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Hastings: a feast of fun

Don’t let Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival be the one that got away

Head to Hastings next weekend to enjoy an epicurean celebration of the riches of the region – and particularly its great coastal bounty. Hastings is home to the biggest beachlaunched fishing fleet in Europe and its seafood industry has impressively green credentials, having won the highly regarded Marine Stewardship Council certification for its methods of sustainable fishing for mackerel, herring and sole. The Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival reflects all this while also presenting a lively programme of activities.

Events include afternoon cookery demonstrations by the celebrity chef and author Tom Kime on Saturday 18 September (the recipes featured will be taken from his latest book, Fish Tales); a Saturday mid-afternoon treasure hunt along the beach; a jazz breakfast on Sunday 19 September with music from Ronnie Scott’s award-winning vocalist Liane Carroll; and a Sunday afternoon demonstration of fish-filleting by the local restaurateur Paul Webbe.

The heart of the action will be the atmospheric Rock-a-Nore Road just off the postcard-pretty fishing area of The Stade. Fifty or so exhibitors will be gathered here, with stalls including Arcade Fisheries, one of the oldest fishmongers in town, and restaurants including Webbe’s, The Gallivant, Walkers and Devour. A marquee featuring English wine and cider will offer a fine choice of drinks to sample, with cider from the dynamic young company Battle Cider, wines from Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard and Harbourne Vineyard, among other UK wine producers, and much more.

In addition, there will be guided walks around town, demonstrations of traditional net-making and mending, while free entertainment includes clowns and puppet shows and much live music.

The Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival takes place on 18 and 19 September (01424 451066; visit1066country.com/hastings/events/seafoodfestival )