Chefs cook up a week of picnics based around Lake District walks...and raise £10k for NSPCC

One of the picnics at Alcock Tarn above Grasmere

Peter Sidwell with the NSPCC's Kim Kimberlee-Smith

First published in News
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The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

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.

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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.

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