It’s National Writing Day AND Suffolk Day

It’s National Writing Day today! It’s also Suffolk Day. AND it’s also the hottest day since the Summer of 1976! As a writer, living in Suffolk, and melting in the heat, I felt a writing a blog post about all the wonderful gluten-free friendly goings on in Ipswich & Suffolk (Aside Suffolk Day which happened today of course!) this summer would make an appropriate way to celebrate!


Bob Jones [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Suffolk Cream Tea Cruises run every Wednesday and Sunday from June to September, departing from the Old Custom’s House in Ipswich Dock.

Sit back and relax as you begin your peaceful departure on Sailing Barge Victor; a traditional 19th century sailing vessel, sailing through the lock gates, down the historic, picturesque River Orwell and under the unmissable Orwell Bridge.

Enjoy the spectacular views, and take the opportunity to engage with the skipper and crew, who delightedly tell you all about the exciting maritime history of this area.

Tuck into some delicious food & drinks. The scones of course, are not gluten free, but you can enjoy freshly baked fruit, tea and coffee, and the barge also has a licensed on board bar, supplying a range of Aspalls cider and soft drinks. The barge has all modern facilities for guests, and offers a wonderful, affordable, yet truly memorable experience for all.

Location: Maps



Applaud will be hosting their monthly pop-up restaurant night with Chef Mike Keen! This month’s menu is vegan, perfect for any vegans out there of course, and also an opportunity to try something different if you’re not!

Take a look at the menu here. I’m a big fan of Applaud’s coffee shop, as they offer some yummy gluten free cakes and sandwiches. The menu for this night looks as though many of these may naturally be gluten free, but please mention your allergens to staff when booking to find out for sure.

This event is at 7:00 – 10pm on the 23rd June. Tickets are £35 per person and be sure to get yours early as these do sell out! Bring your own alcohol.

Location: Applaud Coffee Maps, 19 Saint Peter’s Street, Ipswich, England, IP1 1XF, United Kingdom

Find out more at What’s On @ Applaud




Wickham Market hold this lively event at the village’s picturesque square known as ‘the Hill’, on the third Wednesday of every month. from 8:30am – 2pm.

Explore the range of traders from fish mongers to artisan bakers, plants, crafts, fruits and vegetables and even a cheese and pie man. You may have to gaze longingly at the pies, but there are plenty of gluten free offerings available here. It offers the perfect opportunity to buy fresh ingredients ready to cook up some delicious gluten free meals for the week or weekend.

Why not also take a browse in some of the surrounding clothes, gifts and food shops to round off your day?

What’s more? Parking in the long stay car park is free for your first hour and only £1 for up to 4 hours! So you’ll have more to spend on some gluten free goodies!

Location: Maps



With the number of species dramatically declining in recent years, nature needs your help!

This RSBP event offers the perfect opportunity for you to discover more, find out how you can get involved, and the things you can do to help! Together, we can all make a positive difference.

Why not pack up a gluten free picnic and come and take part? This is perfect for families with children. You can take part in the free children’s activity, take the Wild Challenge, and actively learn about the range of groups, events and fundraising opportunities you can get involved in!

The event takes place at Nicolas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad on the Boulevard near the Harbour Masters office.

Location: Maps



This is on the same barge that offers the Cream Tea cruise mentioned above; if supper sailing sounds more up your street, then why not spend a sun-kissed evening sailing down the beautiful River Orwell?

Sit back and relax as you begin your peaceful departure on Sailing Barge Victor; a traditional 19th century sailing vessel, sailing through the lock gates, down the historic, picturesque River Orwell and under the unmissable Orwell Bridge.

Enjoy the spectacular evening views, and take the opportunity to engage with the skipper and crew, who delightedly tell you all about the exciting maritime history of this area.

Tuck into some delicious food & drinks. The barge serve up a hot supper with side salad and a bread roll. The bread rolls are not gluten free, but you can pop in a request in advance to have your meal specially catered for.

The Sailing Barge Victor also has a licensed on board bar, supplying a range of Aspalls cider and soft drinks. The barge has all modern facilities for guests, and offers a wonderful, affordable, yet truly memorable experience for all.

Location: Maps



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With it’s gorgeous seafront spot, and stylish interior offering some of the best seafront views, the The Alex Café Bar is the perfect place to spend a warm summer evening by the sea with friends or family!

DJ Lloyd Rust will be playing in the Café Bar from 9.30pm. Check on the website to keep up to date with other live music events.

Jazz East is a Sunday evening club, bringing some of the UK’s greatest jazz musicians to Felixstowe.

June 4th: Talinka Quartet (multi-instruments)
June 11th: Dank Banks Quartet ( piano,sax,trumpet,double bass,drums)
June 18th: Tori Freestone Trio (double bass, drums)
June 25th: Draw by Four (tenor sax,guitar,organ,drums)
July 2nd: Maciek Pysz & Gianluca Corona 9guitar duo)
July 9th: Michael Spearman Trio (double bass & bass guitar,drums/percussion,guitar)
July 16th: The Horn Factory – Suffolk based jazz orchestra

The Alex’s a la carte food service, a perfect accompaniment to your jazz entertainment, is available in The Brasserie. Last seating during Jazz East Sunday evenings is at 7pm, after which orders for bar snacks & drinks can be placed at The Brasserie bar.

