This autumn sees the return of England’s Seafood FEAST, a 2-week-long celebration of world-renowned local seafood on the English Riviera in beautiful south Devon. From 20 September to 6 October the towns of Brixham, Paignton and Torquay will be hosting a Seafood FEAST for all the senses, giving visitors the chance to join the locals and experience some of the best seafood in the world, right where it’s landed.
The inaugural Feast in 2018 offered lots of choice, and 2019 is shaping up to be even bigger and better. It isn’t a food festival in the conventional sense as there’s no big marquee; instead, a packed programme of events featuring local seafood will be hosted by local eateries across the 3 towns. Visitors will be able to take their pick from seafood set menus and platters, tasting menus, crab cracking masterclasses and paella, guest chef events, and that’s just for starters. Or be one of the lucky few who will eat in the dining room of Greenway House, Agatha Christie’s holiday home; her favourite food was lobster, and it will feature in a new take on her 80th birthday menu for one night only.
All of the events will feature seafood that is landed locally, so it’s as fresh as can be. And why not sample local beer, cider, wine or gin with a meal – the southwest of England has a well-deserved reputation for local sourcing and passionate producers, and there’s lots to discover. The Feast dovetails with British Food Fortnight, a celebration of the delicious food readily available across Britain as a result of the culinary renaissance that has swept the country in recent years.
The heart of the Feast is Brixham Fish Market, where England’s biggest catch by value is landed; over 40 species of fish and shellfish are regularly sold at the daily auction. During the Feast there will be tours of the market taking place at 6am – they will book up so advance booking is essential.
There is plenty more to fill the days. Take a trip on a heritage sailing trawler across the blue waters of Tor Bay, with the option of sleeping and dining on board. Go fishing and learn how to cook the day’s catch, join a seashore foraging workshop, or go on a sea creature treasure hunt. Whether it’s for a day, a weekend or a week, visitors will be spoilt for choice.
Mitch Tonks, restaurateur and owner of Rockfish, said “The world of seafood can be a bit of a mystery sometimes, we often stick to the things we know. Our Seafood Coast in England has the most amazing range of species caught and landed in our waters by our fishermen. The Feast is a really fantastic couple of weeks showcasing all of that, people can visit and try so many different things. It really is feasting; feasting on all the variety, going from place to place and trying something different, it’s like a seafood trail. I suggest getting your map out early and planning where to go and what to eat, time to feast!”
Simon Hulstone, chef-proprietor of the Michelin-starred Elephant Restaurant, said “South Devon has an abundance of fantastic produce and I honestly can’t think of anywhere better in the UK for local sourcing. It’s a pleasure to support the local coastline with England’s Seafood FEAST and I’m really looking forward to being involved again this year.”
Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive of the English Riviera BID Company, said “We are delighted to be hosting the second England’s Seafood FEAST, which will once again showcase the fantastic local fish and shellfish we have on our doorstep and the passion and talent of our many local fishermen and chefs – the ‘Faces of the Feast’.”
Events are being added regularly to the programme, so keep checking back for more information and book direct with the local businesses taking part.