Lymington Seafood Festival to reel in local fare
LYMINGTON Seafood Festival organisers are championing local food producers and chefs this time around and promising even more live music and performances with the addition of a second stage.
Organiser Richard Nowell has teamed up with New Milton-based SO41 Catering for this year’s event, which will showcase some of the region’s best food businesses – 90% of them from the New Forest, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Foodies attending the three-day festival at Bath Road recreation ground between Friday 16th and Sunday 18th July can expect the usual array of seafood – lobster, scallops, mackerel, crab, monkfish, giant prawns, calamari, sea bream, smoked trout and oysters to name a few – alongside some international flavours like Lakaz Maman Mauritian street food from former MasterChef finalist Shelina Permalloo.
Also on the menu will be South American, Thai, Indian and Caribbean cuisine.
SO41 Catering’s Matt and Lisa Doe, whose team of chefs have earned their stripes at hotels including Carey’s Manor and The Cliffhouse in Barton, will be hosting the popular Bream on the Green pop-up restaurant, with 120 covers.
Richard said: “SO41 is a fast-emerging catering and restaurant business who will bring great skill, energy and an exciting locally sourced menu to our pop-up restaurant. Their ethos around working with local suppliers and showcasing the region’s best seasonal produce is something we also share.
“Bream on the Green, with its views across the Solent, is perfect for festival-goers who prefer a little more refinement and some first-class service.”
Matt and Lisa have created a seafood tapas-style menu for the much-anticipated event, which they say will provide diners with the opportunity to experience a range of tastes and different cooking styles.
“Our chefs are excited to show off their skills, honed over the years at some of the region’s leading hotels and restaurants,” they said. “Whilst only a couple of years old, SO41 Catering continues to grow from its beginnings as a street food business to high-end catering, our own Doe & Son’s bakehouse and popular supper clubs.”
New for 2021 is a second performance stage featuring buskers and comedy street acts, which as well as promoting young talented musicians will also help to disperse crowds across the site to ensure social distancing.
The main stage boasts an eclectic line-up, with folk, soul, ska, blues, rock and pop covers. On Saturday, the UK’s leading Elton John tribute band Ultimate Elton & The Rocket Band will take the stage.
The bars will be stocking tipple including award-winning English sparkling wine from Hattingley Valley in Arlesford, craft ales, gold medal gins and rums.
A 1980s vintage American school Bootlegger bus will also be on hand to keep everyone refreshed.
Last year’s seafood festival was one of a handful of events permitted to go ahead, so Richard – who also runs Dogstival – knows a thing or two about putting on a Covid-safe happening.
“As with 2020, we will have a raft of safety measures we’re accustomed to seeing in place,” he said. “The three days will again be split into afternoon and evening sessions of four-and-a-half hours each, with Sunday a longer all-day session. This allows more people to attend in a responsible format across the festival.”
Each year, the festival supports a local charity and this time it’s the turn of Lymington Sailability, which takes the less able bodied out onto the Solent, teaching them how to sail and providing a life-changing freedom we all take for granted.
Celebrating the Sailability’s 25th anniversary, organisers hope they will raise vital funds across the weekend.
Sessions on Saturday run between 11am and 3.30pm, and 4pm until 8.30pm. Sunday’s all day session runs from 11am until 6pm.
Tickets for the Lymington Seafood Festival are available at www.lymingtonseafoodfestival.co.uk priced at £5 for adults. Under-16s go free.
Bookings for Bream on the Green are also now open via the festival website.
Tables can be booked with a minimum of four persons and a maximum of eight.