5 food festivals coming to Suffolk in 2021 

A stall at the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival 2021

The Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival at Snape Maltings is back in September 2021 - Credit: Andy Abbott

After a year of staying in, it’s time to go ‘out out’. Anticipating the government confirming a full exit from lockdown towards the end of June, multiple foodie events have been planned in Suffolk for this summer and beyond. Let’s take a look at what’s been announced so far. 

1. The Great British Food Festival, Helmingham Hall, July 24 – The stunning setting of Helmingham, with its formal rose gardens, parterres and orchard walks, lends itself perfectly to this event. Alongside hot and cold food, ale and wine bars, craft and gift stalls, foraging walks and chef demos, at the heart of the festival is an artisan market, which will be socially distanced and have a one-way system. Both local and national producers are to feature. A barbecue demo stage will show you how to host the perfect party – spanning everything from Australian and American to seafood specials. And, if you fancy yourself as a ‘star baker’ why not enter the cake competition, with categories for ‘fabulous favourite’ and Victoria  sponge? Details are online, alongside early bird tickets with 20% off, priced at £9.90 for adults, £4.50 for children (over five) and £25.50 for families. 

2. Open Air Film & Street Food Festival, Ipswich, August 12 to 15 - Ipswich Borough Council and Pop-Up Pictures have joined forces to bring four days (and nights) of movie magic and food to Christchurch Park. The event includes two-for-one day tickets, child-friendly screenings and even late-night horror showings on Mansion Lawn (complete with individual headsets). Tickets start at £6.72 and are available online. The accompanying street food market is free to enter, and brings some of the best local food stalls together, from Wagyu Burger and Street Food with gourmet, hand-pressed burgers in brioche buns with handmade sauces and fillings, to soul food from Sweet Ps, and fusion wraps from Le Dirty Cochon. 

Chef Paul Rankin giving a demonstration at the Bury St Edmunds Food ad Drink Festival

Paul Rankin is to return to the Bury Food and Drink Festival in 2021 - Credit: Rob Holding

3. Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival, August 29 and 30 – This very popular festival is back once again for the August Bank Holiday weekend. Organisers, Our Bury St Edmunds, promise two days of great food and entertainment for the whole family, with the event spanning Angel Hill, Buttermarket and Cornhill. Around 100 food traders (including street food vendors) from across the region are expected to attend. And cooking demonstrations are already confirmed from festival favourite and former Ready, Steady, Cook chef Paul Rankin, former soap star Sean Wilson, Maria Broadbent from Casa and Zak Deakins from 1921. The festival is free. 

4. Newmarket Food and Drink Festival, September 11 and 12 – This event has moved for 2021 to a new location in the grounds of The Jockey Club Rooms, forming a part of the Henry Cecil Festival. Free to attend, it will bring together 60 producers from around East Anglia, alongside bars, family entertainment and live music. Chefs including Rosemary Shrager will be giving demonstrations across the two days. Entry is free. 

A chef giving a demonstration at the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival in Suffolk

There will be more demonstrations and workshops at the 2021 Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival - Credit: Andy Abbott

5. Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, Snape Maltings, September 25 and 26 – Festival-goers travel to this annual event (replaced by a market in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions) from around the UK, and it’s one of the most hotly anticipated food attractions in the county. Things will be a little different this year. In addition to swathes of producers, expect a pop-up bookable restaurant showcasing Suffolk chefs and ingredients, more workshops and demonstrations in a Saturday Kitchen style, and more interactive experiences for children and families. With Suffolk Show cancelled once more this year, it’s hoped elements of farming and food technology will be incorporated too. Tickets will be available online. 

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