Food Adventures ~

We have listed some of the Alde Valleys outstanding food businesses below. We recommend all of them if you are visiting the area or looking for food and refreshments to bring to the Big Spring Picnic on Saturday 16th May for the Finale Weekend of the 2015 Spring Festival.

The inland tributaries of the Alde Valley [the Fromus, Upper Alde and Ore] run from Saxmundham, Badingham and Framlingham to Snape. Thereafter the river broadens into a wide estuary that flows past Aldeburgh to Orford and Shingle Street.

The landscape in the Alde Valley is a mixture of arable farm land, quiet inland river valleys, woodland, pasture, broad coastal estuaries, marshes and heathland. Dotted among these are numerous small hamlets and villages, most medieval or earlier in origin with small flint-work churches. Some settlements have their roots in Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. Most date at least from the time of the Domesday Book.

Among the villages are larger settlements and market towns : Leiston, Saxmundham, Framlingham, Snape, Orford and Hollesley. These were and to a large extent still are the focal points for local life and trade. Most of the towns now have town centre supermarkets, but there are at present no out of town superstores. One consequence of this local retailing policy is the dramatic expansion of the local food economy. It has been dented recently by the arrival of new town centre supermarkets, but it is still vibrant and diverse – and exceptionally job-creative.

We have compiled a short list of food outlets and independent stores in each town and some of the principle villages. The list is by no means comprehensive – research commissioned by the Alde Valley Spring Festival in 2012 showed that at least 280 food businesses are operating in the local area. But we hope the listings give you a start ! Happy Food Adventuring.


The Crown Inn ~
The Golden Key ~
The Plough & Sail ~
Snape Maltings Food Hall ~

Saxmundham & District

The Bistro Deli ~
Stannards Butcher ~ 01728 602 081
Jackson’s Bakery ~ 01728 602 234
Railway Farm Shop ~ 01728 605 793
Middleton Farm Shop ~
Peak Hill Farm Shop ~
Maple Farm Shop ~
Friday Street Farm Shop [A12] ~

Leiston & District

Nichols Butcher ~ 01728 830 559
Ellis Grocer ~ 01728 830 362
Simply Delicious Delicatessen ~
Elmwood Nurseries, Knodishall ~ 01728 830 797

Framlingham & District

Leo’s Deli ~
The Dancing Goat ~ 01728 621 434
The Station Inn ~
The Crown Hotel ~
Earl Soham Brewery ~
Huttons Butcher ~
Garnetts Farm Shop [Hacheston] ~
The farmcafe [A12] ~ 


The Aldeburgh Market ~
Munchies ~
Lawsons Delicatessen ~
Salters & King Butchers ~
Mark 1 Wines ~
Slaughden Wines ~
Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop ~
Beach Fish Stalls ~


Pump Street Bakery ~
Pinneys Smokehouse ~
The Crown and Castle ~
Orford Village Stores ~
RiversideTearoom ~
Brinkley’s Fish Shed ~ 01728 688 261
High House Fruit Farm [Sudbourne] ~

Village Pubs .. to name but a few !

The White Horse, Rendham ~
The White Horse, Sweffling ~
The Froize Inn, Chillesford ~
The Ship Inn, Blaxhall ~ Crown Inn, Great Glemham ~

Places to Buy Seeds and Seedlings for Growing

The following businesses all sell seedlings for growing on.

Etheridge Nurseries ~ 01379 384 204 – at Framlingham Market ever Tuesday
The Walled Garden, Benhall ~ 01728 602 510
Ladybird Nurseries, Snape ~ 01728 688 289
Elmwood Nurseries, Knodishall ~ 01728 830 797
BOTANICA, Campsea Ashe ~
Wyevale, Woodbridge ~ 01394 380 022
Notcutts, Woodbridge ~ 01394 445 400

Some Places to Stay in the Alde Valley - half a mile from the farm in Sweffling - 2 miles from the farm in Bruisyard - 4 miles from the farm - a large collection of holiday cottages in East Suffolk - a beautiful family owned hotel a stone’s throw from the sea - part of the Aldeburgh Thorpeness group stylishly refurbished in 2011 - overlooking the estuary and castle in Orford - a selection of holiday cottages in East Suffolk

  • Thank you to our sponsors

    Aspall Cyder and Suffolk Coast for supporting this year’s Alde Valley Spring Festival !

  • A talk by Maggi Hambling :

    6pm for 6.30pm start. Saturday 7th May in the barns at the farm. Email the Festival for ticket sales.

  • Spring Festival 2016

    This year’s Spring Festival launches on 23rd April for 4 weeks with a rich programme of Farm Suppers, Festival Talks, Open Studios and Meet the Artists sessions....

  • New for 2016 :

    A sound installation of a nightingale singing by Emma Green; “The Carrier” by Laurence Edwards; “Rite of Spring” by Maggi Hambling and over 200 curated works on show in the barns....

  • New for 2015/16:

    A poetry residency link between the Spring Festival and Cill Rialaig in Kerry, Eire.

  • The Big Spring Picnic takes place on Saturday 14th May.

    BYO picnic sourced from local shops in Framlingham, Saxmundham, Leiston, Snape, Aldeburgh & Orford ! Booking essential – limited places....

  • Pop Up “Hedgerow Tea Rooms”

    Open at Weekends serving cakes and pastries supplied especially for the Festival by chef Peter Harrison.


  • Try out local pubs :

    The Crown Inn, Great Glemham; White Horse, Sweffling; White Horse, Rendham; The Crown and Golden Key at Snape; The Ship Inn, Blaxhall are all within 4 miles.


  • Come and visit the farm on foot or by bike:

    Free parking for cars – share journeys if you can. Children and families welcome – no dogs please.


  • New for 2016 :

    “Meet the Artists” informal guided talks on Sunday afternoons during the Festival from 3-4.30pm.

  • New for 2016 :

    ‘Writing at Great Glemham” – a series of Writing Residencies linked to Farm Suppers and Festival Talks.

  • Don’t forget local market days :

    Mondays at Campsea Ashe auction rooms [with tea room]; Tuesdays at Framlingham; Wednesdays in Saxmundham – and Snape Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month.


Works for Sale

We have some wonderful works by artists that exhibit at the festival currently for sale. Details >
Artisan Products

Stocking a range of unusual cards, books, walking sticks and other handmade items made on the farm & by local artisans. Details >
The Suffolk Chair Collection

The Collection of original early – mid nineteenth century Ball Backs has been set up as a design reference collection. Details >

Icon Painting in the Alde Valley

For more information....
Details >
Food Adventures

We have listed some of the Alde Valleys outstanding food businesses.
Places to Stay

The Alde Valley and East Suffolk are full of good homestays, holiday cottages, B&Bs and hotels.
email us - click here >

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