Taste Cumbria's flagship event to return bigger than ever
Tickets for the special events at next month's Taste Cumbria festival in Cockermouth go on sale today.
Preparations are well under way for Cumbria’s biggest and best food festival – and this year there will be more going on over the course of the two-day event than ever before.
The main programme takes place in the town centre on September 23 and 24, with an evening of launch events in the region on the Friday.
New for this year is the county’s most exclusive dining experience: Michelin-starred chef Kevin Tickle of The Forest Side, in Grasmere, will cook for just 32 guests in Wordsworth House and Garden.
There will be two sittings - lunch and dinner - on Friday September 22.
Also happening for the first time is The Secret Gin Garden, which will take place in the Castlegate House Gallery, in Cockermouth, and its private garden on Friday evening and during Saturday. Shed 1 Gin of Ulverston will be mixing up some cocktails, with canapés from Shill’s of Cockermouth.
Elsewhere, there’s the Prosecco Picnic, with fizz from Tipsy Filly and artisan meats from StoneHouse Smokery. The two Carlisle-based businesses will be in a new festival location, at the top of Lowther Went, next to Wilko.
The team at CN Events, which organises Taste Cumbria, is also launching two Taste Trails – one for little foodies and another for the grown-ups – which will guide visitors around town and into the local businesses. And, for the first time this year, the beer festival will be free entry, with an amazing range of ales courtesy of Workington’s Tractor Shed Brewing and Jennings.
The festival’s comedy night is also back, with three great national names taking to the stage in its new home at the Jennings Marquee at Jennings Brewery on the Friday. The main event, on both days of the weekend, will see a massive producers’ market with 80 stalls and the demonstration stage on Main Street, plus a hot food court with loads of freshly-cooked goodies to eat in Market Place. Cockermouth Kitchen Company in Market Place is again hosting the expert masterclasses.
Festival organiser Marie Whitehead, director of CN Events, said: “We can’t help but get excited about our flagship Taste Cumbria festival but when we’re bringing together even more of the very best food and drink experts this county has to offer, we can’t wait for the weekend to arrive.
“Using two of Cockermouth’s most beautiful venues – Wordsworth House and Garden, and Castlegate House Gallery – and bringing Kevin Tickle to Cockermouth for the first time is a real coup. Meanwhile the rest of the festival is just getting bigger, with more locations and more to see and do.”
Mark Fryer from Allerdale Borough Council, the event’s headline sponsor, said: "It has been fantastic to see how the Taste Cumbria food festivals have gone from strength to strength. The benefits for Allerdale and West Cumbria have already been proven.
"The Cockermouth festival in 2015 attracted around 40,000 visitors and put nearly £3 million into the local economy.
"Food and drink producers across the county and beyond are clamouring to be a part of this flagship event as it boosts their business too. As a council, we're proud to have been a part of it from the very start and to continue to support it.
"Come along, eat, drink and enjoy the fun."