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Cross the sea to sample the Tresco and Bryher Food Festival

What better time to visit the Scilly Isles than in September when the Tresco and Bryher Food Festival gets underway? Sample Bryher crab, St Martin's wine and St Agnes ice cream in a culinary festival fit for a king. Learn more about this gourmet food festival and find out the best way to reach the Scilly Isles in this informative article.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit the , perhaps the Tresco and Bryher Food Festival will convince you that the trip is worth it. This two-day event takes place on the second weekend in September and really goes to town on showing visitors what these islands have to offer food and drink-wise.

What to expect at the Tresco and Bryher Food Festival

The Tresco and Bryher Food Festival started in 2012 and is shared between the two main islands of Tresco and its near neighbour, Bryher. This fun foodie event starts on Tresco on the Saturday and sets out to impress the world with its finest producers, farmers and chefs creating some tasty and memorable culinary masterpieces.

As well as the chef’s demo kitchens there’s the chance for visitors to don a “pinny”, roll up their sleeves and take a more active role in the proceedings. There are several excellent workshops and taster courses for everyone to participate in which could be handy for anyone planning to be the next MasterChef.

Trestle tables with white cloths are laid out beneath an awning and festival-goers can browse the fresh crabs, dressed crab, homemade cakes and other delicious local food on offer. High on the list for sampling, buying or dining out on are Bryher crab and lobster along with Tresco’s fresh local vegetables and dairy produce. The neighbouring island of St Martins joins in by supplying St Martin’s wine and there are plenty of local brews, ciders and Cornish ales.

For dessert there is only one contender – St Agnes ice cream, served with a dollop of rich clotted cream. After that, a doze in the sun on the beach is probably called for!

Tresco and Bryher Food Festival Round 2!

If you’re staying for the two days, and that’s definitely recommended to make the journey worthwhile, you need to catch the ferry to Bryher for Round 2 on Sunday.

Bryher puts on its own creditable display of gourmet excellence at the island’s community centre. Get there at the crack of dawn ten to enjoy the perfect Bryher brunch, served up by Issy and Gareth Tibbs who work in the local Bryher hospitality trade. They will be selling freshly baked pain au chocolat, warm and flaky croissants and savoury scones.

If you’re still hungry, get a seat on the front row at the chef’s kitchen and you may get some samples of what Hell Bay Chef Richard Kearsley is demonstrating. There are plenty of stalls on both days selling local delicacies and high quality island goodies with a food and drink theme. If you want a truly authentic souvenir of your trip, pick up a traditional Scillonian Tatie Cake from Zoe Dan.

Getting to the Tresco and Bryher Food Festival

The best way to reach the Scilly Isles, and enjoy some stunning views as you hop across from Land’s End or Newquay, is via the . It provides a year-round service from Cornwall to St Mary’s and a summer service from Exeter. The 15-minute flight from Land’s End airport costs around £159 for adults and a little more from Newquay airport.

If time is no object, consider travelling by passenger boat aboard the . The journey takes 2½ hours to travel from Penzance to St Mary’s. From there you can get a short local ferry across to Tresco for the start of the Tresco and Bryher Food Festival. You need to book in advance and fares are currently £85 for adults. The former helicopter service from Penzance unfortunately no longer operates.

Once you have reached the Scilly Isles there is a regular inter-island ferry service between Tresco, Bryher, St Mary’s and St Martins by the .

Would you like to visit the Scilly Isles? Would this local food festival tempt you to make the journey, or would you prefer to go in a quieter time and enjoy the serenity the islands are famous for? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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