Peak food and drink producers have been sharing their recipe for success with royalty today at Bakewell’s Agricultural Centre.
The Duke of Gloucester KG was given a flavour of some of the area’s gourmet delights – ranging from cheese and craft beers to Bakewell’s world famous Pudding – during a tasting organised by Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board.
The Duke was hosted by Andrew Pugh MBE, chairman of the tourist board, and David James, chief executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, as part of an official visit that included several other venues in the town, including the Peak District National Park Authority’s Visitor Centre.
Escorted by Mr. William Tucker, Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire, he also met some of the tourist board’s Patrons – Sally Hogg, Head of Visitor Services and Marketing at Chatsworth; David and Joan Hardman, owners of East Lodge Hotel & Restaurant, Rowsley and Callow Hall, near Ashbourne and Paul and Kathryn Roden of Losehill House Hotel and Spa, Hope.
During the visit, the Duke learned more about the improvement in availability and growing popularity of quality, locally produced food and drink from local cheese specialists the Hartington Cheese & Wine Company, The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop and Thornbridge Brewery of Bakewell.
He also saw the fruits of Tideswell School of Food’s new Culinary Adventures initiative, which offers unique ‘field to fork’ food and drink experiences for tourists and local people alike. The School showcased several of its courses – foraging, beekeeping and milling and baking – by serving foraged wild strawberry jam with sweet cicely, accompanied by honey and poppy seed biscuits using locally-milled flour and Peak District honey.
Later in the day, the Duke visited one of the area’s leading tourist attractions, Crich Tramway Museum.
“It was both a privilege and a pleasure to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to the Peak District to see and hear at first hand evidence of the importance of tourism and related business sectors to the area’s economy,” said David James.
“As one of VisitEngland’s 14 designated primary destinations, promoting a quality visitor experience is at the heart of everything we do – whether it concerns accommodation, attractions or locally-produced food and drink – and it was a great opportunity to highlight some of the best practice across the area.”