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19 Jun 2014

Festivals on the Coast

The Suffolk coast plays host to many great events, and with the summer arriving on our doorsteps, so too has the festival season. Here are a few major festival attractions in the area for your consideration…

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Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival
The Festival takes place during the last weekend in September, in the beautiful setting of Snape Maltings, where reed-covered marshlands stretch into the distance towards Aldeburgh. With 80 food and drink producers from Suffolk, many from just a few miles away, visitors gather year on year to enjoy and buy produce including raw milk, organic vegetables, sourdough bread, award-winning beer and spirits from sponsors Adnams, cyder from Aspall and delicious street-food.

The Festival is family friendly with free tickets for under 12s with free activities for children and cookery workshops.

The third annual FolkEast festival will take place from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th August 2014 at a new location in 300 acres of parkland at Glemham Hall, in Suffolk.

As well as a wide roster of folk music, the festival also offers ceilidhs, Morris teams, song, dance and instrument workshops, sessions, mardling marquees, local ales & fine food as well as a vintage tea tent, storytelling, traditional craft & art stalls and demonstrations, and plenty of opportunities for children and adults alike to join in.

Latitude Festival
The ultimate Suffolk festival returns this year from the 17th until the 20th of July. As well as a comprehensive bill of musicians, bands and artists across four stages - The Obelisk Arena, The BBC Radio 6 Music Stage, The i Arena, and the Huw Stephens curated Lake Stage, the festival comprises elements of theatre, art, comedy, cabaret, poetry, politics, dance and literature.
Headlining acts this year include The Black Keys, Damon Albarn, HAIM, Editors and Two Door Cinema Club, with stand-up comedy from the likes of Dara O Briain, Simon Amstell, Al Murray and Kevin Bridges.

Soul by the Sea
A major date on Suffolk’s coastal calendar, this fantastic open air concert returns to the shores of Aldeburgh after the huge success of 2013’s edition, Sixties by the Sea.

Aldeburgh’s premiere free event celebrates music in all its glory, with a jam-packed schedule of live bands taking to the stage and playing their soulful sounds to punters on the Suffolk coastline. 2014’s line-up on the 5th July includes a fantastic array of soul artists, including headliners Geno Washington and ultimate party band, Soul Kitchen.

Champagne and beer marquees along with freshly cooked food stands add to the festival feel, with a daytime aerobatic aircraft performance from the RV8tors also spicing things up. For further details, including the full line-up, visit: www.soulbythesea.net
01 Jun 2014

Springwatch at The Brudenell

A Minsmere themed break at The Brudenell

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Minsmere Springwatch breaks from £210 for two dinner, B&B at Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh

Follow in the footsteps of the BBC Springwatch team and visit RSPB Minsmere on Suffolk’s heritage coast. The sea-facing Brudenell, at Aldeburgh are offering early summer breaks until the end of June including a complimentary Minsmere souvenir. Prices start from £210 staying in an Aldeburgh room at the Brudenell.

Entry into the visitor centre and shop at RSPB Minsmere is free to all, while RSPB members can also walk through the reserve for free. It’s just over 15 minutes’ drive from the hotel or a pleasant 2.5 hour coastal walk.

To book call the Brudenell on 01728 452071, www.brudenellhotel.co.uk quoting Suffolk Minsmere exclusive. A minimum two night stay might apply for Saturday nights and this offer is subject to availability.
22 May 2014

Fisherman, seafood and a day out with our suppliers!

Head Chef James Barber spent a day meeting our local seafood suppliers to draw inspiration for our new Seafood and Grill food offering. Find out how the day unfolded!

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As James will tell you, we are passionate about high quality ingredients here in Aldeburgh, with our restaurant serving the finest locally-sourced produce. And by serving local produce, we are doing our bit to support the local community, fishermen and suppliers who have worked so hard to give Suffolk the fantastic reputation is has for incredible food. Meeting these people is just as important, and helps us understand the dedication put in to providing restaurants such ours with the best ingredients.

