New Forest's Lymington Seafood Festival 2024 includes chef's stage and cookery school

"Seafood Festival" - that heady mix of the senses... summer... live music to soar the spirits, augmented by the scent and taste of fresh seafood! 

This year's three-day Lymington Seafood Festival will take place once again in delightful riverside Bath Road Park, very much on the water with its own lake too, on Friday 12 – Sunday 14 July. 

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Lymington Seafood Festival goes foodie

Welcome to Chris Bavin, award-winning writer and food broadcaster and Lime Wood's Luke Holder

Alex Aitken chef at Lymington Seafood Festival

This years Lymington Seafood Festival has been given a huge foodie shake-up. The three-day boutique festival taking place at Bath Road Park on Friday 12th – Sunday 14th July is bringing back a Chefs Demo Stage and launching a Cookery School with a range of classes for adults and budding little chefs.

The festival welcomes Chris Bavin, the award-winning writer and food broadcaster to host the Chefs Stage and join the fun in the Cookery School. He will be joined by Lime Wood’s Hartnett Holder & Co. Chef Director Luke Holder, one of the most respected and celebrated chefs in the New Forest.

12 classes including sushi, zingy fish tacos, hoisin mackerel and chocolate pudding

The Cookery School will host twelve classes across the weekend that includes sushi, zingy fish tacos, hoisin mackerel and a cheeky chocolate pudding with secret hidden veg for children.

Adults who fancy testing their Masterchef skills can enjoy Spanish style tapas canapes, Lymington crab with fresh linguine or authentic Paella. All adult classes finish with a drinks tasting with either Hattingley Valley, Solent Cellar or Lymington Gin.

Classes cost £25 for children and £45 for adults. Everyone will receive a Lymington Seafood Festival chefs apron, children will get a finger guard from Flint & Flame and a certificate to adorn the kitchen fridge.

Lending their support to the festival is Balmer Lawn Hotel who join as a main sponsor of the festival and the Chefs Stage with senior sous chef Callum Jellicoe joining the fun with demo’s and delivering two cooking classes.

Line-up of talented local chefs

Set in a rustic country kitchen style, the Chefs Stage line-up is packed with some of the most talented local chefs. Including Luke Holder, Lime Wood Hotel; Daniel Rogan, Chef Patron at AO by Daniel Rogan; Callum Jellicoe, Balmer Lawn Hotel; Gavin Barnes, The High Street Kitchen; Matt Tomkinson, Stanwell House; Colin Nash, The Retreat; Martin Dawkins, The Rustic Chef; James Gunn, The Smoking Gunn; Kamil Oseka, The Pig Hote; and Steve Hall, Noisy Lobster.

Organisers are also delighted to welcome Hayley Elston from the Fabulous Catch Co. who, for those tuning into Aldi’s Next Big Thing will know the Calshot based business has been catapulted into supermarket stardom with their incredible range of fishy delicacies. Hayley will be on stage with Chris Bavin, co-presenter of the Channel 4 Series.

Commenting on this year’s festival, organiser Richard Nowell said:

“We are really excited about launching a chef’s stage and cookery school. It gives us the chance to showcase the region’s talented chefs, promote food and drink businesses, and celebrate our brilliant local producers.

“We have been working with Jen Williams, Naked Jam and Martin Dawkins, The Rustic Chef who are curating the Cookery School. It’s a real coup to have someone as respected as Luke Holder join us, the chefs line up is looking pretty epic.”

“It is a big investment setting up chef’s stage and cookery schools and we are very grateful to have the Balmer Lawn Hotel joining us and lending their support. With their recent relaunch of ‘Beresfords’ restaurant it’s a great place to talk to thousands of local foodies.” Concluded Nowell.

Owners of Brockenhurst’s Balmer Lawn Hotel, Chris & Alison Wilson said:

We are delighted to see this wonderful festival back for another year. Balmer Lawn Hotel has an exceptional reputation for food locally and being an official sponsor enables us to display not only the culinary skills of our incredible chef brigade, but also how special our local and artisan producers are. Couple this with live music and this really will be a weekend not to miss!”

The festival also welcomes some new exciting street food stalls heading to Lymington in July with Woosabi bringing a taste of Japan and going ‘loco’ is Cintias with their Brazilian cuisine. Foodies can graze around 75 stands that includes Bao buns, crepes, surf n turf, teriyaki prawns, Nordic flammlach salmon, dressed crab, lobsters, oysters, scallops, monkfish and cod cheek tacos to name just a few.

Organisers will continue to commit towards a more sustainable festival with stallholders from the New Forest and local south coast and working with local suppliers to stock stages and kitchens.

Making the festival as environmentally friendly as possible is one of our key aims. In 2023 we recycled 63.5% of our waste and this year we are working to cut our carbon emissions

“There is also a big push to promoting sustainable sourcing of our food. We will be partnering with Four Acre Farm, a regenerative community farm near Ringwood, Sopley Farm and sourcing our seafood from sustainable stocks from the local fishing ports.” Continued Nowell.

It’s a view shared by the festival’s headline chef Luke Holder, who commenting on joining the weekend said:

“I’m delighted to be taking part in the Lymington Seafood Festival this year, alongside a fantastic line-up of local chefs. Seafood is one of my favourite ingredients to both cook with and eat (the Brown Crab Cacio e Pepe being one of my favourites on the HH&Co menu!) so it’s brilliant to be part of something like this that celebrates a really important leg of the hospitality industry. The steps the festival is taking towards being as environmentally friendly as possible is really encouraging and I’m delighted that our partners at Four Acre Farm will also be there, talking all things food and sustainability. I can’t wait to get stuck in and create some delicious dishes on the Chefs Stage.” Luke Holder, Chef Director at HH&Co, Lime Wood.

Delivering festival vibes the music stage will still be packed with 14 bands and artists over the three days with a blend of blues, folk, soul, pop with Friday night see’s a Fleetwood Mac tribute headline. Taking the stage on Saturday is the 9-piece Fat Cat Soul with the acclaimed Decatonics closing the weekend’s festivities with Ska and reggae.

Every year the festival supports a different local charity so with the RNLI  celebrating 200 years of saving lives at sea it’s fitting to be raising money for our local lifeboat station.

For more information and tickets visit

Or contact Richard Nowell on 07891598863 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tickets are £10 adult and £3 for children aged 6-16yrs. U6’s go free.


Fine dining at Lymington Seafood Festival


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