NEXT weekend sees the launch of the 14th Rye Bay Scallop Week, celebrating the mollusc which brought the fishing town to the attention of King Charles I.

From Friday, February 19, restaurants across the town will be offering scallop-heavy menus, with Webbe’s at the Fish Cafe in Tower Street putting together a five-course tasting menu for £42, and The Ship Inn in The Strand, offering a £50 four-course scallop menu on both Saturdays from 6.30pm.

There will also be cooking demonstrations using fresh scallops straight from the boat at the farmers’ market in Strand Quay on Wednesday, February 24, from 10am to noon.

More than 100 participating Rye businesses are joining in the fun as part of a town-wide fisherman’s trail, by putting a scallop diorama in their window. Youngsters who spot 20 scallop shells during the week can claim a chocolate bar prize at Adams Of Rye in High Street.

And there is a strong music programme, with the Queen’s Head Inn, in Landgate, hosting two performances by the Rye Bay Crew alongside a two-course menu on Friday, February 19, and Saturday, February 20 from 7pm, the Ypres Castle Inn, in Gun Garden hosting live performances through the week, and Rye Singers celebrating their 40th anniversary on Saturday, February 27, at Rye Community Centre in Conduit Hill.

The week ends on Sunday, February 28, with the annual What A Load Of Scallops Race, which sees teams of four take a barrow full of scallops from the boat at quayside to the Ship Inn from 10am.

For the full programme visit