Cornwall LivingIssue #76
A taste of scilly
Showcasing the islands’ seafood, this fabulous festival is returning for 2018, bigger and better than ever.
Just 28 miles from mainland Cornwall you’ll find the archipelago that is Scilly. There is a very distinct feel to Scilly that is like nowhere else. White sand beaches lead to clear blue waters creating a magical setting, and the combination of clear waters, a unique maritime climate and fresh, salty sea air is helping to create a taste sensation on Scilly.
“Scilly boasts an extraordinary array of award-winning producers and foodie entrepreneurs; you’re never far from fresh produce and refreshment on the islands”
Every September the Isles of Scilly play host to what has become a month-long festival celebrating the very best in local food, drink and produce from across the five inhabited islands. Food miles don’t get as low as this and a slow-food culture has grown here amongst the famously unspoilt islands and their village and farm communities. Being surrounded by water, it makes sense to celebrate seafood and that is exactly what the festival is doing this year, alongside the very best in fresh produce suppliers, artisan bakers and brewers.
Throughout September, there will be a fresh foodie experience to savour every day, from lobster feasts and Scillonian produce markets, to surf and turf beach barbecues, an island-hopping supper safari, as well as pop-up crab shack evenings, paella nights, seafood chowder chow downs, Scillonian taster menus and wine pairing experiences. With so much to choose from, we’ll be planning our trip well in advance to ensure we make most of all the fabulous fayre on offer!
Across the islands, there’ll be lots of special ‘Taste of Scilly’ offers to look forward to and stories ready to be shared amongst all of the passionate local producers. And no food festival could happen without its share of tipples to wash down all the wonderful dishes. Scilly boasts not one but two vineyards and is even home to its own micro-brewery, so thirsts will be quenched as much as appetites sated.
If you feel the need to work off some of that lovely foodie fayre then there will also be working, family-farm tours across St. Mary’s, Bryher, St. Agnes and St. Martin’s, where you can stretch your legs and see first hand how produce is grown and animals are reared; enjoy gin tastings at Westward Farm; take part in workshops with Bryher-based Island Fish on how to pick your crab and lobster; listen to ‘A day in the life’ talks from local lobster fishermen and learn how to crimp your own pasties.
Then, on the weekend of 8th and 9th September, the Seven Stones Inn on St Martin’s will host its annual Beer, Cider, Gin and Rum Festival, showcasing drinks produced across the islands with a Taste of Scilly menu to match!
Finally, on 10th September, you can indulge yourselves in the extraordinary Low Tide experience. For two to three hours only, visitors roll up their trouser legs to reach a sandbank between Tresco and Bryher for this ultra-mini food festival that serves up bowls of locally harvested garlic mussels, seafood paella dished directly from a beached fishing boat, Tresco salt beef and Scilly mackerel baps, all washed down with fabulous gin cocktails and prosecco to the tune of live music – an experience not to be missed!
Executive Director of Islands’ Partnership tells us: “We’re delighted to be hosting our third Taste of Scilly festival this September. For an archipelago so small, Scilly boasts an extraordinary array of award-winning producers and foodie entrepreneurs; you’re never far from fresh produce and refreshment on the islands, whether it’s freshly-caught seafood, farm-grown vegetables, island reared duck and beef, homemade ice cream and fudge, and the islands’ own wine and beer. Taste of Scilly is a celebration of all the good things that are produced, reared and prepared on our tiny islands, as well as our most distinctive eateries.”
If you fancy attending this year’s Taste of Scilly, Tregarthen’s Hotel, located on the waterfront by St Mary’s quay, is running a special offer throughout September for just £99.50 per person per night, which includes breakfast, dinner on one night plus boating tickets and a bottle of bubbly on arrival!
TASTE OF SCILLY
"Scilly boasts an extraordinary array of award-winning producers and foodie entrepreneurs; you’re never far from fresh produce and refreshment on the islands"