James Strawbridge is firing up his smoker: ash-cooked sea bass, apple-smoked Fowey mussels and oak-smoked haddock kedgeree are all on the menu at the Strawbridge & Son BBQ Smokehouse this year at The Port Eliot Festival.
The East Cornwall festival is a mecca for foodies, artists and aesthetes. A highlight will be the new Flower and Fodder Stage, sponsored by Fortnum & Mason. There’s a packed schedule, which offers visitors the chance to taste food prepared by innovative chefs, and attend lectures by movers and shakers in the food world, from restaurateur Russell Norman to broadcaster and food writer Tom Parker Bowles.
The House at Port Eliot has been lived in for more than 1,000 years and is the oldest continually inhabited dwelling in the UK. Augustinian monks were there from the year 937, while the earliest remaining evidence of a dwelling on the site is a 1,500-year-old glazed tiled floor, dating from the late Iron Age.
Festival goers camp in the grounds, but the house is incorporated into the festival. “The Big Kitchen” is used for cooking demonstrations – aptly named because of its extraordinary proportions. This year, Mark Hix is running a pop-up restaurant in the 19th-century Orangery and there are themed walks over the estate – down along the secret estuary of the river Lynher, which winds under Brunel’s railway viaduct.
Other highlights this year is a Cornish pasty class by Kay Bolitho, Port Eliot cook, a candlelit concert by Luke Sital-Singh in the Port Eliot church, and the Andrews of Arcadia stall selling “vintage fishing tackle for the soul”.
Tickets and full festival info: www.porteliotfestival.com or @PortEliotFest
Day tickets: Starting at £40 for adults, available online in advance.
Port Eliot Estate, St Germans, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 5ND