The historic market town of Lymington will be launching its first seafood festival on August 12th and 13th, aiming to build on the New Forest’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading food destinations for tourists and also a destination that boasts a stunning coastline.

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.

For the first year, the ‘not for profit’ festival will be partnering with the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) to support its Solent Oyster Restoration Project. BLUE, 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 Festival will play host to an exciting array of over 70 producers and pop-up restaurants across the weekend. 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 or rum from Dancing Cows Distillery.

With its stunning Solent and estuary views, Bath Road Park will welcome some of the region’s leading chefs in the demonstration kitchen, provided by leading kitchen supplier Fisher & Paykel. Including Luke Matthews from Chewton Glen and Montagu Arms’ Matt Tomkinson.

“We are really proud to be organising and promoting the Lymington Seafood Festival, an event which will hopefully be a feature in the annual foodie calendar but, importantly support the amazing producers and eateries our region has to offer. We are also delighted to be raising money for BLUE and their work to restore the native oyster back to the Solent.” Said Lighthouse Marketing’s Managing Director Richard Nowell who are organising the event.

In addition to the pop-up food stalls, there will be 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 further entertain the crowds, there will be children’s activities and street entertainers.

To keep updated, the festival website will soon be live www.lymingtonseafoodfestival.co.uk or you can follow all the news on the Facebook and Instagram pages @lymingtonseafoodfestival.

If you are passionate about helping restore the native oyster to the Solent and would like to donate and learn more about the project, this can be done online via BLUE’s website: http://www.bluemarinefoundation.com/project/solent/