19 August 2017

Dorset Seafood Festival, Weymouth

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, oysters and champagne, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
It has become an annual tradition to visit the Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival held in Weymouth Harbour every year. This is by far my most favourite food festival and something I look forward to every single year. The Dorset Seafood Festival gets bigger and better every single year: you can catch previous years here!

Every year promises the best fresh seafood, fresh oysters, champagne, paella, whelks, scallops, lobster... Seriously, if you love seafood then this is the closest you're going to get to heaven. And the location couldn't be more perfect - Weymouth Harbour has a beautiful view with the ability to dip in and out of the festivals for a pint in one of the bars or a spot of shopping on the street next to the harbour. 

Without further hesitation, shall we dip into the food? You might want to grab something to snack on because I can promise you, you're going to get hungry.

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, crab and fries, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers

We started with a delicious dish of fresh white crab topped fries, pickled samphire, lemon mayonnaise, and herb salt. DELISH. I really loved this dish because it has the perfect balance of carbs, seasoning, sharpness, and the taste of fresh crab - which is unbeatable. Topped with a little bit of avocado, this was a winner. And it was only the beginning!

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, scampi, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers

We then grabbed a box of scampi which just has to be done - scampi is so delicious and it the perfect snack! By the way, we have figured out the best way to do food festivals: go in a group of three and each share a dish. This way you get to taste more because you're not full up, and it saves on money. Works a treat! See, even food festivals need a strategy.

I then spotted some fresh whelks on a skewer - I love whelks ever since I was introduced to them at the Birmingham Fish Market and they never fail to impress at the seafood festival. So as I was chatting to the man behind the whelks, he said he had whelks with tails, and without tails, and most people get creeped out by the tails because usually they're taken off - but it's just meat like the rest of the whelk, right? So we decided to get the skewer with tails on and it was absolutely delicious! Well, we also started a trend for the man selling the molluscs because everyone in line behind us went for tails on! You're welcome.

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, whelks, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers

Refreshment stops are a must - there's plenty of beer, cider, prosecco and champagne from Pommery to keep you going. We stopped off for a glass of prosecco to sit on the edge of the pier and have a quick rest in between snacks. I could definitely get used to the pier life - just give me a yacht someone and I'll be happy.

But back to the food, enough dreaming of the yacht life (but seriously, if someone wants to donate one I'll totally take it off your hands) - we proceed to the (drumroll!): grilled lobster. ohmygoodness. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Lobster is meaty, buttery, and full on delicious. Always an expensive choice, but always worth it. And for those people who kill lobster by overcooking it - shame on you.

There are many seafood grills dotted around the festival which cook up lobster, prawns, and scallops. Scallops always have to happen if they're an option - and these scallops I picked up from the grill were perfectly cooked and massive! I also love keeping the shells they're served in to use at home when serving up seafood at a dinner party. One woman actually asked if she could go and pick the shells out of the bin - great idea, but I really wouldn't go that far! I wonder if she was using them for art or home decorations?

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, lobster, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, scallops, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers

We then move on to the food festival classic: the paella. Always a seafood paella, always full of flavour, always extra sriracha. I love the big dishes of seafood paella, makes me think of food festivals and summer - the sight is so inviting and happy!

There is of course a vegetarian paella, and fish paella. I have to say that a lot of people I know get put off by going to this festival because either their partner doesn't like seafood, or they don't think there will be any other option that shellfish - that's so not true. There are many vegetarian dishes, burgers, and meat dishes. So there really is no excuse not to visit, unless you have a debilitating shellfish allergy in which case it's probably not for you.

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, paella, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, paella, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers

Now we move on to my favourite part of the festival: fresh oysters and a glass of Pommery champagne. If you're going to do it, do it right. I love oysters - it's typically a love hate relationship people have with this food, and mine is 100% love. I first tried an oyster about 5 years ago with a client who I was supporting at a London exhibit, and they had oysters and champagne. When my client found out I've never had an oyster before, she pulled me away from our stand and basically made me down an oyster followed by a glass of champagne. I was hooked since then.

The oysters at the Dorset Seafood Festival are my absolute favourite: they're super fresh, big, and enjoyed in the perfect atmosphere. And reasonably priced. Worth every penny. Especially followed by a glass of cool champagne. This is the life I work my butt off for, so I can enjoy a plate of oysters with a glass of champagne once in a while.

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, oysters, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, oysters and champagne, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, Weymouth Harbouri, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers

After enjoying the belle of the fishy ball, we were back on our feet hunting for more dishes to try. Cockles are another must at the food festival - grab a small pot to enjoy on your walk around the harbour. Cockles, mussels, prawns, whelks all come in a small pot for this exact purpose. Squeeze a little lime over it, shake out a few drops of tabasco, or simply add salt and pepper.

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, cockles, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, Weymouth Harbour, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, whelks, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, chilli squidi, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, sushi, street food, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers
Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers

We ended the day on crispy squid with sweet chilly sauce and a squeeze of lemon, and sushi which has one piece with wasabi caviar - it was pretty special and not as hot as expected! Just very flavoursome.

The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival is always an amazing day out filled with food, laughter, drinks, and great memories. I'm already excited for next summer so we can enjoy this beautiful day out again.

What do you think? Is the seafood festival your cup of tea, or not the ideal day out? Plus, I want to hear your opinion on oysters: love them or hate them? Comment below!
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