Festival puts Rye on food map

Scallop Fest
Scallop Fest

The scallops have landed and it seems people can’t get enough of the locally caught shell fish.

Rye’s Scallop Festival gets underway this weekend and food lovers are expected to flock to the town to sample one of the finest and freshest delicacies the area has to offer.

The week long festival runs until Sunday February 23 and celebrates Rye’s local catch with a number of events, including tastings and cookery demonstrations and live music.

The festival helps provide a welcome economic out of season boost for the town as well as raising the profile of Rye’s fishing fleet.

The scallop will be taking centre stage in any number of imaginative dishes created by the area’s restaurants and local brewery Old Dairy has even brewed a scallop stout to help wash them down.

Twenty restaurants will be serving up scallop dishes in Rye and also at Winchelsea Beach and Ewhurst Green.

Webbes restaurant will be running its popular Scallops School on three days during the week.

There is a special scallop themed farmer’s market at Strand Quay on Wednesday morning, shelling demonstrations and a scallop trail.

One of the highlights of the Festival takes place on Sunday February 10 with the What a Load of Scallops Race at the Ship Inn at the Strand.

Now in its sixth year, the colourful event, on Sunday February 23, sees teams racing to be first past the finishing line pushing wheelbarrows full of scallop shells with proceeds going to the Rye Harbour Lifeboat.

On Sunday (February 16) The Ship has organised a family Scallop Pageant with good old fashioned end-of-the-pier fun.

For full details of the week’s events go to www.scallop.org.uk.