Seafood and wine fest draws closer

Chef Paul Webbe will rustle up a treat as he gives cookery demonstrations
Chef Paul Webbe will rustle up a treat as he gives cookery demonstrations

WINE connoisseurs and seafood lovers are in for a treat as the annual Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival gets underway next month.

The event, in its sixth year, is on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18. Last year’s festival saw more than 50,000 visitors.

Award-winning deckchairs and fish filleting demonstrations by experts are just some of the highlights of the two-day festival, as well as old favourites.

The event kicks off at 10am on Saturday with the Walking the Fish procession, a colourful, musical parade of paper fish sculptures created by local children. There will also be cookery demonstrations by chef, teacher and restaurateur Paul Webbe, net making and Stade guided walks, a cookery demo and talk by Tom Kime, internationally renowned chef.

Over the two days there is plenty of entertainment for younger visitors as storyteller Kevin Graal will be dishing out fishy tales and seaside songs.

Winkle Island will also be turned into Fantasy Island from 11am to 4pm both on Saturday and Sunday. Live music in the entertainment marquee includes the jazz breakfast with Liane Carroll on Sunday at 10am.

This year’s festival welcomes some newcomers, including Hastings’s very own Classroom on the Coast, alongside the Stade Hall, a project of Hastings Fishermens Local Action Group (FLAG). Other free events include a talk on the issue of fish quotas by Paul Joy, Hastings fisherman and chairman of the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society, and a showing of Shingle Film, a short film about beach-launched fishing fleets.

Winning entries of the Design a Deckchair competition will be on display in the VIP area of the Stade Open Space.

Local vineyards will also be showcasing their wide range of wines, with free tasting on offer.

For more information about the weekend’s programme of events and times of individual attractions log onto www.visit1066country.com/site/events/seasonal-highlights/hastings-seafood-and-wine-festival-2011.