Orford is located at the end of a B-road on the Suffolk coast, about half an hour south of Aldeburgh. Not only is it one of the more timeless places in England (you almost expect to see Alistair Sim or Miss Marple strolling by the beautiful church), but it offers the food-loving visitor a wonderful array of smoked goods, most of which are caught, raised and grown locally - from the North Sea, from local dykes and creeks, and from the surrounding rich farmland.
Just off the square, in Baker's Lane, is a former slaughterhouse which now houses Richardson's Smokehouse. Steve Richardson and Veronica Buckley have run this enterprise for about 10 years, hot- and cold-smoking a vast array of goods, from wild duck, pheasant, pigeon, hams, sausages, dry- cured bacon, to cheeses, locally caught fish, even garlic. Veronica says that hams - made from local Suffolk pigs - are most popular at Christmas, but I recommend you try the smoked wild duck, or for those who like it, the rich, meaty smoked eel.
For traditionalists, Pinney's Orford Smoked Salmon offers wild Irish salmon cured by their own special smoking process. They've been selling this superb fish since the 1960s, and according to owner Bill Pinney, "it's the quality of the fish, wild rather than farmed, which makes the difference".
A bonus of visiting Orford is that you can recover from your shopping with a dozen superb local oysters (grown by the Pinneys in the Butley Creek, just outside the village) in the Butley Orford Oysterage just on the square.
But if you can't get there - and it is quite a bit out of the way - don't despair: all products mentioned here are available by mail order.
Richardson's Smokehouse (01394 450103). Order by 18 Dec and goods will be delivered by Christmas via the Royal Mail. They also offer a special guaranteed courier delivery (at extra cost)
Pinney's of Orford (01394 450277)
Butley Orford Oysterage (01394 450277)Reuse content