Chefs, Champagne and Cuttlefish

18 April 2017

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival, the UK’s top seafood festival is fun for all the family

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival is celebrating its 10th year over the weekend of the 8th & 9th July and is pulling out all the stops.  The award winning and free to attend event will not only be offering its usual mix of incredible seafood, but a wide range of exciting experiences for all the family.  Not to mention a host of celebrity chefs and TV personalities in attendance and on stage. 

The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival is the UK’s largest free to attend seafood festival and is located in Weymouth’s picturesque harbour.  The festival draws crowds of over 50,000 people and is home to the top names in seafood producers, chefs, and fishermen – for one weekend.  Raising  funds for the Fishermen's Mission - the vital port of call for fishermen and their families – the festival explores the journey seafood takes from ‘Sea to Plate’.  Visitors are offered an enriching experience that is not only entertaining, but imparts a better understanding of the sea, the fishermen and the difficulties they face, the coast and the issues of sustainable fishing and environmental impact.



Sara Hicks – Director, Champagne Pommery commented: “The 10th annual Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever before. With a host of talented chefs, incredible seafood paired with delectable champagne, and a selection of family-friendly events across the weekend.  Set in the historic harbour of Weymouth, there isn’t a better setting to enjoy the sun, sip champagne and taste fresh seasfood.”

Key highlights include: 

Fishy Tales:  is the first live and interactive celebrity seafood discussion panel at the Festival. The panel of famous guests will discuss a smorgasbord of personal fish related topics, from catching and cooking, to conservation and poacher-policing. Jeremy Paxman and Mitch Tonks are just two of the top names already confirmed. Tickets are booked in advance and spaces are limited.

HMS Severn: A River Class patrol vessel. She is one of the trio of Offshore Patrol Vessels ploughing the seas around the UK almost every day of the year. She will be moored in the harbour and the crew and captain will be educating and entertaining guests with BBQ’s, talks and Pommery all in support of the Fishermen’s Mission.

The Kids Zone is a family workshop – free for all the family! A creative zone where kids are encouraged to get stuck in and create fantastically fishy creations with works of art such as sea creatures, fish, mermaids, lighthouses or boats.  Materials are provided with helpers on hand to get the creative juices flowing! 

Activate Performing Arts are joining the festival for the first time. With Kermiz by Le Cirque du Platzak, a 12-strong group of highly-skilled music and circus artists who have been touring Europe to great acclaim for the past five years. A man with a fascination for lawnmowers and lettuce, a temperamental Italian aerialist fighting with a Spanish toreador and an acrobat obsessed with staplers – just some of the eccentric characters in this high-energy show, peppered with rousing live klezmer music. 

Tickets from £6

Rock the Boat; Five leaky old sailing boats have been upcycled into fabulous stages for playing guitar. Tied up to the boats, acoustic guitars have been provided to allow the public to have a spontaneous jam session. The boats provide beautiful sculptural shelter, and will be located in different positions across the Seafood Festival site.


The Seafish marquee offers the authority on seafood, from catch to plate.  Seafish’s mission is to support a profitable, sustainable and socially responsible future for the seafood industry. Head over to the Seafish demo stage to watch some of Dorset’s finest chefs cooking up a storm. Alex Aitken, Matt Budden, Ben Bartlett, Simon Dyer and Nigel Bloxham shall all be showcasing their skills in the kitchen.

Seafish is also running a campaign, ‘Fish 2 a week’, which aims to inspire more people across the country to eat two fish dishes per week.  From prawns to plaice, haddock to herring, Seafish want people to choose fish as a dish! #2aweek

Fisher & Paykel are back with its demo theatre:

Saturday 8th – Fisher & Paykel Main Theatre

MC  Sophie Michell

With chef demos from Mitch TonksNeil RankinPeter GordonGizzi ErskineDan Doherty

Sunday 9th – Fisher & Paykel Main Theatre

With chef demos from Peter Gordon, Duncan Lucas, and Pete Murt

In addition to the chef demo line up, Fisher & Paykel Appliances is hosting a ‘Social Kitchen’.  

Helen Haider, Marketing Manager says “Anyone can have a ‘Social Kitchen’.  It can be your work mates meeting for lunch and talking about the latest project, it can be meeting with your extended family for a special birthday celebration, or it could be meeting a group of strangers at a food festival and sitting together to try some amazing food, and finding you have this love of food in common. It’s all about Real Products for Real People for their Real Lives.”

Returning to the festival after huge success is Pommery Champagne’s ‘Louise and Lobster’ pop up. Experience and enjoy a glass of Cuvée Louise Champagne served with a locally-sourced BBQ lobster half.

Always keen to highlight the importance of sustainability, the festival is focusing on cuttlefish. The cuttlefish is woefully underused here in the UK, despite UK vessels landing 6,000 tonnes of cuttlefish into UK ports in 2015 – worth £10.6m.  With recipes and tips from chefs on how to use this underused mollusk – it won’t just be the budgie enjoying cuttlefish!



Mitch Tonks commented: “Weymouth is a fabulous port and great harbour from which to enjoy great local seafood. Dorset, to me, is the start of England’s Seafood Coast, and just go west from here and you’re able to experience some of the best seafood on the planet. There is little I like more than being involved in a seafood celebration like this one”. 

All that is left is to enjoy a glass of Pommery Champagne whilst overlooking the atmospheric harbour, enjoying mouthwatering seafood from around 100 stallholders. Not forgetting that entrance is free for all the family. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @dorsetseafood or Facebook Dorset Seafood Festival.   

Click here for the full press release

SEAFEAST - The Dorset Seafood Festival raises funds for the Fishermen's Mission - the vital port of call for fishermen and their families.
Fishermen's Mission