The Ballantrae Food Festival

The stalls at Ballantrae Food Festival attract thousands every year.
The stalls at Ballantrae Food Festival attract thousands every year.

Final preparations are underway for one of Scotland’s most successful food festivals held in Ballantrae, which for the first time will take place over two days.

Thousands of visitors are expected to attend Ballantrae’s Festival of Food & Drink on Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, from 11am to 5pm. Entry is £4 per day or £6 for both days if purchased in advance from www.ballantraefoodfest.com with accompanied children free of charge.

The award-winning event, now in its fourth year, attracts top chefs and food producers from Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and further afield. The very best of produce including fish and seafood, meats, cheeses, breads, cakes, jams, chocolates, gins, wines, real ales and whisky will all be available to sample, buy, take home and enjoy.

Visitors will be able to sit down to a range of mouth-watering delights, from alcoholic beverages and artisan coffee to burgers, with veggie options and a hog roast cooked outdoors over an open fire, while taking in the views of Ailsa Craig.

Cookery demonstrations and foraging expeditions are among the highlights, and young visitors can enjoy making kites with “Go Fly Kite” which they can then test fly on the beach. They will also be able to enjoy riding on the scale model train at Craigiemains Garden Centre.

The Saturday is World Gin Day and Ballantrae Gin will be released for the first time. This gin, which has been developed in conjunction with Pixel Spirits and produced at their Gin School in Ballachulish, celebrates Ballantrae’s coastal location, including amongst others botanicals such as rosehip and sea-buckthorn. There will be several distillers present alongside The Gin Show who will be showing off their selection of over 100 gins.

The event is being held largely in a grand marquee complex at Ballantrae harbour so whatever the weather, it’s set to be a great day out.

Festival organiser Mhairi McKenna said: “The 2019 renewal of the Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink builds upon the success of our previous three festivals and expands upon them to make the festival a two-day event with a view to the long term sustainability of the festival.

“Ballantrae is playing its part in helping to deliver national and local tourism and food strategies as well as generating an income for suppliers and local businesses.”

“We are particularly excited to be launching Ballantrae Gin at the festival. After defining the concept and outline botanical profile, the organising committee had to endure an arduous tasting session before landing on the final recipe for Ballantrae Gin and we’re very happy with it. With pre-orders already well underway, this is generating a real buzz, ahead of the event. Special thanks should go to Chris Saunders of The Gin Show for his help.

“The village of Ballantrae looks forward to welcoming all of our contributors and visitors on June 8 and 9.”

Foraging expeditions costing £5 and can be pre-booked at www.ballantraefoodfest.com (click on Buy Tickets) – or go to https://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-ballantrae-trust-19377410984

Entry fee includes; Cookery and cocktail demonstrations along with live music throughout the day and free transport to and from the event from Stranraer, Girvan and The Stinchar Valley. For details visit www.ballantraefoodfest.com .

In addition to the main festival, there will be a ceilidh on Saturday evening in the village hall. Tickets will be on sale Saturday, June 8, at the festival and on the door of the village hall (availability allowing).

The Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink is organised by a group of the Ballantrae Trust board and dedicated local volunteers. This year the festival has received funding from The Ballantrae Community Fund; Carrick Futures, The Kilgallioch Community Fund and Regional Food Fund.

For full details of the festival programme visit www.ballantraefoodfest.com.