Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival gets under way

Deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council Cllr Kim Forward and Mayor Cllr Judy Rogers at the opening. Picture by Kevin Boorman
Deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council Cllr Kim Forward and Mayor Cllr Judy Rogers at the opening. Picture by Kevin Boorman

The annual Seafood and Wine Festival got under way today (Saturday, September 16), with visitors flocking to the Stade Open Space.

Organised by Hastings Borough Council, the event runs throughout today and tomorrow (Sunday, September 17).

Visitors can enjoy delicious fish dishes from restaurants and wines from vineyards, along with a range of the best produce the area has to offer.

Fantastic locally made beers, ciders, meat and vegetarian dishes will also be available, and the fishermen will be demonstrating their skills and their catch.

The entertainment marquee on the beach is home to superb musical talent.

Today the line-up comprises The Dead Rabbits, Jamie Williams Roots Collective, The Will Johns Band, Karis Thompson and the Lost Weekend and The Two Tones.

Tomorrow sees The Strings, Justin and the Argonauts, Stax of Motown and The Big Kahuna.

Local jazz legend Liane Carroll returns with her band for the Jazz Breakfast tomorrow at 10.30am.

Tickets, £15 for adults and £10 children are available from the Tourist Information Centre at Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings.

It includes coffee and a Danish pastry and an entry wristband to the festival for the whole weekend.

Tomorrow, local chefs and producers come to the fore with The Thai House’s Chef Sawek cooking up one of his most popular dishes at noon.

At 2pm Biddenden Vineyards, Kent’s oldest commercial vineyard, will be giving a talk and tasting.

At 3.30pm local foraging tutor Sarah Watson will cook the catch of the day with wild greens and foraged flavourings. Entrance to all three is included with your wristband.

Cllr Kim Forward said: “The Seafood and Wine Festival has been an annual event in the town’s packed calendar for well over 10 years now.

“It’s grown to become a well-respected, popular event attracting thousands of residents and visitors.

“There will be around 40 stalls serving delicious local produce and the famous musical entertainment and cooking demonstrations.

“This year there is also an exciting sculpture, a cluster of magical glass buoys suspended above head height, which contain the voices and stories of Hastings fishermen. And in the Stade Hall there is an exhibition of photographs by Chris Parker, focusing on the seafood and fishing industry in and around Hastings.

“There’s loads for children in the Children’s Tent, from storytelling performances to craft activities and facepainting. And there’ll be unicycling, juggling, magic, balloon animals and much more.”

Entry to the festival is by admission wristband. These can be bought in advance from the Tourist Information Centre for only £2, or on the gate for £3. Under 18s go free.

Full festival details and ticket information can be found at www.visit1066country.com/fishfestivals or ring the Tourist Information Centre on 01424 451111.

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