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Taste Cumbria’s pop-up in the parkland

Ben Wilkinson

The parkland of an historic Georgian mansion will be the location for Cumbria’s most exclusive dining experience.

Ben Wilkinson, head chef of 3 AA Rosette The Cottage in the Wood at Whinlatter near Keswick, will host the Taste Cumbria Pop-up Restaurant in the grounds of The Fitz, on the outskirts of Cockermouth.

He will be cooking a six-course taster menu for two very intimate lunchtime sittings on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 – just 20 guests will be able to dine at each one. Their dining room for the occasion will be a luxury tepee, set in the parkland with the beautiful historic house as its backdrop.

Diners will be served matched wines by Nick Shill of Shill’s of Cockermouth, and they’ll get to meet the provider of their cheese course, the team from Thornby Moor Dairy from Crofton near Carlisle, and hear how their famed products are made.

Ben says: “It’s very exciting to be involved with this event. We’ve got a really special menu planned with some of Cumbria’s best produce, a few of my favourite ingredients from further away, plus a couple of flavours from the forest around The Cottage.

“And who wouldn’t be excited about cooking in a tepee? I can’t wait!”

Event organiser Anna Chippendale adds: “It’s fantastic that Ben has agreed to step out of his kitchen and into the parkland for this year’s event. I can’t wait for our guests to tuck in to his fabulous food. All that fresh air should definitely help them work up an appetite!

“We are so grateful to Bob Slack, the owner of The Fitz, for allowing us to use the parkland for the Taste Cumbria Pop-up Restaurant. As soon as I saw this setting I knew we could create something really lovely.”

Tickets for the Taste Cumbria Pop-up Restaurant, including six courses and matched wines, cost £125 per person and are available now from www.visitallerdale.co.uk/things-to-do/taste-cumbria-cockermouth/

The Taste Cumbria food festival takes place in the heart of Cockermouth with launch events including comedy and music on the evening of Friday, September 27. On Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 there will be the big producers’ market and expert demonstrations on Main Street, while on Memorial Gardens, Taste Cumbria will be combined with the Northbound music festival. Local bands will play live on the Northbound stage, there’ll be hot food stands,the festival bar with ales from Workington’s Tractor Shed Brewery and a rum bar too.

A makers’ market full of small artisan businesses will be held in Cockermouth’s Market Place throughout Saturday and Sunday and this will also be the venue for a street party on the Saturday night of the festival. The party will also continue into the night on Saturday with bands in Cockermouth’s pubs as part of the Northbound collaboration.

The Taste Cumbria food festivals are now organised by Allerdale Borough Council in association with Taste Cumbria magazine and Cumbria Life and their publisher Newsquest.

For more information about Taste Cumbria, email [email protected] or call 01900 702969.

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