THE Lymington Seafood Festival is landing again this year with a focus on sustainability and a fundraising drive for the RNLI.
The popular free weekend event is back on 10th-11th August for its third outing in the Bath Road recreation ground, which will host more than 80 local artisan producers, plus live music and some of the region’s top chefs in action.
Organiser Domine Nowell said: “The format remains similar to last year but there is a big push on bringing a wider range of seafood, plus catering for meat eaters and vegan diets.
“Every year the festival raises money for one charity, and through the generosity of local businesses donating raffle prizes and the free event programme helping donations, this year will be no different – organisers are delighted to be supporting the Lymington RNLI.”
An estimated 12,000 people visited in 2018, and crowds this year will be presented with an even greater variety of stalls with cuisine from Japan, Tibet, Spain, Greece, China, Mexico, Italy France, America, Hawaii, and some good old-fashioned British classics.
The festival’s support for the RNLI follows the town’s branch celebrating five decades of local lifesaving in 2015 – which comes at a cost of £100,000 a year.
Steve Billett, of Lymington RNLI, said: “To be selected as the charity of choice for this year’s Lymington Seafood Festival is a great honour and one we are hugely grateful for, especially when there are so many good causes in need of support.
“The growth and success of the seafood festival has brought so many benefits to Lymington, and your support for the festival and to the RNLI will allow our combined success story to continue for many years to come.”
Festival menus will include the popular crab mac and cheese, oysters prepared in a variety of ways, and giant garlic buttered prawns, plus for those with a sweet tooth freshly cooked churros, mojito and pina colada iced lollies, and vegan brownies.
The demonstration kitchen will again be led by Alex Aitken, chef patron of the Jetty in Christchurch. He will be joined by Matthew Whitfield of the Montagu Arms, Gordleton Mill head chef Ian Gibbs, Steve Hall from Mudeford’s the Noisy Lobster, and 2016 MasterChef winner Jane Devonshire.
Exton Park Vineyard will be offering its award-winning English sparkling wine, alongside local operation Ringwood Brewery which has created a special festival ale named Shoreline. Gin lovers can try out the tastes offered by Conker Spirit.
The event is aiming to be greener this year, with chefs urged to use sustainable fish stocks and stallholders encouraged to serve up produce in recyclable containers, and use sustainable and local ingredients. Ringwood Brewery will be offering refillable beer cups.
The soundtrack to the weekend will be provided by a line-up of soul, blues, rag-time, pop and rock performers including Kev Jackson, Tom & the Clementynes, and Dorsal Fin, plus Zac and the Zeros, and local singers Carley Varley and Emma Hardy.
Gates open 11am-8pm on Saturday and 11am-6pm Sunday. Parking is available for £5 all day at Woodside Park, about 15-20 minutes’ walk to Bath Road.
For more information, visit www.lymingtonseafoodfestival.co.uk.