NEW Forest foodies are getting ready for a bumper weekend of fine seafood at the Lymington Seafood Festival in support of the RNLI. The free two-day event at Bath Road Park on Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11 features 90 local artisan producers, live music and some of the region’s top chefs in the demonstration kitchen.

An estimated 12,000 people attended last August and this year organisers are promising an even greater array of seafood stalls for 2019.

There will also be a Conker Spirit Bar and a chance to sample Exton Park’s award winning English sparkling wine. The Portsmouth Distillery Company will be unveiling their newly crafted local rums and Ringwood Brewery is on hand for ale lovers.

The demonstration kitchen will once again be led by chef patron Alex Aitken, known as the Godfather of Seafood, from the Jetty in Christchurch. He will be joined by other top local chefs including Matthew Whitfield who has recently taken up the reins at the Montagu Arms, Luke Matthews from Chewton Glen and Gordleton Mill’s head chef, Ian Gibbs. The festival also welcomes back 2016 Masterchef winner Jane Devonshire.

“We’ve had a big push on bringing an even wider range of seafood, plus catering for meat eaters or vegan diets. Every year the festival raises money for one charity and through the generosity of local businesses donating raffle prizes and the free event programme helping donations this year will be no different and organisers are delighted to be supporting the Lymington’s RNLI," said festival organiser Domine Nowell.

With over 150 different dishes including cockles, whelks, mussels, scallops, oysters (about six different ways), hot smoked salmon, Arbroath smokies, crab croquettes, crispy squid, seafood dumplings, fish and chips, sardines, whitebait, mackerel, dressed crab and lobster, lobster thermidor fries, calamari, fishcakes, seafood crepes, sushi, Portuguese cod balls, monkfish, seafood samosas, sole goujons, hake, sashimi, paella, crab mac 'n' cheese, garlic prawns, surf and turf, there’s no chance of leaving hungry. See

Gates open 11am – 8pm Saturday and 11am – 6pm Sunday. Parking is available at Woodside Park, about 15-20mins walk to Bath Road and is £5 all day.