Looe Festival by the Sea

Looe festival of the seaLooe Festival by the Sea is an annual festival that celebrates Looe and it’s connections with the sea, good food, local music and all things Cornish.

Now in its seventh year, the Festival by the Sea promises to be bigger and better than ever before with events such as food tasting, raft racing, choral singing, lifeboat naming and exhibitions by the RSPB and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.


Looe Festival by the Sea is being held on the 9th and 10th of July 2011 – this weekend!


Festival events will take place on East and West Looe quays – see Looe town map.


As far as I know festival events kick off at 11am on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Weather forecast

According to my weather forecast it’s going to be sunshine with a few fluffy clouds, so if you live here, are coming to here on holiday or just fancy popping into Looe for a day out, then get here early to enjoy the best of what’s on offer.

Want to know more? Click the following Looe Festival by the Sea “Read More” link…

Read more about the Looe Festival by the Sea 2011

Trawlers serving drinkFood – Grazing on the Quay

Okay, this is not a complete list as I have haven’t heard back from some restaurants and food providers so I expect there to be more than the good people who got back to me below.

Foodie events and tasting sessions are being held on both days with the ever so popular ‘Grazing on the Quay’ taking place from 11am each day. I must admit that I don’t like the phrase ‘Grazing on the Quay’. I think it’s the ‘cow/grazing’ connotations. It just conjures up the wrong images when you consider the food on offer is provided by some of the best restaurants in Cornwall! I’ll have to put my mind to an alternative – unless you have a better one – drop me a line.

Award winning restaurants taking part

It’s true, some of the best food restaurants in Cornwall are right here in Looe.

We have Gold, Silver and Bronze Award winners from the Taste of the West Awards and most if not all will be on the quayside at the Festival by the Sea this weekend.

Barclay House, Trawlers on the Quay and The Plough (in Duloe)

Barclay House LooeBarclay House

Barclay House is one of the premiere Hotels in Looe. The hotel has an enviable reputation, both for its position overlooking the town and for the restaurant which has won so many awards. Barclay House is listed in the Michelin Guide with two AA Rosettes for excellence (top 2% of 40,000 restaurants), has won Gold in the Taste of the West awards and Silver in the Cornish Tourism Awards! They’re pretty good!

Head Chef Benjamin Palmer and Assistant Chef Jake Palmer should both be at the Barclay House stand ready to answer any of your questions and share some of their delightful, locally sourced dishes. Their Stand will be outside Trawlers on the Quay.

Trawlers on the Quay

Trawlers on the Quay is a sister restaurant to Barclay House and is possibly the best seafood restaurant in Looe. The restaurant is contemporary in design and occupies a great position overlooking the harbour. Trawlers has also won a Gold at the Taste of the West Awards and were featured in the Which Good Food Guide.

Trawlers specialise in locally sourced seafood and having been there just a couple of weeks ago (thank you to our friends who paid for this) I can personally recommend them. We had some beautifully presented dishes which tasted divine and the service was always with a smile. We like Trawlers.

Hopefully, Head Chef Jono Hancock will be at the stall on Saturday and Sunday so you can have a chat about his culinary delights. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Trawlers on the QuayThe Plough in Duloe

The Plough in Duloe (very near to Looe) is a new member of the Barclay House family. The pub had been closed for a while until Barclay House took over and renovated it in 2011.

The restaurant in The Plough is overseen by Chefs Katie Gilmon and Jordan Davies. I haven’t been there yet so I can’t pass on an opinion but should the opportunity arise, I’ll report back to you straight away.

The food at the festival

According to the PR department at Barclay House, all three restaurants will be serving a selection of locally sourced dishes perfect for the festival including:

  • Scallop and Prawn Toasts
  • Cataplana and Baked breads
  • Cornish Crab Gaspachio

Food will be served throughout the day (11am to 5pm) and Trawlers and Barclay House will be open during the evening on Saturday (Trawlers Sunday).

Blue Plate Restaurant

Blue Plate ChefsBlue Plate are another of South East Cornwall’s best restaurants. The restaurant has an open, fresh and contemporary feel to it and is minutes away from Looe, in Downderry.

Blue Plate will be taking part in the Looe Festival by the Sea on Sunday, serving food from 11am until 5pm (earlier if they sell out!) on the quayside in East Looe near Trawlers and the Old Sail Loft Restaurant.

Blue Plate Chefs, Nick Barclay and Iain Shillito, will be cooking up tasters of ‘Crispy Fish Taco’s’ and their nearly legendary ‘Seafood Cocktails’. Come and meet the guys and try what they have on offer. Having dined at Blue Plate before I can guarantee everything will be delicious.

Blue Plate foodBlue Plate competition

Nick has informed me that Blue Plate will be running a competition for a table for 2 for dinner at Blue Plate. I’m not sure what it entails but it has to be worth a go.

The Old Sail Loft Restaurant

I have just been given an update by The Old Sail Loft Restaurant who say they will be at the Festival by the Sea too. This is great news as they are a very popular restaurant and I’m sure their fans would miss them if they weren’t there.

Dominic tells me that they will be serving the following dishes:

  • Fresh Local Mussels in a Cornish Orchards Cider Sauce
  • Festival fish cakes with caper mayo

Both sound utterly delicious and thanks for the update Dominic.

Other Events at the Looe Festival by the Sea

The RNLI who are co-ordinating most of the events during the festival will also be naming their new D Class lifeboat the Ollie Naismith at 11am on Saturday at their boathouse.

This is a major event for the Looe RNLI as Ollie was a much loved and respected local lad who died in a tragic car accident. The RNLI had to raise £31,000 for the new D Class boat but has in fact raised over £69,000! Great going to all those involved.

Other highlights over the weekend include the

  • Great Cornish Raft Race
    Sunday 10th July at 1.30pm.
    Starts on Looe seafront (or RNLI boathouse – conflicting reports!), goes up Looe River, under Looe Bridge, turns around and races back down to the beach.
    Organised by Looe Boats Owners Association.
    Featuring the historic Ryder Lifeboat, an air sea rescue and choral music by Looe Valley Singer and Keltique (7.30pm in the RNLI boathouse).
  • RNLI Lifeguards and Whitsand Bay Surf Lifesaving
    Undertaking a sponsored paddle from the Rame to Looe beach!
  • Exhibitions
    Cornwall Wildlife Trust
    West Looe Crafters
    The Monkey Sanctuary
  • Net making
    Along the quayside

Other potential but unconfirmed to ilovelooe food exhibitors

Last year there were many other food suppliers on the quayside and I have read else where on the web that the following businesses are involved. Hopefully they’ll all be there for you to meet:

  • The Old Sail Loft Restaurant
  • Simply Fish, fish merchants
  • Nippers Shellfish
  • Pengelly’s Fishmongers
  • Treleavens Ice Cream
  • Squid Ink
  • Tasty Corner
  • OKeef’s Butchers

If anyone else would like to add to this article please send me the information. I can only add what I am given and no press pack or press release has been forthcoming – strange really so if you can help please send me the details.

As always, would love to hear your thoughts about the events be they before or after. All the best. Chris

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About iLoveLooe

Cornwall was always one of our dream places to live, so we upped sticks in 2007 and moved to Looe. I now run iLoveLooe.co.uk and various social media locations for Looe on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Say 'Hi' sometime.