On the waterfront
Woodbridge’s wonderful Shuck seafood festival just gets better
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