The Alex offer a wide range of gluten free options. Many a time I’ve enjoyed their delicious gluten free battered fish and chips. Just speak to your waiter to check whether the meal is suitable for coeliac. I’ve personally never had a problem, but some of their gluten free food is cooked where it may come in contact with gluten. Enjoy a drink or a few, from their range of cheeky cocktails, wines, gluten free beers & ales and more

So come and enjoy their sensational food and drink, with world class music, and an incredible atmosphere. With all being free entry, there’s no excuse! How could you resist?

Location: Maps


By Adrian Cable, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Halesworth is holding it’s first Midsummer Market to celebrate Midsummers Day! A range of local producers and artisans will be showcasing together in Halesworth’s Historic medieval Market Place, where markets and celebrations have been held since the 13th Century, including Midsummer Day celebrations!

All ages and palettes will find something to pique their interest! In addition to local food & drink producers, there will also be street food, tools, cultural crafts, plants, clothing accessories & more. If you’re gluten free or coeliac you’ll find plenty of food and drink to get your hands – and mouths – on here!

The Fritton Owl Sanctuary are also involved, bringing along some of their owls, offering face painting, and talking about the wonderful work they do!

Why not also explore some of Halesworths shops, including food and drink establishments such as Focus Organic Ltd. shop, cafe and deli which sell a terrific range of gluten free food and drink.

The Market will take place between 9:30AM and 3:30PM and is also disabled, child and dog-friendly.

Location: Maps




Come and taste the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits!

Inspired by The Art of Distillation, a book written in 1651 detailing the distilled non-alcoholic herbal remedies of various apothecaries, Seed Lip has re-imagined non-alcoholic spirits to suit modern times.

Seedlip is now served in some of the most renowned bars, restaurants and hotels in the World, beautifully diffusing that awkward dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’® with their innovative infusions!

Why not come and discover their in store testing stations to sample some of these delicious non-alcoholic spirits, at Snape Malting’s Food Hall on Saturday 24 June at (time)

Location: Maps




Scarlett & Mustard are a local producer offering Award winning dressings, marinades, condiments, salsas and fruit curds, most of which are 100% gluten free!

What’s more, they’re all handmade with entirely natural ingredients and jam-packed with delicious flavours and aromas! All are absolutely scrumptious, with many guaranteed gluten free.

Many of the products are Great Taste Award winners.

Come and meet Jean from Scarlett and Mustard to learn more and sample their dressings and condiments. Held at the Food Hall from 11am.

Location: Maps




Charlie and Ivy‘s delightful gluten-free bread dippers are being showcased at Snape Maltings Food Hall on Thursday 29th June, between 11AM and 3PM.

Ian from Charlie & Ivy’s will be on hand with their range of scrumptious flavour combinations of dressings, oils, and mayonnaise; gluten free and simply perfect for dipping into at summer bbqs & celebrations, picnics, lunches and suppers, and whenever you just fancy!

Location: Maps



By Glyn Baker, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Who doesn’t enjoy the uniquely rich, fruity taste of authentic sloe gin in the summer?

Come to the Snape Malting’s Food Hall on Friday 28th July to meet Pippa and have a taste of the newly launched Sloemotion Hedgerow Gin, made with botanicals foraged from Hedgerows around Green Farm.

Infused with rosehips, crab apples, nettles, sloe stones and wildflower rich meadow hay, which all contribute their own distinctly deeper, fruity, earthy and floral flavours.

Location: Maps



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Felixstowe Book Festival returns for it’s 5th weekend on the 1st & 2nd July, 2017.

Founded by Meg Reid, and held with the generous support of local funders, volunteers, friends and family, this festival has become one of Suffolk’s highlights, perfect for all those with a love of literature!

If you’re a lover of books as well as a gluten free foodie, why not pack up a gluten free picnic or pick up some gluten free goodies in one of Felixstowe’s many shops, such as Holland & Barrett, or enjoy some gluten free food in one of their cafes offering gluten free and come and give it all a gander?

Location: Maps




No need to book! Come along to meet Sally from Pump Street Bakery and enjoy this spectacular Award winning chocolate.

Pop into the Food Hall on Friday 2nd June, 7th July, or 1st December to learn more and have a taste of this magnificent bean to bar chocolate, uniquely made with single origin beans ethically sourced from ‘owner-operated farms and cooperatives in fertile cacao-growing locations, with good bean varieties’ around the globe.

You can find out more at

Location: Maps


By John Goldsmith, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Thorpefest is back for it’s 2nd year running on Saturday 8th July at Thorpeness Country Club.

