Town mouse visits the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival

Clive celebrates East Anglia's finest food producers.

It’s still autumn and, already, next summer has been transformed. Barbecubes: I’m getting lots. Remember, you read about them here first. A Barbecube is a cardboard box filled with charcoal. Simply apply a match to the wick, the whole caboodle takes fire and your barbecue is hot to trot. No chemicals are involved, the charcoal is sustainably sourced—gone is that ethically challenged feeling as you ply the tongs—and the charcoal reaches barbecuing heat in just 15 minutes. Amy Hardingham from delightful Creeting St Mary, Suffolk (it sounds delightful, anyway), deserves a Nobel Prize.

The Barbecube was displayed on a Roadii tripod- style barbecue, made in part, if I understood correctly, from an old car wheel. I’m getting one of those, too. Amy’s sister, Stephany Hardingham, makes award- winning Alder Tree ice cream. Where else could I have seen these things than at the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, which took place over the week- end at Snape Maltings? What a joy it is. Each year, East Anglia’s best food producers scale new peaks— hedgerow-based cordials, unimaginable cheeses, the best burgers ever. And the extraordinary thing, looking at the smiling foodies as they made their eager, even greedy, way around this upscale village fête, is that none of them looked obese.

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