On our way to Norfolk a few weeks back we took a well worth-while detour off the A12 to the Dedham Vale Vineyard (@DedhamValeVines). Since our last visit the vineyard has not only had a change of name (from Carter’s), the facilities have also been transformed with a new shop and tasting barn.
Seasonal Suffolk was set up in 2012 by Carl Shillingford and James Salthouse. Both passionate about fresh, local and top quality produce as it changes throughout the year, the opening of the shop marks the beginning of a new phase for the pair’s business.
They run foraging classes and started selling the fruits of their labour at markets and online, along with other goodies Carl has prepared using produce from some very local suppliers. The shop at the vineyard gives them a permanent base (albeit just over the border in Essex), a kitchen and an on-site smokehouse. It promises to be a fantastic showcase for local and seasonal produce, with the added aspect of sharing their knowledge about and passion for the food and what they’re doing with it.
The grand opening gave us a chance to meet local producers and get our hands on Seasonal Suffolk’s wares, which range from hedgerow pestos, to delicious terrines and smoked fish, cheeses, and (perhaps most interestingly) sourdough bread. We took home a bag full of goodies, including a piece of pork and pistachio terrine, smoked pigeon breasts, mackerel and a loaf of smoked wild garlic sourdough, which was great, and also worked really well as toast.
The opening was also a chance for them to introduce Fresh Fridays, which will be a weekly hub for local produce at the vineyard. Produce from a range of local suppliers, including fish, game, eggs, fruit and veg will all be available. A list of what will be on offer each week is posted on the Seasonal Suffolk website and you can pre-order up until the day before to make sure that you can get exactly what you want.
The shop is open Wednesday to Saturday 9 to 5 and Sunday 10 to 4. We’re looking forward to our next visit.