surrounded by wetlands make it a unique place to taste Suffolk’s finest produce.
Alderburgh Food Festival takes place every September
Aldeburgh Food Festival is one of my personal favourites. Spending a weekend on the Suffolk coast is always a pleasure but even more so in late September when you can taste Suffolk’s best produce in the historic setting of Snape Maltings.
Once an important site in Britain’s brewing heritage, it hosts a festival that is understated, tasteful and not too crowded like some I’ve visited.
It attracts a relaxed and arty crowd including Londoners up for the weekend. Breton t-shirts and good-natured black labradors abound.
Stay in the nearby seaside resorts of Aldeburgh, Orford or Southwold and extend your visit to enjoy the two-week programme of fringe events accompanying the festival.
Celebrate Suffolk at Aldeburgh Food Festival
For 14 years, Aldeburgh Food Festival has been an annual celebration of Suffolk produce.
Driving around this flat county, you can’t fail to see that this is rich farming country. There are farm shops everywhere and in villages, honesty boxes selling wonky veg, eggs and flowers.
Suffolk simply has fantastic food and drinks producers. Both large and small, they are highly visible in the county’s restaurants, pubs, cafés and food shops.
Come harvest time, a day out at Aldeburgh Food Festival is a really enjoyable way to get to know them and to taste Suffolk’s delicious bounty.
Foodies flock to Aldeburgh Food Festival
Chef demos and masterclasses are part of the festival programme
Shop and Taste in the Historic Setting of Snape Maltings
The historic setting of Snape Maltings situated on the edge of the river Alde and surrounded by wetlands, really does make this festival location unique.
The Victorian buildings are where barley was once malted before being transported by Thames barge to breweries across the country.
They cover seven acres and are now filled with independent shops, galleries and eateries giving visitors so much more to enjoy.
Festival goers are encouraged to explore the buildings including the famous concert hall which was rescued by Benjamin Britten back in the 1950s. It was on the ground floor where the furnaces were positioned to heat the floor above and roast the barley.
Snape Maltings famous concert hall where barley was malted
Buskers provide musical entertainment
Meet Suffolk’s Best Food and Drink Producers
You’ll find fisherman moored up selling fresh fish straight from the boat and over a hundred local producers including new start-ups.
The Pump Street Bakery, based in nearby Orford, sells rustic sourdough loaves and pastries alongside its award-winning single estate chocolate bars (try the scrumptious and crunchy sourdough and sea salt).
At the stand for Pinneys of Orford, a long established and traditional smokehouse, you can pick up lobster, smoked fish and paté.
Try Wilkinson’s jams and chutneys from Tiptree and don’t go home without a local cheese.
Particularly good, is the St. Jude made from raw milk from Montbeliard cows and Suffolk Brie, a rich-creamy and full-flavoured cheese from a small herd of pedigree Guernseys.
Pump Street Bakery Chocolate Bars
Wilkinson’s Chocolate Spread from Tiptree
Lunch at Picnic Benches Overlooking a Nature Reserve
Choosing what to eat for lunch from the many pop-up street food vans and stalls is a lovely dilemma.
The smell of roasted Gressingham duck is one that’s always hard to resist. Served in a wrap with spring onions and Stoke’s Hoisin sauce it attracts an eager queue of punters.
There are burgers made using premium Longhorn beef from Kenton Hall Estate, fish and chips served in cones from The Fish Hut and fruity and creamy Alder Carr ice creams served from Audrey, their vintage van (try the gooseberry and elderflower flavour).
Roasted Gressingham duck being prepared for wraps
Festival-goers picnicking at tables overlooking wetlands
- Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival 2019 will take place on the 28th – 29th September
- There is free parking onsite in walking distance to the main event
- There is a also free shuttle bus to and from the festival running between Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh
- To accompany the food festival, there is an excellent two week programme of fringe events. See the tour of Pump Street Bakery’s Chocolate Rooms
- Walk the Sailors Path from Snape Maltings to Aldeburgh (12 mile return walk)
Inspired by Aldeburgh Food Festival? Shop For Suffolk Produce
Places to Stay in Aldeburgh
Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival is Suffolk’s best food festival so it’s wise to book your accommodation in advance as demand is high. Snape Maltings where the festival takes place, does have some lovely self-catering cottages but these tend to get booked up quickly when a major event is on.
The nearby seaside town of Aldeburgh makes a good base. It has a number of small hotels, B&Bs and holiday cottages. The picturesque village of Orford is also good alternative.
If you’re looking for accommodation in Aldeburgh, The Brudenell is just a few metres from Aldeburgh beach so you can wake up with a view of the the Suffolk Coast. The hotel has 44 bedrooms and a restaurant which overlooks the beach.
Well behaved dogs are welcome to the festival but are not allowed in the food marquees or building.
How to Find Aldeburgh Food Festival
Snape Maltings, Snape, near Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 1SR
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.