Scotland’s First Oyster Festival

Foodie,  Fishy, Fabulous!

Nestling under the sparkling waters of Loch Ryan is one of the last wild, native oyster beds in Scotland, fished sustainably by the renowned Loch Ryan Oyster Fishery Co. Ltd.  The area’s unique seafood heritage, the local cuisine, the stunning scenery and the vision of the Stranraer business community, collectively inspired the first oyster festival held in Stranraer in September 2017.

With the Stranraer Development Trust at the helm, this three-day event marks a celebration of the cultural and coastal heritage of Stranraer. It also highlights the many benefits and attractions of living in and visiting this beautiful area of South West Scotland.

Stranraer is dramatically situated on the sweeping shoreline at the head of Loch Ryan. There could be no more perfect backdrop to an oyster festival than the beautiful view from the festival’s harbour location with its popular marina and then out across the loch to distant Ailsa Craig, and beyond to the Irish Sea.

This year’s oyster festival was packed with entertainment for all ages and featured a host of foodie events, performances and workshops. Wild food foraging, celebrity chef demos, competitions, a plethora of children’s and youth projects that took place before during and after festival weekend, live music and a bustling festival market crammed with traders, some selling their excellent locally produced food and drink, others their stylish arts and craftwork resulting in a truly terrific weekend.

Key to the festival’s appeal was The Scottish Oyster Shucking (opening) Championship Competition won by Loch Ryan Oyster Co.’s Tristan Hugh-Jones and kindly sponsored by Seafood Scotland. Energetic, risky and at times hilarious  – as gloved ‘shuckers’ from near and far battled it out on stage, to win the prized title that immediately qualified them to compete in the World Oyster Opening Championships held this year in Ireland’s Galway!

A word on 2017’s inaugural festival from Stranraer Development Trust chairman, businessman Romano Petrucci

“We wanted to devise a festival that involved and inspired our whole town, while creating a late summer tourism highlight to attract and welcome visitors to Stranraer. Food tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the UK.  Stranraer’s heritage, accommodation provision and superb cuisine as demonstrated by the many local chefs who participated in the event, clearly show that the town is perfectly placed to capitalise on this growing interest in food themed festivals.

Stranraer Oyster Festival 2017 is now over but the festival team is currently working to build on the firm foundations set by this year’s successful event. We will certainly keep you in touch.

Please Click Here for Stranraer Oyster Festival 2017 post festival Press Release.