7 June 2019

Mudeford Seafood Festival Review

Mudeford Seafood Festival Review

A couple of weeks ago I visited Mudeford for the first time to enjoy the newcomer of southern food festivals: The Mudeford Seafood Festival. Hosted at Mudeford Quay, the Mudeford Seafood Festival opened it's doors for the first year to celebrate local seafood, BBQ, suppliers, and of course to welcome the crowd of people coming to check it out.

Mudeford Seafood Festival at Mudeford Quay
Mudeford Seafood Festival at Mudeford Quay
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Whelks and cockles
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Cockles with vinegar and salt

I have never been to Mudeford, Dorset but it has been recommended to me before as a place to visit by my lovely community on Instagram. Although we didn't have much of a wonder around the quay at the time of the Mudeford Seafood Festival, I cam back a couple of weekends after and it has everything you need: sandy beaches, crabbing stations, a fresh seafood shop, a pub and cafe, and also boat trips to take you fishing. Mudeford gets my vote as a beach! (PS - it's also dog friendly!)

But now on to the actual food festival. There were more stalls than I expected to see - so we decided to go around in a circle and see what grabs our attention. The first thing was of course some local whelks and cockles, which are a seaside essential for me! Eat them with a bit of salt, vinegar and pepper - delicious as a quick snack!

Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Fresh Dorset oysters
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Fresh Dorset oysters
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Dalry Rose Blog

We then found the oyster stall - oysters are one of my absolute favourite things, I feel like I could eat an unlimited amount of oysters! So of course we had to go and grab a handful of the Dorset oysters which were pretty big and juicy. I love my oysters with a squeeze of lemon and a couple of drops of tabasco - delicious! Fresh oysters are in my eyes one of the best seafoods out there - and so rare to get unless you're at a summer seafood festival so here's the spoiler alert: I kept coming back to the stall and ate 11 oysters in total. I could have eaten twice that, but self control... Until the next festival!

Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Food stalls
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Fried baby squid with padron peppers
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Food stalls
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Seafood platter
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Seafood and drinks
Lana Suhova of Dalry Rose at Mudeford Seafood Festival

There were many food stalls selling different foods: Greek, BBQ, gourmet, Thai, Indian, you name it!  One of our favourite dishes was fried baby squid with Padron peppers and garlic aioli - yum! It was so delicious and loved by everyone - apparently one of the quickest dishes to sell out too. There were also delicious BBQ seafood platters which can prawns, salmon, tempura, chips, and salad which were  big meals! I love going to festivals and sharing everything because then we can all get a taste of more dishes - anyone else do that?

In the middle of the festival, there was a beer tent with demonstrations and you guessed it: a bar! It was lovely to pick up your favourite seafood and settle with a glass of wine, beer, or Pimms and enjoy the atmosphere. When we first arrived in the morning the festival was relatively quiet but parking spaces were already filling up - as we got there half an hour earlier we snapped up a space straight away, however we noticed that at 11 when the festival officially opened there were no more spaces so it's advisable to get there early and enjoy the seaside whilst the festival sets up.

The Mudeford Seafood Festival also provided carnival style entertainment for kids which is fab as there was literally something for everyone to enjoy: kids can go play and ride entertainment; those who enjoy a little more bustle can gather by the beer tent and enjoy food and booze; and if you're really not into crowds you can pick up food and then sit by the seaside and enjoy a quiet picnic!

Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Food stalls
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Greek Calamari
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Fresh Dorset oysters

But the seafood festival also catered for non-seafood eaters. I have heard so many times the excuse that people won't entertain a seafood festival because they don't like fish or shellfish - well I have news for you pals: there are other foods on offer too! The Mudeford Seafood Festival had delicious  BBQ meat stalls with brisket, ribs and burnt ends amongst many other dishes; and my favourite The Gourmet Grilled Cheese stall which has varieties of grilled cheese.

As we're all seafood lovers we opted for the Chilli Crab Grilled Cheese which is a delicious gooey sandwich stuffed with cheese, crab and chilli pepper served with a pickle on the side.

Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | The Grill Cheese Co
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | The Grill Cheese Co
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Crab and chilli grilled cheese sandwich
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Crab and chilli grilled cheese sandwich
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | BBQ stall
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | BBQ stall

We spent about 4 hours at the Mudeford Seafood Festival but to be honest you could easily spend a day there. I also really enjoyed the fact that this seafood festival was spanned across Bank Holiday Weekend so it wasn't as crowded as one day festivals; and you also had a day to recover at home in you PJ's because we all know that's what Sunday's are for

I have just read that the dates for Mudeford Seafood Festival have been confirmed as Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24th and Monday 25th May 2020 - we will definitely be returning for another year of seafood deliciousness and Mudeford Quay fun!

Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Mudeford Quay
Mudeford Seafood Festival Review | Mudeford Quay
Lana Suhova of Dalry Rose blog at Mudeford Beach
Lana Suhova of Dalry Rose blog at Mudeford Beach

I thought I'd also share with you my outfit which I have been loving so far this summer - a floaty maxi dress by Miss June which I bought from The Owl & The Pussycat Stockbridge, and I paired it with Converse as I knew I would be walking around quite a bit during the seafood festival.

What do you think of The Mudeford Seafood Festival? Will you be visiting next year? To me this marks the official seafood and food festival season - I already have a few lined up this summer which I am super excited about! Just give me all the oysters...
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