CELEBRITY chefs cooked up a storm across Cumbria during National Picnic Week (16-22 June).

It was part of a range of fundraising activities to raise £10,000 for the NSPCC.

Led by Keswick's Peter Sidwell, star of ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery and executive chef at Rheged, a week of unique picnic experiences was created around a range of walks in the Lake District.

Each picnic experience was then auctioned online for the NSPCC’s services in Cumbria and across the UK.


Peter was joined by Great British Bake Off winners Frances Quinn and John Waite, award-winning chocolatier Paul A Young; Juliet Sear owner of Fancy Nancy cake boutique, and award-winning chef, Steven Doherty of The First Floor Café in Windermere.

The team created individually-themed picnics and accompanied participants on the walks.

Mr Sidwell said: "Thankfully the sun shone throughout the week and everyone who took part had a fantastic time. There was an opportunity to taste some amazing and creative picnics from some of the UK’s most talented chefs and also sample a range of local produce. We hope that everyone who took part had a fantastic day that will stay in their memories for a long time to come.”

Husband and wife hoteliers, Simon and Wendy Bennett from Kirkby Stephen, bid for a picnic experience hosted by Mr Sidwell and Mr Doherty.

To work up an appetite, they undertook an 8km walk with six friends and their children.

Mr Bennett said: “We wanted to support the work of the NSPCC in Cumbria because we have children and they have wonderful lives and we feel that every child should have a chance in life to have all the things we take for granted.”

Mrs Bennett added: “Everyone loved it and were buzzing at the end of it. It’s been an absolutely amazing day and the food was heavenly. It was a very special day.”

In addition, the couple, who are also owners of Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen, bid for a picnic with John Whaite, Great British Bake Off 2012 winner, to treat staff as part of a team-building day.

Kim Kimberlee-Smith, NSPCC fundraising manager for Cumbria, said: “We are very grateful to all the chefs who gave their time and talent so generously to help create this unique fundraising experience for the NSPCC – the first of its kind."

The NSPCC said a special thanks to members of A Taste of Cumbria for donating food for the event and to Lakeland Keswick Cruises for providing a ferry for walkers as part of event.