[S]kelton Show, scheduled for Saturday 7th July and set in the stunning grounds of Hutton-in-the-Forest, started its popular ‘@TasteSkelton’ Food Festival approximately 15 years ago – the first year with just nine stands.
This year almost 40 stands and exhibitors are booked in. The ‘TasteSkelton’ Food Festival has become so popular that it is now one of the biggest showcases of local food produce to be exhibited in one place in Cumbria.
Show Director John Slee comments “We have an action-packed day planned to provide even more entertainment and enjoyment this year. In the main ring the entertainment will feature the fearless and amazing Stannage International Stunt Team. A truly family affair, the stunt team – Mark, Janine and Aaron – will bring excitement to audiences of all ages with manoeuvres involving car, motorbike, fire and high fall stunts.
As a complete contrast with a calmer and more elegant event will be the Concours D’Elegance equestrian display. Other attractions include the popular Scurry Racing as well as the fun Terrier Racing spectacles with music provided by the Penrith Town Band.”
Of course the traditional agricultural aspects are still very much at the heart of Skelton show as Chairman Andrew Bargh reiterates “As well as a large selection of cattle, horses and sheep (including the new Shetland, Ryland and Any Native Breed Sheep classes), there is a marquee full of classes for children, cooking, painting, floral arts, vegetables and walking sticks. Other attractions include the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling, pony sports and over 100 trade stands”.
Colin Atkinson, TasteSkelton Co-ordinator, explains the ethos behind the ‘@TasteSkelton’: “We aim to get a broad range of delicious products, from the totally quirky to the traditional food festival favourites. We aim to cater for all food lovers and especially for food lovers of the countryside as we’ll be promoting all products from the field to the fork. We are delighted that Cranstons Quality Butchers Ltd are the main Food Festival sponsors who of course set a very high standard.”
Inside the large Food Hall on the show field, visitors can expect to see traditional producers such as the very popular Shaw’s Meats from Aspatria, who offer a huge selection including haggis, black pudding and salami to the less traditional and more quirky food exhibitors such as the Magnificent Marshmallow Company from Hutton with their funky Marshmallows and hot chocolates. Returning to @TasteSkelton again this year are the popular English Chocolate Fountain Company from Mansfield, and their stunning chocolate fountain, Mr Vikkis from Hesket who’ll be bringing their red hot chilli jams and Blamire medal winning Sue Aglionby from Hadrian Organics in Houghton, who will showcase her tasty organic meats.
New to @TasteSkelton this year is COCOCO from Eastriggs who promise to take you on a chocolate adventure and Shed Distillery from Ulverston, who’ll take you on an adventure of a different kind with their flavoured gins! Outside the Food Hall visitors can have their own cheese and wine party sat on the grass with a glass of chilled sparkling strawberry wine from Michelino who’ll be serving from his beautiful old three wheeler Piaggio van. Also exhibiting this year are Shelley’s Drinks (offering strawberry and raspberry gins) and selections of fine cheeses from both the Northumberland Cheese Company and Birdoswald Cheese. For the little ones, they will be delighted with the chocolate animals on sticks created by Dick & Fanny’s Bake House who are coming from Brampton just, north of Carlisle.
However, it doesn’t stop there as Skelton Show because @TasteSkelton also run a series of cookery themed demonstrations which run concurrently in the Cranstons Demo Kitchen next to the Food Hall, starting at midday and run every hour until a break for the main parade at approximately 3.30pm.
Provided with only with a fridge, four ring burner (no microwave) and washing up facilities, we are delighted to confirm that three local, but very notable chefs, are hosting their very own and individual cookery demonstrations.
First on at midday we welcome back the talented Steve Potts, Head Chef of the award winning Dockray Hall Hotel, Penrith. Described on Trip Advisor as “fantastic and superb”, Dockray Hall is a favourite eatery for both locals and visitors alike in Penrith. Steve and his team enthralled the crowds last year with his fabulous culinary demonstration featuring dishes from the Dockary Hall menu. Steve has pledged to cook a 3 course meal within the hour although is keeping the exact recipe a surprise.
Next on will be James Whitesmith, Head Chef from The Oddfellows Arms, Caldbeck. A previous globetrotting chef, James has recently set down roots with his young family having taken over this Cumbrian pub and undertaken extensive renovations. Having travelled the world throughout his culinary career, taking in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Egypt and Jordan and also Jersey, James is whipping up a couple of courses which are sure to have a worldwide taste influence.
The last cookery demo, before the grand parade, will be by our very own Skelton chef Ben Queen-Fryer. A regional finalist in the prestigious Roux Family Scholarship in 2015, Ben has been making quite a name for himself since re-opening the Dog & Gun Inn in Skelton. As Head Chef, his imaginative and creative menus using locally sourced produce, has earned him a dedicated local following and he was a finalist in the Cumbria Life Dining Pub of the Year 2018. Ben is leaving us in suspense with regards to his final creation but has assured us it will be very seasonal with a ‘minty theme’!
Following the Grand Parade, the last but not least demo will be run by Ben Clementson who is the Master Brewer behind Brack’N’Brew’s Ales and has been with the micro-brewery based on the shores of Ullswater since day one. Ben will be carrying out an informative guide to the production of fine ales.
Along with the ‘@TasteSkelton’ Food Festival Skelton Show also boasts a packed Craft and Gift marquee with over 42 stands committed to attending. This is one of the biggest gatherings of fine crafts people anywhere in the County and is an ideal opportunity to buy unique and bespoke gift for a birthday of a loved one or even that “one off” Christmas present for someone special in your life.
In addition, elsewhere on the field visitors can see one of the biggest displays of vintage tractors and cars anywhere in Cumbria, the ever popular Skelton dog show, Cumberland Wrestling Championship, a range of exciting activities for children and a packed day of main ring entertainment including the Grand Parade and the amazing Stannage Stunt Team. And that’s on top of the livestock, horses, trade stands, beer tent, ice cream vans and everything else that goes to make Skelton Show such a special and unforgettable day out.
Visitors to the Show don’t necessarily have to be in farming or their livestock to enjoy the show, as some of our testimonials on our Facebook page testify. Skelton Show truly has something for everyone, whatever your age or background.
So another action and fun packed show planned. For more information visit our website www.skeltonshow.com and for a limited time, a chance to buy reduced visitor tickets.
Admission charges (including parking) are Adults £12.50, OAP’s & Youths 11-21 £7.50 with kids under 11 free.