Featuring live music from local singer/songwriters such as Nate James, Bessie Turner, Fick as Fieves and Meg Hughes, as well as top tribute acts Rhapsody (tribute act to Queen) and Tony Lewis (Tribute to Robbie Williams), and sounds from the 50s & 60s from the Phil Jackson Rock n’ Roll Band, the Austin Beats, The Ed Zachary Band, and J.S & the Lockerbillies!
Gates open from 11am and artists will perform from 12noon until 10pm.
Gluten free foodies fear not, as there will be a wide range of vendors with gluten free offerings including (find out). Hog Roast and Ice Cream to fuel your merry dancing way!
Quench your thirst at Coffee by Coffee Link, and`Pimms & Prosecco bar. Dogs can also have their thirst quenched at the Bark Bar.
There will be a dedicated area for children’s entertainment, with face painting and inflatables.
The official broadcaster of this year’s event will be BBC Radio Suffolk, with the event being hosted by Drivetime presenter Stephen Foster.

For tickets and more information visit

Location: Maps



Come aboard and enjoy some of the finest wines with your very own Adnam’s Wine Expert as your guide, while you blissfully gaze at some of Suffolk’s finest scenery.
This cruise is ideal for small groups, couples and larger parties. Perfect for celebrations and work-dos.

Included is prosecco, champagne, red and white wine as well as a two-course buffet. I had the pleasure of going on this scenic cruise last year, and they did cater to gluten-free, providing some delicious gluten free food for my coeliac needs.

The cruise is three and a half hours long, and departs from Orwell Quay, Ipswich at 7.30pm. Numbers are limited, so it’s wise to book early.

Location: Maps


By Mike Mantin – Flickr: Foals, CC BY 2.0,

Latitude Festival is back for it’s 11th year, on the 13th to 16th July at Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk!

This magical festival is voted the best for families, featuring a host of entertainment, events and activities for all ages! With top music, comedy, literature, crafts, multi-coloured sheep (yes!) and more, you are certain not to get bored!

The wide range of food and drinks stalls offer plenty of gluten free options. I’ve been to this wonderful festival about three years in a row in the past, and have never had a problem finding stalls with delicious gluten free options, which are often also quirky and interesting to boot!

Here’s the 2017 festival line up so far, and ticket information. Individual day tickets or whole weekend tickets with or without camping are available.

Location: Maps





The marvellous Red Rose Chain are back this year with another of their wonderful Shakespeare renditions!

Hailed as one of Shakespeare’s most bewitching comedies, ‘As You Like It’ will be presented at Jimmy’s Farm. Follow the Red Rose Chain into the magical woodlands for a energising, memorable experience packed with music, dance, and plenty of humour!

This show makes an ideal evening out for families, couples, or friends. Theatre in the Forest is a must-see for all Shakespeare fans, and is an ideal introduction to Shakespeare, whatever your age!

Why not pack a gluten free picnic, or head to Jimmy’s Farm Shop earlier in the day to pick out some gluten free goodies. You could even enjoy a meal in restaurant beforehand, which offers a range of gluten free choices on their menu. Buy a drink from one of the bars, head into the Woodland, and enjoy!

Tues – Thurs: Tickets range from to £23.50 (full price) to £10 (concession).

Friday – Saturday: Tickets range from £25.50 (full price) to £12 (concession).

Location: Maps



By Amanda Slater from Coventry, England – Snape Maltings, Snape SuffolkUploaded by oxyman, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Head to Snape Maltings on the 23rd – 34th September to come and enjoy this fantastic annual Food Festival!

Here, more than 90 food and drink producers from Suffolk, many from mere miles away, gather together to showcase all their wonderful produce. You’ll be spoilt for choice, and surprised at just what you discover, with such a vast array of local produce, from raw milk, handmade chocolates, gluten free goodies, organic vegetables, wines, spirits and more. The festival features 2 cookery demonstration stages hosting visiting and local chefs. This place is a taster heaven!

With plenty of street food on offer, you’ll have lots of gluten free options to choose from! I go to this food festival almost every year, and have always had a more-than-easy time finding food to eat there. Last year I had a delicious, and unique raw food box full of all gluten free raw crackers, and a colourful salad packed with all sorts, like no other I’ve ever tried. In previous years, I have had vegetarian gluten free chilli, gluten free pies, and all sorts!

Specialist Gluten Free stalls are usually there, such as Glorious Fodder, and I’m always blown away by their impressive selection of gluten free cakes, pies, and other tasty offerings. I also recommend passing by the various Fudge stalls, as they offer lots of tasters of all their remarkable fudge flavours! Milsom’s have a list of all the venders attending this year.

The Festival is great for all the family, with free children’s activities and hands on cooking workshops, and under 15s have free entry.

There are always events happening in Suffolk throughout the year. Check out Suffolk Coast’s Event Guide to keep up to date with what’s on in and around Suffolk.

Location: Maps

We’d love to hear from you! Where are you off to this Summer? Do you know any more Suffolk events or trips that offer Gluten Free? Which places do you recommend for visitors to the Ipswich and Suffolk area? 


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