January was a busy month for us at Food Safari as we spent as much time as possible out of the office and on the road visiting some of east Suffolk's finest producers and retailers and developing plans for our full programme of events in 2009. I thought it might be interest to write up some of those visits.
Tuesday 6th January - The Suffolk Food Hall
The kids are safely back at school after the Christmas hols and I whizz off down the A12 to meet Oliver Paul at The Suffolk Food Hall. It's a stunning clear, cold and frosty morning as arrive at Wherstead right underneath the Orwell Bridge, but inside the cafe is buzzing with mums and toddlers grabbing a coffee on their way back from the school run.
Since May 2007, the Suffolk Food Hall has brought together a number of local producers under one roof: Crystalwaters fishmongers from Lowestoft; Hamish Johnson cheeses from Framlingham; and Bread from local baker Helena Doy and their own Broxtead Butchery, winner of East Anglian Daily Times Best Butcher award in 2008.
As I arrive Oliver's busy with their chef taking photos of a steaming steak and kidney pie for their inaugaral Suffolk Foodies Club event 'Pie and a Pint' in February. The Foodies' Club is aimed at foodies in the Ipswich area and gives them a chance to meet some of the Food Hall's producers and suppliers and the chef, Andy, on the first Wednesday of every month. The events are very reasonably priced at £12.50 a head and I'm sure will prove to be a great evening out. The next event is on March 4th and is a chance to meet Helena Doy, from the aptly names Bread who supply farm shops and delis all over Suffolk.