Stage Six of Britain’s premier road cycling race, the Tour of Britain, will take place entirely within Suffolk, a first for the county, on Friday 8th September heading east from Newmarket to the finish in the centre of Aldeburgh on the East Suffolk Coast.
To celebrate the event the Suffolk Food & Frink Trails have put together a trail which follows the route that some of the worlds greatest cyclist will travel; taking in some of East Suffolk’s finest food producers and eateries; from traditional pubs to tea rooms and fine dining experiences.
The first town on the route is Framlingham where you can not only visit the magnificent late 12th century castle and charming market hill, but also indulge in a glass of Adnams Ale or Aspalls cider at the Castle Inn situated at the entrance to the castle. Sample the county’s famous local coffee brand Paddy and Scotts in a stylish café setting or visit the towns deli or butchers to pick up some local produce. However if sausages are your thing then you should make a return to the town on 8th October for the Great Framlingham Sausage Festival; a celebration of sausages that are made using local ingredients.
Head south towards the thriving community of Wickham Market and the theme of sausages crops up again with award winning butchers EW Revett & Son, the birthplace of the famous “Revett’s” Sausages, a delicious traditional sausage made from locally sourced pork which sees people coming from far and wide to stock up. On every 3rd Wednesday a monthly market is held with stalls selling fresh local produce, seasonal fruit and vegetables and cheeses.
The route then goes around the outskirts of Ipswich and through the smaller communities of Kesgrave and Martlesham. Indulge in a bit of luxury at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall which is a Grade II-listed mansion set in more than 38 acres, transformed into a four star hotel with a lively brasserie style restaurant. Kesgrave also holds a farmers market every 3rd Saturday in the month.
The race then hits one of the gems of East Suffolk and the market town of Woodbridge. This vibrant town combines excellent shops with a wide choice of food and drink establishments. Stroll along the riverside and stop for a refreshment break at the Quay side whilst soaking up the views across the river or head into the town centre for some award winning bread at the Cake Shop Bakery or to the Firestation Café who roast their own coffee on site.
The tour then travels through some of East Suffolk’s finest countryside and small villages including Rendlesham, home to the famous Stokes Sauces which you may well have seen on the shelves of many shops and restaurants who use real ingredients to hand make over 75 different lines at their ‘Saucery’.
You will also pass by the stunning Snape Maltings, home to the Aldeburgh Festival founded by composer Benjamin Britten in 1948. The complex also offers an excellent selection of places to eat, from freshly prepared local food and cream teas to cafés and restaurants overlooking the Alde estuary, providing guests with views of reeds, water and open skies.
If you are visiting the area during the weekend of 23 – 24 September the maltings plays host to the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival; with over 90 producers in attendance as well as cookery demonstrations.
The route then travels past Saxmundham where there is no shortage of culinary choices with great places to eat and drink, from bistros and cafes including The Bell at Sax, The Bistro and Indian, Thai and fish and chips as well as a weekly market on a Wednesday.
Onto Leiston, an ancient Saxon settlement where the signs of this can be seen at the Leiston Abbey ruins which date back to 14th century. The town serves a hub for the surrounding communities and offers with Gracies Kitchen, an industrial and rustic style kitchen providing top quality food and beverages. Also Nicholas Butchers and Deli, a family run business with meat locally sourced as well as a well stocked deli with produce from around the world. Leiston is also home to Munchy Seeds, a family run business and has been the highest profile brand in the UK's roasted, flavoured and coated seeds market for 16 years.
The final stop on the tour is the charming fishing town of Aldeburgh, once home to Suffolk’s iconic composer Benjamin Britten. The Brudenell Hotel offers fine dining and relaxed bar and grills with panoramic sea views whereas the High Street offers small cafes and restaurants but with equal culinary temptations. Fish is obviously a prominent theme in the town with anything from lobster and crab to oyster and shrimp on offer alongside the more traditional fish and chips from two renowned and award winning establishments, the Golden Galleon and Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop.
If you want to get involved in The Tour then check out the ‘Taste of the Tour’ website where local businesses and groups are promoting a variety of events, special dishes, menus and offers during the lead up to Tour of Britain arriving.