The very first 1066 Wine and Food Festival got off to a rousing start with wine enthusiasts flocking to St Mary in the castle for the gala opening.
Wine critic and TV presenter Jilly Goolden talked about the importance and success of English sparkling wine which has now got international recognition.
Sussex-born Jilly was very enthusiastic about the wines from 1066 Country and recalled her work with local award winning Carr Taylor vineyard.
The Liane Carroll Trio then took to the stage to perform to an enthusiastic audience with some carefully chosen pieces to celebrate aspects of the seaside and wine.
Fittingly, her latest album “Seaside” will be released in September.
The volunteer run wine bar featured several local traditional method sparkling wines, which were very well received, along with other wines to complement the food provided by the Little Larder.
The Festival followed hot on the heel of the Midsummer Fish Festival.
It ran until the following weekend, when on Saturday June 27 and Sunday 28, professional tutored tastings took place in the Classroom on the Coast, at the Stade, hosted by locally based Essential Wine School.
Next door in the Stade Hall a wine market offered a wide range to taste and buy with the emphasis on our many quality local vineyards.
A guide and programme with wine tasting guidance, maps and a free to enter competition with prizes for wine lovers was made available.
The festival used a discount card which encouraged people to explore restaurants and other food outlets in Hastings and the wider area.
There were also tours and tastings held at local vineyards.
A total of 26 local businesses will be taking part in the food and wine festival.
A number of food shops and local delicatessens held promotions during the festival and there was a chance to discover something new like Thai wines, when Walkers, at Robertson Street, held a special tasting event.
It is hoped the festival will become an annual event.
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