Festival brings fresh ideas for food and drink

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PRODUCERS from throughout Suffolk and Norfolk will be among exhibitors offering a taste of something new during The St Edmunds Real Beer and Food Festival in May.

Building on the success of last year, which attracted crowds of more than 4,000 people, this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best one yet.

It will be held during the opening weekend of the Bury St Edmunds Festival, from 10am to 6pm on May 21 and from 10am to 5pm on May 22, in Greene King’s Westgate Brewery Gardens.

There will be more exhibitors than last year and more demonstrations teaching butchery, cookery and food preparation skills.

Local artists will provide a variety of entertainment throughout the event with performances near the brewery tap, where festival-goers will be able to sit, relax and enjoy the many products on offer.

And there will be plenty of fun for children, with activities like face painting to keep them occupied.

Thurston-based Lily Turner, of Yum Yum Tree Fudge, will be returning this year with a beautiful variety of fudge flavours, including one brand new flavour called sea-salt, which she says offers a savoury-sweet combination that is proving very popular.

She has also expanded her range to include brittle and will bring at least four different nut varieties and a beer brittle, which has been created especially for the Festival using Greene King’s IPA beer.

“It’s lovely to return to something that we know works really well and to support the local community,” said Lily.

Denise Nuttall, from the Chilli Company based in Mendlesham, said that she too was excited to be attending the event again this year and was looking forward to showcasing their new range of chilli sauces and their new chilli chocolate range.

She said: “We will be bringing along our existing hot range of chilli products, together with our award winning chilli beer and our new smoky range of chilli condiments. The new range is targeted at everyone in the family, not just the real chilli lovers - we have a smoky chipotle chilli ketchup, chilli mayo, chilli salsa and raspberry sauce. We will also be bringing along our new chilli chocolate range. We’ll have plants for sale and samples of everything so you can try before you buy.”

Tickets to the event are £3 each and children under 18 go free.

They can be bought on the day or in advance through Greene King’s Visitor Centre, where tickets can also be booked for four beer masterclasses that will run over the same weekend. Call 01284 714297.

For information on May’s packed programme of events and to book tickets contact the Festival box office in The Apex, Charter Square, visit www.buryfestival.co.uk or call 01284 758000.