Ballantrae Festival exceeds all expectations once again

Ballantrae's third Festival of Food & Drink.
Ballantrae's third Festival of Food & Drink.

Windy weather didn’t deter over 2,000 people from turning up for Ballantrae’s third Festival of Food and Drink.

Visitors flocked to the award-winning event which was held in a grand marquee complex at Ballantrae Harbour. Food and drink stalls offering the very best in local Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway produce, including fish and seafood, meats, cheeses, chocolates, jams, breads, cakes, cider, wine and whisky all did a roaring trade. This year the festival attracted producers from Glasgow and the central belt.

Street food, including a mouth watering range of stone baked pizzas, burgers made with local beef, juices, ice cream, beers, gin and coffee were enjoyed at banqueting tables with stunning views of Ailsa Craig and Arran.

Top chefs Adam McKissock from Dumfries House, David Alexander of Glenapp Castle, Lindsay Guidi of the Home Cook School, Iain Conway of Lochgreen Hotel and Jonathan Pieroni fishmonger, all shared their expertise in cookery demonstrations. Lisa Cutcliffe led foraging expeditions on Ballantrae beach followed by tasting sessions.

Live music was provided by local group, The Spuds. The ‘Ballantrae Biosphere’ demonstrated the area’s passion for living in a way that benefits people, nature, learning and sustainability. Ballantrae Primary School pupils’ presentation, ‘Pollination’, on healthy eating was very well received as was Brenda Anderson’s fascinating insight into the history of Scotland’s food and drink.

Festival organisers say they’re delighted with the turnout. Co-ordinator, Siobhan Liddington said: “The Festival continues to exceed our expectations. The partnership between producers, suppliers, food and tourism professionals and the local community works well, and brings benefits to us all.”

The success of the festival is due to the time and commitment of many local people and businesses.