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The Drunken Sailor drops anchor at the Cowbridge Food and drink Festival!

It’ll be all hands on deck for the jolly Drunken Sailors crew as the boat docks for the very first time at this year’s Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival which will take place across the Spring Bank Holiday Weekend (May 26-27th).

Festival goers will be invited aboard the mobile bar – uniquely converted from an old fishing boat – to join its hearty shipmates and sample some of the very best draught beers and ciders on tap.

‘Captain’ Dale Hewings and partner Tara hit on the idea for the project which saw him work flat out for 18 months to bring a once weary vessel back to life and swap sea for shore.

“I used to run a company that made bespoke bars for other people and was looking for something to do for myself,” said Dale.

“I knew I wanted it to be unique and one evening, we just thought why not a boat!

“I really don’t think either of us quite realised what we were getting into at the time but it’s been the most amazing journey from start to finish and we’re so looking forward to seeing people’s reactions when we rock up at Cowbridge.

“We spent weeks searching for the right one and then we found her for sale, tucked away under some trees in a garden in Gloucester.

“She’s been a fishing boat, hauled in lobster and felt the wind in her sails as a clinker racer and it’s been a real privilege to restore her and create what we think is one of the most unique festival bars out there.

The Drunken Sailor Boat

“She was in quite a bad way but it was love at first sight; times when I thought I must be mad but, as the varnish was going on in the final stages I was so emotional I cried my eyes out!

“As much as has been possible, we’ve stayed true to her past and used as many marine materials as we could, including our paints and finishes, fixtures, fittings and more.

“It’ll be our first time at the Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival this year and I can guarantee visitors will have a blast aboard – it’s such a fun crew, we all love what we do to the point that it doesn’t feel like work at all; it’s what we’re all about – come for a drink and leave with a smile.

“All the family will be coming along; Tara and our two boys, Dylan who’s five and little Owen who’ll be three months.

“Since having the second baby, we’re more conscious of the events we attend and Cowbridge is such a family-friendly festival – lots for the adults but plenty for the children too so it’s a perfect fit for us.”

Alongside The Drunken Sailors, Dale also runs ‘Gooey Chewy Cheese’ – a food stall adding a bit of razzle to raclette with a whole menu based around the big-wheeled Swiss cheese.

Gooey Chewy Cheese

Festival goers will be able to sample for themselves with dishes including the hugely popular classic raclette (with butter boiled garlic and rosemary salted baby potatoes), Philthy cheese steak rolls and Poutine all planned to make an appearance.

Dale adds:

“It’s been great to be able to get both The Drunken Sailors and Gooey Chewy Cheese into the festival – people can hop aboard, enjoy our hospitality and then head off for some hearty food; I have a feeling we’ll be kept very busy which is what we love doing best.”

Cowbridge Food and Drink Festival manager Tracy James-Lieberman said she can’t wait to have both The Drunken Sailors and Gooey Chewy Cheese on site.

“I absolutely love everything about what Dale has done with the boat – and then I heard there was cheese aswell so it just got better.

“I’m so looking forward to having them with us this year; we’ve got such a great mix of old favourites our visitors love to see but also these exciting new additions so there really is something for everyone.”