On the wa­ter­front

Wood­bridge’s won­der­ful Shuck seafood fes­ti­val just gets bet­ter

EADT Suffolk - - Inside -

IT’S been a busy sum­mer on Wood­bridge’s re­gen­er­ated wa­ter­front and the cel­e­bra­tion isn’t over yet. At the end of this month the sixth an­nual Wood­bridge Shuck fish and shell­fish fes­ti­val will bring vis­i­tors from all over the county to in­dulge in a feast of lo­cal pro­duce as well as en­joy a full pro­gramme of salty sea-based en­ter­tain­ment.

Wood­bridge Shuck takes place over the week­end of Septem­ber 29 – Oc­to­ber 1 and is a fringe event of the Alde­burgh Food and Drink Fes­ti­val. The main arena is the Whis­stocks Quay­side, where freshly cooked seafood meals will be avail­able, along with a va­ri­ety of stalls, mu­sic and chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment.

“We want to en­cour­age peo­ple to find out more with a ‘land it, cook it, eat it’ ap­proach”

Through­out the town, par­tic­i­pat­ing restau­rants and pubs will also be serv­ing dishes us­ing lo­cally caught and grown fish and shell­fish, in­clud­ing River Deben oys­ters and mus­sels, while on Fri­day and Satur­day nights the pop­u­lar Shuck Shack restau­rant will pop-up in the Tide Mill (you need to book this one as it’s very pop­u­lar). Stephen David, chef-di­rec­tor of Macken­zie David Events, a co-founder of Wood­bridge Shuck, said he was ex­cited that the fes­ti­val was re­turn­ing to Whis­stocks, where it orig­i­nally started.

“We re­lo­cated to the Tea Hut for a cou­ple of years while re­de­vel­op­ment was tak­ing place, but it’s fab­u­lous to have a place in

this ex­cit­ing new space for Wood­bridge,” he said. As Stephen and fel­low Shuck or­gan­iser Jonathan Sim­per, whose farm­ing fam­ily has been catch­ing and grow­ing fish and shell­fish as Sim­pers of Suf­folk for sev­eral gen­er­a­tions, ex­plained, the fes­ti­val is about hav­ing fun as well as ed­u­ca­tion.

“Nowa­days many peo­ple are not so fa­mil­iar with fish and shell­fish,” said Stephen. “They stick to a few favourites and of­ten have lit­tle idea of what’s fresh, sea­sonal and avail­able from the wa­ters off their own shores. We want to en­cour­age peo­ple to find out more with a ‘land it, cook it, eat it’ ap­proach.” All the fish and shell­fish at Wood­bridge Shuck will be caught or grown in wa­ters from King’s Lynn to Leigh on Sea, in­clud­ing Jonathan’s River Deben mus­sels. But Wood­bridge Shuck isn’t ex­clu­sively seafood, as most par­tic­i­pat­ing restau­rants will also be of­fer­ing lo­cal meats on their menus. It’s a great fam­ily day out, with lots go­ing on to keep ev­ery­one busy, in­clud­ing story telling on Jonathan‘s fish­ing boat. For more in­for­ma­tion and book­ings (where nec­es­sary) www.wood­bridgeshuck.co.uk

Wood­bridge Tide Mill is the venue for the Shuck Shack pop-up restau­rant

Vis­i­tors en­joy­ing the Wood­bridge Shuck­fes­ti­val last year

Jonathan Sim­per and his team shuck­ing oys­ters at Wood­bridge Shuck

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