Celebrate the local catch at Hastings Herring Festival

Hastings Herring Fair 2018''Sonny Elliot, owner of Rock a Nore Fisheries, SUS-181118-104108001
Hastings Herring Fair 2018''Sonny Elliot, owner of Rock a Nore Fisheries, SUS-181118-104108001

The Hastings fishing fleet has been catching herring off local shores since at least the 1600s when records began.

Now the council is inviting people to come along and celebrate the undervalued ‘silver darlings of the sea’ in their many wondrous forms, from bloaters to buckling and kippers, and other seasonal fish.

Cllr Kim Forward said: “The Herring Fair takes place on the Stade open space, in the heart of Hastings historic Old Town, just yards from the fishing beach, over the weekend of 23 and 24 November. Admission is by wristband, costing just £1, from Hastings Tourist Information Centre, or on the gate; under 18’s are free.

“As well as delicious fish dishes, stalls will be selling various local produce, wines, ciders, hot food, vegetarian options and other delights. Sussex beer will be on offer with the bar run by Harvey’s Brewery in the music area.

“Learn to create seasonal fish dishes using our local catch with free cooking demos in Classroom on the Coast, sponsored by Hastings Fish and Seafood. CJ Jackson, principal of the famous Seafood School at Billingsgate and the Hastings Fish brand ambassador, will be hosting demonstrations on both Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon and 2.30pm. CJ will create a number of recipes to celebrate the herring that will include: Classic rollmops, Soused Herring, Smoked Herring, Grilled Herrings with Mustard and Basil Butter. Demonstrations last around 90 minutes and are on a first come first served basis, these are very popular.

“There will be plenty of entertainment thanks to a fantastic music line up with a folky flavour, to include a ceilidh and of course sea shanties. Throughout the weekend there will be children’s sea-themed craft activities in the Stade Hall, as well as traditional net making techniques at the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society stall in the marquee.

“In a new addition to the weekend’s activities, there will be a Sunday Jazz Breakfast with Mike Hatchard and friends. Doors open at 9am and the performance starts at 9:30am. Ticket price also includes tea or coffee and a famous Hastings Fisherman’s Roll – cooked specially by Tush and Dave. £13 adult / £10 child (with a paying adult) and includes a weekend wristband.”

Only assist dogs are allowed in the marquee.

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