The Lymington Seafood Festival is a new event launching for 2017 to celebrate Lymington and the New Forest’s rich cultural heritage, regional producers and links to the sea. The festival is a not for profit charity event organised by Lighthouse Marketing Lymington.
The two-day event, held at Bath Road Park, is free entry and will feature some of the region’s most exciting chefs, restaurants and artisan producers as well as raising money for charity. Partnering with the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) to support its Solent Oyster Restoration Project the UK-based marine conservation charity is aiming to raise £250,000 to restore the native oyster to the Solent. The restoration of the native oyster will provide wide-ranging ecological and social benefits for the region over the long-term by helping to improve water quality, foster valuable habitats and re-establish an important strand of the economy on the South Coast.
The Solent’s oyster fishery which, dating back to Roman times, was once the largest fishery in Europe for the native oyster, until as recently as 1978. At its peak, the area would land up to 15 million oysters a year, but overfishing together with the effects of habitat loss, pollution, invasive species and disease led to a collapse in numbers and a limited fishery has operated since 2013.
The Festival will play host to an exciting array of over 60 producers and pop-up restaurants across the weekend, including Chewton Glen, The Montagu Arms and Carey’s Manor. It aims to cover as many seafood delicacies as possible, from lobster mac n’ cheese, local hand dived scallops, clams, crab, mackerel…. the list goes on and each producer will be offering something a little different. All of which, can be washed down with a glass of Hambledon’s award winning English sparkling, a pint of festival ale courtesy of Ringwood Brewery or local gin and rum from Lymington’s Dancing Cows Distillery.
With its stunning Solent and estuary views, Bath Road Park will welcome Michelin-starred chefs in the demonstration kitchen, provided by leading kitchen supplier Fisher & Paykel including Chewton Glen’s Luke Matthews and Alex Aitken of The Jetty who will be joining the line-up for this first-time event organised by local agency Lighthouse Marketing.
In addition to the pop-up food stalls, there will be an arts and crafts area as well as live music across the weekend with leading bands and artists playing a mix of soul, blues, ska and rag-time – plus a 12-strong sea shanty band.
To keep updated, please go to www.lymingtonseafoodfestival.co.uk or you can follow all the news on the Facebook and Instagram pages @lymingtonseafoodfestival.