Dorset Seafood Festival Wins Highly Commended at South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2011- 2012

06 July 2012

This week the Dorset Seafood Festival won highly commended in the Tourism Event of the Year category in South West Tourism Excellence at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2011-2012, in association with South West Water.  The awards celebrate the most outstanding tourism businesses in the South West, recognising those businesses and individuals who excel in the region’s top industry.  The awards night took place at the Riviera International Conference Centre, Torquay, where 67 different awards were announced.

‘We are delighted to be recognized as a key tourism event for the South West and very proud that the festival has grown in size and status since 2008. We’ve made it into the top awards with some of the largest and most established events in the south west. The other winners were GOLD: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol, SILVER:  RNAS Yeovilton International Air day BRONZE: Bristol Festival of Nature.  All these are big budget events and long established. We are now working very hard to ensure that the 2012 event is the most ambitious yet so that locals and visitors can really enjoy this very special year for the area,’ said Brian Cooper, Dorset Seafood Festival committee member.

The Dorset Seafood Festival will celebrate its return in 2012 (7th & 8th July) with Sarah Ayton OBE, double Olympic gold medallist winner, opening the event. With the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic sailing events taking place in Weymouth & Portland the Dorset Seafood Festival is set to embrace this once-in-a-lifetime historic event. The Dorset Seafood Festival 2012 will be the most ambitious to date and is one of the last ‘Spirit of the Sea’ events before the Olympic ‘lock-down’, when Weymouth & Portland will be dressed as a host borough to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

The Dorset Seafood Festival 2012 will once again animate the beautifully picturesque and historic setting of Weymouth harbour, and due to popular demand will extend out to the Weymouth Pavilion forecourt to accommodate over 80 stalls.  Pommery Champagne corks will be popping once again as the festival’s title sponsor, oysters will be shucked and an array of fresh seafood and fish dishes will be prepared across this vast range of festival stalls.

Celebrity chefs will also be in abundance, sharing their top culinary tips on the demonstration stages located on either side of the harbour during this two-day event. The 2012 line up will include; Mark Hix, Mitch Tonks, Mat Follas, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Lesley Waters and River Cottage’s famous forager John Wright.

But it’s not all gastronomy; there will be attractions and features for those whose palates are not pescetarian. A diving tank attraction will showcase the sub aqua-skills of the Historical Diving Society, touch pools with different species of fish and crustaceans will keep children and marine-lovers entertained, and the annual Weird Fish cross Harbour Swim will kick-start the festival at 10am on Saturday 7th July.

For more information please visit


Editor’s Notes

  1. Press release supplied by Tandem Marketing, please contact Lisa Worthington on 01305 458414 or 07889 403185
  2. For Dorset Seafood Festival images and footage please visit
  3. The ‘Spirit of the Sea – Weymouth & Portland Maritime Festival’ is now in its 5th year taking place over 15 days from 30th June to 15th July 2012 and comprises of over 30 maritime related events taking place across the borough. For more information contact the Event Manager – Roy Griffiths 01305 832512 or visit
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