Residents at a New Forest care home had a whale of a time by staging their own marine-themed festival.
The fun at Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington included sampling an array of seafood dishes, enjoying ocean-related stories and photo presentations, and even going on a virtual tour of a lighthouse.
Staff and residents created the in-home experience after Covid restrictions meant they couldn’t attend the nearby Lymington Seafood Festival in person.
Companionship Team Leader May Butcher said: “We were all disappointed that we couldn’t take a residents’ group out to the main community event.
“Instead, we decided to ‘turn the tide’ on our setback and bring the sea festival-vibe here to Belmore.
“In the end it turned out brilliantly. Our residents helped us as we dressed our lounge with starfish decorations, seashells and fishing nets, our chef prepared a tasty selection of delicious seafood to try and we shared in lots of sea-related stories and poems.”
On the menu were seafood platters and dishes including sushi, seaweed, salmon, tuna, prawns, crab and various pates and mousses.
The virtual tour focused on Hurst Point Lighthouse which has helped guide vessels through the western Solent along the coast from Lymington for more than 200 years.
There were also screenings of the popular whale drama Free Willy and a National Geographic documentary about our oceans.
Belmore Lodge resident Mary Young said: “I was delighted to help with the planning of our festival and on the food side we all enjoyed the wonderful flavours of the sea – the prawn crackers were especially more-ish.”
The Lymington Sea Festival itself took place at the town’s Bath Road Park over the August Bank Holiday weekend. It was reformatted in advance to comply with socially distanced event regulations. Like Belmore Lodge’s festival, it featured fishy delicacies from around the world.