A HOTEL with an enviable reputation for good food became the culinary capital of the north when the nation's finest chefs descended upon it.

Some of the UK’s most celebrated names from the world of cuisine delighted guests at an event held in the name of charity at the Abbey House Hotel and Gardens.

Over the course of two nights, they served Michelin-starred food to raise money for the Lake District Farmers Armstrong Family Charitable Trust.

The organisation was set up in 2013 to celebrate the legacy of local businessman and philanthropist Ray Armstrong who died of cancer in April of the same year.

John Horton, general manager of the hotel, was on hand to welcome the chefs along with 240 diners over the two evenings.

He said: “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome the chefs into the Abbey House kitchens over the course of the weekend and to see them in action. We have supported the LDF’s annual event for the last three years now and it is always a pleasure to be involved.

“It was clear this weekend that guests had a fantastic experience on both Friday and Saturday evenings. The hotel’s Cavendish Suite was alive with good feeling, conversation and of course, magnificent food.

“We look forward to being involved in this fantastic event for many years to come.”

This year’s event was the seventh since Ray died.

On Friday, chefs Brett Graham, Phil Howard and Tom Barnes took to the kitchen pass to prepare a series of mouth-watering courses.

They were followed on Saturday by Clare Smyth, Adam Byatt and Angela Hartnett.

Money raised from the weekend will be funneled into the LDF Armstrong Family Charitable Trust, which through its monthly grant donations will continue in 2019 to provide help and support to people most in need across Cumbria. To date, it has handed out more than £250,000.

Phil Howard, who was responsible for courses one and six on Friday - a smoked mackerel veloute and a rhubarb, blood orange and sauternes jelly - is one of the UK’s most celebrated Michelin-starred chefs.

He said: “You want to support people who support you. Dan and the Lake District Farmers are phenomenal people and it’s a great company. They do us a lot of favours, they look after us at Elystan Street and so it is nice to look after them when they call out.

“I am big into charity there are thousands of good causes out there, but I really like what they do up here.

“There are so many charities which try to change the world, or huge swathes of it and I love the fact that they try to make a massive difference to a few people rather than a little difference to a lot.”

Dan Austin is the managing director of the Lake District Farmers and worked under Ray. he said: “Both evenings were excellent and we’ve had fantastic feedback from those who attended.

“I think the food was the best of all the events we’ve ever done. I have to thank John, Alan, Cameron and all the Abbey House Team, they were superb start to finish and delivered a service we were very proud of.

“Now our attention turns to making sure we change lives with the money we’ve raised.

“The loyal support we receive from our diners is what makes this possible and we can’t thank them enough for buying the tickets and turning out once again.”