AN ICONIC coastal hotel is to host a celebration of seafood this summer.

The art deco Midland Hotel, on Morecambe's waterfront, will be the venue for the inaugural Seafood Festival weekend.

The event is designed to showcase the finest fare that our waters have to offer, with highlights including an oyster and champagne bar, displays of fish smoking, and a seafood and farmers' market.

The Berry family-owned English Lakes Hotels Resorts and Venues is busy planning the festival for Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3. The first evening will feature an Under the Sea-themed dinner dance, and the market promises to be a showcase for local and regional seafood suppliers.

"The Midland has always been renowned for its seafood cuisine, from Morecambe Bay shrimps to line-caught sea bass, and we want to put on a really special weekend to celebrate the diversity and taste of our nation's seafood," said the hotel's general manager, Mark Needham. "Our aim is to make the Seafood Festival a popular annual fixture.

"The hotel’s stunning Sun Terrace views will be the perfect backdrop to a series of practical, hands-on displays about seafood preparation and the sustainability of fish. Smokey Jo's will lead the fun with demonstrations on how to smoke certain fish and Frank Benson will show festival visitors how to prepare world-famous Morecambe Bay potted shrimps for the dish."

On the Sunday, a showpiece marquee will open from 11am, featuring an oyster and Laurent Perrier champagne bar, a seafood stall with a wide variety of shellfish, crustaceans and other popular catches, local cask ales and live music from vintage singer Becki Fishwick and other entertainers.

Festival visitors will also be able to enjoy afternoon tea sittings featuring seafood-inspired sampling platters and three-tier cake, scone and finger sandwich selections.

For reservations or to find out more, call 01524-424000.