Festival aims to brew up funds for HospiceCare

HospiceCare North Northumberland volunteers enjoy a foretaste of the charity cream tea.
HospiceCare North Northumberland volunteers enjoy a foretaste of the charity cream tea.

Alnwick Food Festival has teamed up with HospiceCare North Northumberland to stage a charity cream tea at this year’s event.

The popular festival, a two-day celebration of local produce and culinary experts, will be staged in the town on Saturday, September 16, and Sunday, September 17.

And to give something back to the town, organisers have decided to stage the cream tea in the Northumberland Hall on the final day to help support the hospice, which has day centres in Alnwick and Berwick.

Emma Arthur, from the charity, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this support and we hope that the cream tea will prove a popular addition to the festival programme.

“The charity cream tea at the food festival is another great opportunity for us to fund-raise in the community and should make for a delightful finale to the weekend. We are very grateful to the food festival and all of their supporters for hosting this event for us.”

The cream-tea initiative is being supported by Pumphreys, which is donating all of the teas and coffees for the event and a raffle prize, while a host of local tea rooms and bakers have pledged scones, cakes and tea-time fancies to be served at the fund-raiser.

Food festival chairman Philip Angier said: “The food festival attracts big crowds and is very well known in the locality. It’s a great opportunity to help the fund-raising efforts of such a worthwhile and popular cause.

“We are pleased that local businesses have rallied round to support this initiative, just as they have to support the whole event. The sponsorship advertising in our programme makes possible the free entertainment in the Market Place. Support from the town council means that we can distribute our event programme, with its town map, free of charge.”

Meanwhile, businesses in the Castle Quarter have signed up to the publicity opportunity by clubbing together to offer raffle prizes and vouchers in exchange for a full-page advert in the festival programme.

Bari Tea will be joining in the spirit of the event and hosting its sixth annual Tea Festival over the course of the weekend.

Other local businesses are gearing up to make the most of the additional crowds expected in the town centre. Lisa Aynsley, of Hotspur 1364, said: “It is essential that we encourage festival-goers to explore the high-quality independent shops, cafés, bars and restaurants along Narrowgate and all around Alnwick town centre. Think local, shop local and keep Alnwick town centre vibrant.”

As part of this year’s festival, a series of interactive Talk and Taste experiences will be staged in the Northumberland Hall. These will feature a food or drink expert sharing their passion for their craft, with the chance for the audience to get involved.

Tickets for the cream tea and the Taste events can be obtained from alnwickfoodfestival.co.uk