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Smoked mackerel tails (c) Rod Edwards

You.Unplugged: This Autumn

Fabulous Foodie County

Suffolk has a reputation as the 'foodie county'. It's a place where food-lovers come to seek out exciting food and drink festivals, innovative restaurants and well-stocked farmers' markets; to experience the most delicious flavours the county has to offer. Here is our pick of 'must-taste' things on offer in Suffolk this autumn...

Award-winning restaurants in Suffolk

When it comes to eating out in Suffolk, we are pretty much spoilt for choice with so many top-notch restaurants serving up a feast of locally grown produce.

There's the much-celebrated, award-winning Maison Bleue restaurant in Bury St Edmunds specialising in modern French cuisine. Their focus on exquisitely presented, seasonal and locally sourced food has earned them a listing in the acclaimed Harden's National Restaurant Guide as one of the UK's top 30 French restaurants. They also appeared in Tatler's list 'Best of Britain 2016' and are consistently a top-rated restaurant on TripAdivsor.

Try the Leaping Hare Vineyard Restaurant at Wyken for lunch in the stylish surroundings of a converted 14th century barn. Locally sourced ingredients go very well with a glass of their own award-winning wine. 12,000 bottles are produced each year and visitors can take a saunter around the seven-acre vineyard or nearby ancient woodland, before settling down for lunch.

Champagne at Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk (c) Tuddenham Mill
Champagne at Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk ©Tuddenham Mill

Boutique hotel Tuddenham Mill near Newmarket has recently been awarded the much coveted three AA rosettes for their excellent food and service. A contemporary menu reflects their passion for local ingredients and the vegetables, which they grow just a stone's throw from the restaurant, take centre stage.

The other three AA rosette restaurant in Suffolk is The Great House, a gorgeous 15th century building in the centre of medieval Lavenham. Serving modern French cuisine, the restaurant has many accolades to its name and the Sunday Times has called it 'one of the best restaurants in England.'

Towards the coast, there's the Crown and Castle in Orford. where you can dine on a creative British menu using quality Suffolk produce including Orford landed seafood and locally reared meats. Or what about the Butt and Oyster at Pin Mill on the picturesque Shotley Peninsula? Tucked down a quiet lane which ends at the water's edge, visitors can enjoy panoramic river views and a ' classic smugglers' retreat' atmosphere in this historic pub.

Afternoon Tea

If you enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea, have a browse through the hotels and cafes on our website. Most of them offer a variation of afternoon or cream tea. Try Hintlesham Hall near Ipswich and enjoy the plush surroundings of this stately hotel.

The two rosette restaurant at the Bedford Lodge in Newmarket serves a variety of afternoon teas or visit the iconic Swan Hotel in medieval Lavenham for a sweet or savoury spread of dainty sandwiches and delicate treats. 

Afternoon tea at the Bedford Lodge Hotel, Newmarket
Afternoon tea at the Bedford Lodge Hotel, Newmarket

Forage in the countryside

Autumn is a great time for foraging for wild food. Pick berries from the hedgerows (don't forget to observe the Countryside Code!).

Farmers' Markets and the Suffolk Food Hall

Visit one of Suffolk's farmers' markets to fill your basket with treats from around the county. Produce ranging from locally grown vegetables, handmade chocolates, Suffolk cheeses, freshly baked cakes and breads to handmade soaps and candles can usually be found at these weekly or monthly events.

The Suffolk Food Hall on the outskirts of Ipswich has been judged the 'champion of champions' for local food. It has an award-winning butchery selling handmade sausages and beef from their own pedigree Red Poll herd; a deliciously fragrant bakery; a fishmonger's counter selling freshly caught, local fish; a deli selling, among other things, some fantastic Suffolk cheeses; a chocolatier; and a wine and beer merchant with a range of local beers and English wines.

Keep an eye on our events list for details of food and drink events this autumn and browse our 'where to eat' pages for a choice of excellent restaurants, bars and cafes.

Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses (c) Rod Edwards
Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses at the Suffolk Food Hall ©Rod Edwards

Fancy a brew?

Suffolk is known for its excellent beers and if you want to learn more about the process, what about taking a brewery tour? St Peter's Brewery near Bungay in the Waveney Valley offers tours and tutored beer tastings at the weekends from Easter until the end of December. Or visit the historic brew house at the Greene King Brewery in Bury St Edmunds. Tours run daily and finish with a tasting session in the Beer Cafe.

Explore the brewery and distillery at Adnams in Southwold on the Suffolk coast. Learn how they make their award-winning beers and spirits and you can even get creative and make your very own gin! Tours take place daily excluding bank holidays. Find out more about Suffolk beers by reading our Ultimate Suffolk Beer Guide

Greene King Brewery Tap sign (c) Karen Roe
Greene King Brewery Tap sign ©Karen Roe

Foodie Events this Autumn

There are lots of food and drink events throughout the year in Suffolk. Keep an eye on our events list for details of what's coming up this autumn and to delve deeper in all the delicious delicacies from Suffolk, read our articles:

Which Suffolk produce will you be enjoying this autumn?

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