England’s Seafood FEAST to celebrate fish and crustaceans across South Devon

England's Seafood Coast

England's Seafood Coast - Credit: Archant

The inaugural England’s Seafood FEAST will see events happening across the South Devon area known as the English Riviera, which includes Torquay, Cockington, Paignton, Brixham and Babbacombe.

Crabs on ice

Crabs on ice - Credit: Archant

The FEAST, which includes more than 45 events, takes place between 22 September and 7 October.

It’s won the support of leading local chefs including Brixham’s Mitch Tonks, from the Rockfish chain, and Simon Hulstone of Michelin-starred Torquay restaurant The Elephant.

Josh Perkes, Brixham Seafish

Josh Perkes, Brixham Seafish - Credit: Archant

Explaining why he’s backing the festival, Mitch Tonks says: “I’ve eaten seafood all over the world and the quality of the fish caught off our coast is the finest anywhere in the world.”

There will be plenty of opportunity to taste seafood dishes during the FEAST, with a range of special events and celebration menus on offer at restaurants, hotels and cafes across the area.

Landing Elberry Cove mussels

Landing Elberry Cove mussels - Credit: Archant

But to really immerse yourself in the Seafood Coast you need to get up early for a tour of the Brixham Fish Market. More than £25 million of fish is sold at auction here each year – making it the highest value catch in England. About half of what is landed goes to international buyers, with about 10% eaten locally.

Despite the 6am start these tours are hugely popular, so need to be booked in advance. And you do get breakfast at Brixham’s Rockfish restaurant afterwards.

Mussels from Elberry Cove

Mussels from Elberry Cove - Credit: Archant

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Other activities during England’s Seafood FEAST include:

Taste of the Sea exhibition: Cockington Court Craft Centre features an exhibition of wall art by artists who are inspired by seafood.

The view from Brixham's Rockfish

The view from Brixham's Rockfish - Credit: Archant

Go sailing: The 92-year-old heritage sailing trawler Vigilance is one of the last of her kind built in Brixham.

Depending on sea and wind conditions she will sail across Tor Bay, often towards Teignmouth or Dartmouth. At the Skipper’s discretion, you may be offered the chance to take the helm and assist in sailing.

The old sailing trawler Vigilance

The old sailing trawler Vigilance - Credit: Archant

Mussel preparation workshop: Paignton’s Cantina restaurant will be the place to learn all about Elberry Cove mussels, how to prepare and cook them.

Dip and dine: Sophie Pierce and Matt Newbury, authors of Wild Swimming Walks and Beyond the Beach, will host a gentle swim and chat about the joys of wild swimming on England’s Seafood Coast, followed by a bowl of chowder.

Wild swimming

Wild swimming - Credit: Archant

Anna Trant, England’s Seafood Coast Project Coordinator, says: “There is a real buzz about the first England’s Seafood FEAST taking place here on the English Riviera. The two-week programme is continually evolving, and exciting new events are being added by the local businesses every day.”

See the full programme at theseafoodfeast.co.uk

England’s Seafood FEAST is expected to attract visitors from around the world and is part of the England’s Seafood Coast Project.

Managed by the English Riviera BID Company and supported by VisitEngland, the aim is to attract more domestic and international visitors to come and stay in shoulder seasons and to showcase Devon’s world class fish and seafood.

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