A right royal seafood festival

POOLE Seafood Festival, Dorset’s only free celebration of our marine culinary heritage, has moved dates this year to Jubilee weekend, 3rd to 5th June, to mark Her Majesty’s 70-year reign with a magnificent haul of great fish and shellfish, fine local produce, and glorious live music

The three-day celebration of Poole’s lengthy and proud maritime and fishing history, the festival also champions the thriving marine and leisure activities that make the town and its harbour, the second largest natural harbour in the world, the hive of economic activity it is today.

All the action is on Poole Quay and with guest chefs including Ian Salmon from Rick Stein Sandbanks, Ian Gibbs from the Guildhall Tavern in Poole’s Old Town, and private chefs, TV curry queen Sarah Ali Choudbury and Christian Ørner of Poole-based SALT Cø, cooking live on the Seafood Stage there’s sure to be some tasty treats and tips to tempt the most discerning palette.

“The lives of Poole people are inextricably linked to the sea and what better way to commemorate our island nation’s longest serving monarch than with a feast from the sea?” says festival director Ben Dyas of Dorset Food Festivals.

Fresh food and local produce stalls from gins to jewellery will line the Quay alongside the popular Champagne and Oyster bar, as well as local beer, cider and wine. Mouth-watering highlights include the return of The Mussel Pod, the Purbeck Trout Farm smorgasbord, open sandwiches and mackerel pate from The Porthole, Weymouth Seafood’s sensational squid and the contemporary street food of Henry the Cockleman.

On the music stage, local “buoy bands” the Wareham Whalers and The Captain’s Beard will sing the songs of the sea, but landlubbers will also be able to get their groove on to the rock, funk, blues and folk sounds of All Funked Up, Chris Payn, Mischa & His Merry Men, Jimmy Hillbillies and Mother Ukers.

“It’s great to see the town buzzing again with a thriving marine leisure industry,” says Ben. “We want Poole Seafood Festival to be a showcase for Poole at its very best – you can taste the sea in everything we do!”

Pictured: Chef Ian Salmon of Rick Stein Sandbanks, the Wareham Wreckers shanty group and some delicious seafood.