We recently spent the day catching lobsters near Harwich, a quick pit-stop at Mersea Island to meet The Company Shed and a tour with owner Richard Howard, with our journey finally ending in Colchester, where we got up close with Direct Seafoods to see how they collect and prepare our ingredients from the open waters. Here’s what James had to say:

“I really enjoy the days out of the kitchen when I can meet the local fisherman and learn more about the journey of our produce. Working with Direct Seafoods means we ensure the best & freshest fish is served to our guests in a sustainable manner from local fishermen.”

For a taste of the sea, come and join our celebration of great seafood with our brand new ‘Seafood and Grill’ opening at our Aldeburgh restaurant on the 23rd May!

A final word from James:

“My passion for using the very best, fresh, local produce that I can find has resulted in some fantastic dishes such as Mixed Seafood Grill, Potted smoked East Coast Mackerel served with Suffolk beetroot chutney & melba toast, Whole dressed Aldeburgh crab, Harwich Lobster and many more that will ooze unadulterated flavours. I have also created a few unique options such as sharing platters, lighter bites and nibbles that are prefect to enjoy on the terrace with friends and lovely bottle of Sancerre.

I look forward to serving you my exciting new dishes at the only seafood restaurant in Aldeburgh, Suffolk."

A few pics from our day out:

Dean Fryer, Aldeburgh

Fishermen 4

Mersea Island

Fisherman 1

Direct Seafoods

Fishermen 2

14 May 2014

RSPB Minsmere to host BBC Springwatch!

The BBC's popular wildlife programme, Springwatch, has found a new home here on the Suffolk coast at Minsmere Nature Reserve, a short distance from our hotel! The new three-week series will launch on May 26th.

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The beautiful RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve is one of the richest areas for wildlife in the UK with over 5,600 species taking residence. Speaking to the BBC, Reserve manager Adam Rowlands stated that viewers are in for a “jam-packed series”, due to the site’s rich biodiversity.

Wildlife specialists have been planting cameras throughout the site over the past weeks, with specially built hideouts and high-reed screens also deployed to keep the BBC camera crew out of site. The new series will focus in and around the nests of avocets, terns, oystercatchers and lapwings, with real-time updates as mothers endeavour to protect their young from predatory rivals. The reserve’s badger family will play the lead role in the high anticipated return of night vision mode!

Legendary nature-man, Bill Oddie, returns to the show as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, alongside presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games.

Make sure you tune into BBC Two at 8:00pm on Monday to Thursday, from May 26th to June 12th to catch an insight into the magical wildlife our coast has to offer.

Get in touch today for a short break in Suffolk at our Aldeburgh Hotel and see the beauty of Minsmere for yourself!
06 May 2014

Seafood & Grill Restaurant Coming SOON

New Seafood & Grill Restaurant opening at Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh 23rd May

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The Brudenell Hotel, which overlooks the Heritage Coast at Aldeburgh, is opening a stunning new Seafood & Grill restaurant and sea-facing terrace on Friday, 23rd May ready for the busy summer season.

New menus are the inspiration of Head Chef James Barber, who has a veritable passion for using the very best ingredients that he can find; his dishes focus on the region’s natural larder using sustainably sourced fish and seafood.

"With its stunning sea-views, the Brudenell’s new AA two rosette restaurant in Suffolk is the perfect location to offer the most amazing seafood dishes”, says James. “I have worked with local suppliers and fishermen to source the very best that Suffolk has to offer and look forward to sharing this with our guests.”

New dishes include a mixed seafood grill; potted smoked east coast mackerel served with Suffolk beetroot chutney and melba toast; whole dressed Aldeburgh crab and Harwich lobster; free-range meats and vegetarian options are also available. The menu includes sharing platters and lighter bites and nibbles that are prefect to enjoy on the terrace with friends and a bottle of chilled white wine.

