Hairy Bikers on the menu at Taste Cumbria 2011
Last updated at 21:30, Thursday, 29 September 2011
There were a whole host of foodie delights on the menu at this year's Taste Cumbria festival in Cockermouth.
More than 20,000 people enjoyed the sunshine at the two-day event last weekend, which was headlined by TV celebrity chef duo The Hairy Bikers.
Named as one of the top food festivals in the country by the Guardian newspaper, the event featured demonstrations, masterclasses and a market.
The Hairy Bikers topped the bill and could have filled Christ Church four times over for their two hour-long demonstrations on Saturday and the other celebrity chefs including Tom Kitchin and Stefan Gates proved just as popular.
Organised by West Cumbria Tourism and SK Events, of Liverpool, the festival is part of a three-year programme to promote Cumbrian produce and artisans nationwide.
It was embraced by the townsfolk as cafes and businesses, including VeeVa!, butchers Tony Harrisons and The Sweet Shop offered free samples to festival-goers wandering Main Street.
The main attraction was the food market on Main Street, which also featured plenty of West Cumbrian food businesses and other county traders offering their wares.
Nick Shill, owner of Shills of Station Street in Cockermouth, had a stall on Main Street which included some of his suppliers.
He said: “The food festival is one of the best things that could have happened to the town and we have seen it get bigger this year.
“It has been a wonderful weekend and put Cockermouth on the map again and it is only going to get bigger from now."
The Trout Hotel's champagne bar was well attended during the weekend, especially when the sun came out Saturday afternoon and dozens of people sipped champagne in the riverside hotel's gardens.
In the Memorial Gardens, there was plenty going on, including an interactive children's area and the beer and bangers marquee, which featured local brewers including Cockermouth's Jennings and Seaton's Mitchell Krause.
Graeme Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Krause, said: "It's been good crack and is a great way to give my business a higher profile.
"We were here last year and it's been nice to see people we met last year who have made a beeline for us, as well as introducing people to our beers."
The event was opened by Christine Smith, mayor of Cockermouth.
Don Hunt, of Aspatria's Lake District Cheese Company, said: “It is the first time we have come the food festival and it has been absolutely fantastic.
“We have been gobsmacked by how busy it is and is definitely something we will push to do again next year.
“It was a fantastic idea to have something like this and I feel there should be more of them.”
Live music was also a part of the event, with a small stage at the top of Main Street and performance space in the beer and bangers marquee.
Acts included local bands The Conspiracy and Kitchie Wud.
People came from all over the country for the festival.
Keswick celebrity chef Peter Sidwell attended with wife Emma and daughter Poppy.
He said: “It is nice to see everybody about in town and there has been a good atmosphere.
“The weather has helped bring people out and it is good to see something like this happen here because it can sometimes get overshadowed by other things in the Lake District.”
Hazel Morgan, 65, of Beech Lane, Cockermouth, said: “It has been fun and I have enjoyed just wandering around and having a look."
The Northlakes Foodbank had a stall on Main Street and Andrew Robinson, director, said: “It has been really busy and I have had a lot of local families who have offered to drop off food here.
“It has been a great event for the town and has brought people in from outside the area.
“The weather has been great and if you were going to order the weather you couldn’t asked for a better one and the people have come out with the sunshine.”
First published at 17:04, Sunday, 25 September 2011
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I agree with Lars' comment - what was the point of the daily or weekend ticket ( sold as a wristband) other than to raise revenue.I bought a day ticket and and a ticket to see Eric Lanlard who was excellent, not once throughout the day was my wristband checked. Would like to see some feedback from West Cumbria Tourism and SK Events on this please.
It was a very nice weekend,nice weather and nice food.
But one big but! For what do you need tickets? We bought weekend tickets,but there was nowwhere to use it,nearly everyone there was without ticket.
16 pound for the bin. Not really happy about that.
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