Al fresco dining on offer at Bury St Edmunds market

A recipe book full of budget recipes from around the world and free taste testing will herald the launch of al fresco dining on Bury St Edmunds market later this month.

West Suffolk Council has been working with students from St Benedict’s School and market traders on initiatives to celebrate Love Your Local Market fortnight (May 17 to 31) and to encourage people to shop local.

That will see market shoppers invited to enjoy open air dining at the market from Saturday May 25.

The market already sells an array of freshly cooked World cuisine.

The new dining area being created in the street food aisle will mean that shoppers will have a better setting to sit, enjoy their food and watch the world go by each and every Wednesday and Saturday. Special market-themed table cloths designed by students will adorn each table.

May 25 will also see the launch of a free recipe booklet, compiled by students at St Benedict’s and featuring budget recipes from around the world, all using produce available from the market. If that wasn’t enough to whet the appetite there will also be a chance to try these dishes for free at taste-testing stands from 10am to 3pm.

Community artist and project co-ordinator Louise Gridley from the school, said: “Our students have independently researched local produce and pricing, designed and trialed recipes and organised the written and visual content in the recipe booklet. Through their efforts they hope to be able to persuade people to shop local and support their historic market town.”

The work is part of their Silver Arts Award qualification which has seen them explore the importance of the market not just economically but also socially as part of the long standing heritage of the town.

Students from the school are also working with the council and the market to organise a pop up museum on the market to celebrate Armed Forces Day on June 29.

The pop up museum will mark 100 years of women serving in the Armed Forces and will showcase stories, photos and other memorabilia.

Serving women officers and female veterans are invited to share their stories with students from St Benedict’s School who will be conducting interviews and preparing exhibits for the event.

The event is supported by Moyse’s Hall Museum, Women’s Royal Army Corps Association, the British Legion, the Guildhall, the Suffolk Regiment Museum and other local armed forces regiments. The Women’s Royal Army Corps Association will hold a street collection on the day, supporting women who have served.

Anyone wishing to be involved in the event is encouraged to contact Louise.

A pre-event meeting is planned for Sunday, May 19, at Wetherspoons to coincide with the monthly veteran’s breakfast meeting. All women veterans and serving officers are welcome to attend – email

A West Suffolk Council spokesman said: “The market plays an important part in the success of Bury St Edmunds.

“It is an attraction that continues to bring in people from far and wide. People come to Bury St Edmunds not just to shop but to enjoy eating out, going for a coffee, the mix of fabulous events put on by OurBuryStEdmunds and the council as well as the other great heritage, culture and leisure activities that we have here. T

“That is why it is important to celebrate our market, to encourage people to shop local and to recognise its social as well as economic importance through the work that we carry out with our partners including the school.”

During the May half term on Saturday, May 25, and Wednesday, May 29, from 10am to 3pm children are invited to solve a clue of trails to enter into a prize draw.

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