New interior furnishings featuring vibrant seaside colours have transformed the restaurant into a stylish contemporary dining venue. A highlight will be the new bar area offering an informal space where hotel guests and local residents can just sit and relax over a drink or two or enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail.

Outside, one side of the terrace will be devoted to dining al fresco, while the other side will feature a new open-air bar and relaxing, lounge type furniture welcoming guests to enjoy a refreshing glass of Pimms, wine or local ale as they take in the uninterrupted sea views.

Commenting on the new restaurant, Peter Osborne, General Manager at the Brudenell said; “We continually aim to enhance our product and services to meet the ever-changing needs of our guests and this exciting new restaurant and terrace bar will ensure we continue to do this. We look forward to welcoming both new and returning guests to come and sample our latest dishes in these stunning surroundings.”

Privately owned, the AA four star Brudenell epitomises the perfect seaside hotel; beach chic, friendly and informal service, award-winning food and a tranquil beachfront setting all blend effortlessly with indulgence and relaxation.

The Seafood & Grill restaurant will be open daily for lunch from 12noon - 2pm and dinner 6 – 9pm with drinks and light snacks served all day.

To make a reservation call The Brudenell restaurant in Suffolk on 01728 452071; the first 100 guests to book over the launch weekend, 24th – 26th May, will receive a complimentary glass of Prosecco (quote SGWL when booking), details can also be found on www.brudenellhotel.co.uk.
30 Apr 2014

Catch up with Head Chef, James Barber

Head Chef James Barber gives us an insight into what’s been happening in our Aldeburgh restaurant this spring…

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This spring has been an exciting time for the Brudenell hotel. Our new food concept of ‘Seafood and Grill’ has been met with positive and encouraging feedback with our aim and vision behind it to source the very best of ingredients as close to our door step as possible, and serve them simply in an imaginative, noncomplex fashion.

We have tried to be clever with our new menu format, whilst still offering a range of dishes suited to dinner time we have a selection of fresh fish and ‘light bites’ that are ideal for the outdoor terrace, such as our now famous Fruits de Mer, Dressed Crab, Grilled Lobster and so on. We have also added a section to our menu called ‘From the Galley’ which is very much like a seafood picnic where you can choose a selection of freshly prepared seafood as either a starter, nibble in our new lounge area or whilst basquing in the Suffolk sunshine on our terrace.

Seafood and Grill will be launching on May 23rd, so keep an eye out and I hope to see you in our restaurant very soon.
James Barber
24 Apr 2014

Castello Banfi

Enjoy a short break on the Suffolk coast and join us for an exclusive wine dinner with Castello Banfi vineyard at the Brudenell

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We are passionate about serving high-quality wine here on the Suffolk coast and welcome our diners to share their passion with us. Our extensive collectors wine list features bottles from around the world with some of the best producers proudly being served each and every day in our restaurant and bar. In celebration of our great wines, we are putting on regular wine dinners inviting guests to enjoy our featured collections. This coming May is the turn of the famous Castello Banfi vineyard in Tuscany, Italy.

Join us on the 22nd May and enjoy a selection of Tuscan Banif wines, from the award-winning family estate of Castello Banfi. The estate was founded on the philosophy of blending tradition with innovation, and is recognised as a pioneer in elevating the standards of Italian winemaking. For full details of the event at our Aldeburgh Hotel, please click here.

Our canapés and Banfi wines for the evening:

Smoked Salmon Blinis, Soy & Chilli Chicken Wings, Olives
San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2012
Celeriac and wild mushroom ravioli in a light chicken juice
Le Rime Chardonnay Pinot Grigio 2012
Slow cooked Gressingham duck leg, sauté potatoes, green beans and peppercorn sauce
Castello Banfi Rosso Di Montalcino 2011
Sabayon of summer berries with mascarpone ice cream
Castello Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Acqui 2012
17 Apr 2014

Things to do this Easter Weekend

The four-day Easter weekend has arrived which means you can kick back, relax and enjoy some time with your family...

