Battle of the businesses: Kitchen Rivals 2019

Yesterday, (Thursday 28th November 2019), Lake District Hotels welcomed professionals from law firm Baines Wilson and Barclays Bank through the doors of the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa, however this was no ordinary Lodore welcome…

Each team were ushered straight into our kitchens, given chefs whites and presented before 2 of our own chefs where they would battle it out to see who could create a better meal.


The evening marked the third Kitchen Rivals event hosted by Lake District Hotels and oh what a night it was. The charity banquet is held every other year when the two businesses go head to head as they try their hands at hospitality for this one-off special occasion.

This year we raised just over £24,000 for 3 incredible causes.

Lawyers vs Bankers

Each team is required to prepare and cook a 3-course dinner plus canapes for a group of invited VIP guests. Not only do they have a stab at cooking for the event, but they also have to throw on their aprons and serve everything they produce to select tables. They also have to provide all the drinks too, with help of the bar team.

At the end of the dinner, all guests anonymously pay what they think their meal is worth and the team whose meals raise the most money wins.

Each of the kitchen teams were fronted by two of Lake District Hotels’ own chefs who gave them a helping hand. Baines Wilson LLP (the Green Team) were aided by Executive Chef, Mark Harris; and Barclays (the Red Team) were supported by Borrowdale Hotel Sous-Chef, Robert Fillingham.


A stately soiree

All dignitary guests in attendance were dressed to the nines as each person was greeted with a smile and a Kir Royale at the prestigious black-tie event. The VIPs had been personally invited by Baines Wilson LLP, Barclays or Lake District Hotels.

After an elegant welcome reception held in our stylish conservatory complete with canapes and chinwags, all visitors were invited to step into our function room which felt like you were stepping into a winter wonderland. The room and tables were beautifully decorated in a festive way that really made it start to feel like Christmas.


kitchen rivals

Tables were split so guests were either attended to by the Green Team (Baines Wilson LLP), or the Red Team (Barclays Bank). Once everyone found their seat, the banquet was off to a roaring start when our host, Inn on the Lake General Manager, Gary Wilson, got the crowd going with his exhilarating speech.

He explained the evening’s events, introduced the 3 charities the banquet was in aid of and even made a heartwarming tribute to recently deceased British chef, Gary Rhodes, who inspired many of our chefs across the group.


The black-tie banquet also included a raffle with excellent prizes on offer including: meal vouchers for local restaurants, gift hampers, a bespoke Moot Hall silver pendant plus many more. On top of that, there was an auction offering amazing opportunities such as a trip to Marrakesh for 2 people and a guided behind the scenes tour of M-Sport not available to the general public.


Who won?!

A huge well done to both teams involved, but a big congratulations to Baines Wilson LLP who were crowned kings and queens of the kitchen for the third time running!

In total, the Red Team accrued £2,220 but our victors in the Green Team made £2,550, making them our 2019 Kitchen Rival champs!

A further £2,060 was made from the sale of raffle tickets, a whopping £4,340 was made on the auction and a generous guest donated an additional £500 on the night – thank you!

A further £6,000 was match-funded by Barclays and £6,390 from Cumbria Community Foundation.


kitchen rivals

Supporting local charities

The 3 charities that benefited from the event were:

  • Keswick Scouts
  • Cumbria Community Foundation
  • Carlisle Eden Mind

In total, we managed to successfully raise just over £24,000 that will be spread across all of these excellent causes.

We want to extend our thanks to everyone who attended and generously donated to support all of these causes, as well as all the local companies who donated excellent prizes to us to give away on the night.


kitchen rivals

We look forward to the next time we host the event which will be in 2021 when both teams return in full force for Kitchen Rivals round 4.

The fabulous auction prizes were donated by:

  • Sally’s Cottages
  • Lake District Wildlife Park
  • Bainbridge Ings Country Park
  • Gill Marine
  • M-Sport
  • CBA Events
  • KE Adventure Travel
  • Herding Hill Farm

The fabulous raffle prizes were donated by:

  • North Lakes Hotel
  • Rogan & Co
  • The Kirkstile Inn
  • Grasmere Gingerbread
  • Brimstone Hotel
  • Lakeland
  • Lyon
  • Friar’s 
  • Dobbies Garden Centre
  • Pioneer Foodservice
  • The Lake District Florist
  • Cef
  • Pets Pyjamas
  • The Bath House
  • Keswick Mountain Festival
  • Cartmel Racecourse
  • Askham Hall
  • Gallery H
  • Ennerdale Brewery
  • Eden River Brew
  • Bells of Lazonby
  • Windermere Lake Cruises
  • Fulton’s Jewellery
  • Lake District Wildlife Park
  • Shortridge Ltd