Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink becomes a weekend extravaganza

Ballantrae’s hugely successful Festival of Food and Drink is back for a third year.

The occasion on Sunday June 11th will be preceded on the Friday and Saturday by two other fringe events making it a truly unmissable weekend. 

The award winning festival builds on the village's successful reputation for Farmers’ Markets, the Smugglers’ Festival, the Ballantrae Gala and craft fairs.   The action on the Sunday will be in and around a complex of marquees at Ballantrae harbour and at nearby Craigiemains Home and Garden Centre.

The very best in local produce including fish, seafood, meats, cheeses, chocolates, jams, breads, cakes, cider, wine and whisky, will be available to sample, buy, take home and enjoy.

Visitors will also be able to sit down to a range of  mouth watering delights, from stone baked pizzas to a hog roast at banqueting tables overlooking spectacular views of Ailsa Craig. 

Top flight chefs will be there to pass on their skills – including a  “Ready Steady Cook” demonstration by Scott Gilmour from Seamill Hydro, Adam McKissock from Dumfries House and David Alexander from Glenapp Castle.  Brenda Anderson, the World Food and Travel Association Ambassador for Scotland will give a fascinating insight into the history of  Scottish food and drink. Lindsay Guidi from the Home Cook School, Jonathan Pieroni of Pieroni and Sons fishmongers and Iain Conway the executive chef at Lochgreen Hotel will also be passing on their culinary expertise. Lisa Cutcliffe will be back to lead her hugely popular foraging expeditions along the shore.  

There will be demonstrations and talks by the children of Ballantrae & Colmonell Primary Schools and an opportunity to visit the “Ballantrae Biosphere”. Young visitors can also enjoy entertainment provided by “Talk of the Town”.

Siobhan Liddington chair of the Ballantrae Food Strategy Group said:

“This year as well as continuing to improve the visitor experience on the Sunday with the range of produce on offer, and a greater emphasis on local food, drink and professional expertise, with the help of two of our festival partners, we are introducing two additional events to ensure a truly memorable weekend.  

On the Friday evening The Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival is producing an event for the whole family entitled “Music, Poetry and Smuggling Stories”.  On the Saturday at the “Edible Cinema” at Culzean Country Park, the audience will experience cinema in a unique way through aroma, texture and taste.  There will be one film for adults and one for children.”

Andy McAlpine of the Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival said:

“Ballantrae has a colourful smuggling past and we have joined with the Festival of Food and Drink in this year of History, Heritage and Archaeology to keep that history alive. Children from Ballantrae Primary School and the surrounding area will read poems and stories from the book they published last year entitled “Our Smuggling Tales” and sing smuggling songs.  On the Sunday during the Festival of Food and Drink, in our “Smugglers’ Contraband Store” you’ll be able to observe the smugglers trying to decide where to hide the contraband before it’s transported inland.  You’ll also have the opportunity to taste the contraband!”

Describing what is planned for the “Edible Cinema” on Saturday 10 June at Culzean Country Park’s Home Farm Auditorium, Debbie Dalrymple, Hospitality and Events Manager said:

“During Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (PG) at 4pm, the audience will be provided with chocolate bars, one of which will contain the lucky golden ticket to win an exciting mysterious prize. At 6.30pm Chocolat (12) will provide a unique experience as the audience will be supplied with a tray of numbered mystery chocolates to eat on cue during the film to enhance their cinematic experience, making them feel like they have entered the world of Chocolat. “ 

Events Timetable

Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink is on Sunday 11th June from 11am to 5 pm. Admission is £2 with accompanied children free.  No dogs please other than guide dogs

Free parking is available in two designated car parks in the village - one for vehicles approaching from the north and another for vehicles approaching from the south.

A free shuttle bus will be provided between the festival and Stranraer and Girvan.  Details, including timetables, can be found at www.ballantraefoodfest.com.

Foraging expeditions  with Lisa Cutcliffe will take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  Places are limited so pre-book at ballantraefoodfest.eventbrite.co,uk is recommended.  Tickets are £12 and include free entry to the Festival.

 “Music, Poetry and Smuggling Stories”  is on Friday 9 June in a marquee at Ballantrae Harbour at 7pm.  Admission is £2 with accompanied children free. 

“Edible Cinema”  is on Saturday 10 June at Culzean Country Park’s Home Farm Auditorium, 4pm (children) and 6.30 (adults). Adult tickets are £10.50, Child (16 and under) £5.50 both with complimentary entry to park from 3pm. Tickets are available from: https://nts.cloudvenue.co.uk/EdibleCinema.

The Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink is organised by the Ballantrae Food Strategy Group - local volunteers working in partnership with food and drink and other professionals.  This year the Festival has received funding from EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate; Carrick Futures with funding from Scottish Power Renewables Mark Hill and Arecleoch wind farms; and ScotRail. 

For more information on the events on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, go to www.ballantraefoodfest.com

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