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Here are a few ideas for things to do in Aldeburgh and the surrounding area from all of us here at the Brudenell…

Canoeing on Alde Estuary
A great family adventure on the water. Explore the hidden creeks and flood waters on the upper reaches of the Alde Estuary, in-between Snape and Aldeburgh, by hiring a canoe or kayak from the friendly team at Iken Canoe Hire. For children seven years or older.

Suffolk Treasure Trails
Travel writer David Senior has created 12 Treasure Trails based around Suffolk, with trails on the coast in Aldeburgh, Lowestoft and Southwold. Varying in distance but usually around a couple of miles, the trails include Murder Mysteries, Spy Mission and of course, Treasure Hunts.

Pleasurewood Hills
Located in 59 acres of stunning woodland near Lowestoft, Suffolk, Pleasurewood Hills is a renowned family focussed theme park. It’s home to adrenaline pumping rides as well as lighter alternatives, with world-class Sea Lion and Parrot Shows in the mix as well. Make sure you check out Wipeout!

Museum of East Anglian Life
Immerse yourself in the agricultural history of East Anglia in one of the country’s leading open air museums, occupying a site of over 70 acres of land and over 40,000 objects in its collection. Discover historical buildings, farm animals and nature trails.

Click for our full list of family friendly attractions in Suffolk. We hope you have a great Easter and join us at our hotel in Suffolk very soon!
11 Apr 2014

The Importance of Dom Pérignon

Dom Pérignon has grown to become one of the most recognisable brands of champagne across the world, but did you know the famous bottle is named after a 17th century monk?

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That’s right. Dom Pierre Pérignon was a monk and cellar master based in the Abbey of Saint Pierre d’Hautvillers in the Champagne region of Northern France. He lived and worked there tirelessly for 47 years, inventing and perfecting the techniques of creating wines of the highest quality. On a rolling hill overlooking the Marne Valley in the heart of the Champagne region, the Benedictine Abbey is the place where he pursued his mission of perfection.

He pioneered a number of ground-breaking techniques still used today, including the blending of grapes and removing of skins, leading to the very first bottle of white wine. He is also famously tied to the legend of capturing bubbles in champagne, which were initially seen as serious impurities amongst Dom Pierre and his fellow monks. Counteracting the problem of exploding bottles due to the fizz of his new creation, Pérignon introduced the thicker bottles and shape seen with today’s champagne bottles, and even the ingenious solution of using corks as opposed to wood!

If you, like us, are passionate about good wine, why not pay our hotel in Suffolk a visit and enjoy a drop from our extensive wine list.
31 Mar 2014

James' Fish Pie

Enjoy a delicious fish pie, here is James' favourite recipe.

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Fish pie(makes 4)

250g boneless/skinless white fish cut chunky
250g boneless/skinless salmon cut chunky
200g cocktail prawns
50ml double cream
pinch salt
Pinch cracked pepper

Bechamel sauce
450 ml milk, warm
½ small onion peeled
50g butter
50g plain flour
1 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
8 cloves
Sprig of thyme
5 scrapes nutmeg

Pin the bay leaf to the onion using the cloves, melt the butter with the garlic, thyme and onion, add the flour and cook on a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, gradually add the warm milk ladle at a time, and cook out for 7-8 minutes until there is no ‘floury’ taste, add the nutmeg and pass through a fine sieve.

Mix the Bechamel sauce with all the ingredients and place in 4 bowls (a cereal sized bowl is ideal)

Mashed potato
6 large potatoes (weighing approximately 2kg together) baked in their skin until tender in the middle,(roughly 1 hour @ 160 oc) whilst hot cut them in half, scoop out the flesh and mash, allow to cool slightly then place on top of your pies

Bake the pies at 160oc for about 20-30 minutes until the top is golden and the middle piping hot

Serve with seasonal vegetables like I have or a side salad/garlic bread