Tideswell School of Food Closes

It is with immense sadness and regret that on behalf of the Board Members of Taste Tideswell CIC I have to announce the closure of the Tideswell School of Food.

Taste Tideswell, the project, came about through a successful bid to the Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS programme.  The bid started in August 2009 and in May 2010 we heard we had been successful.

Part of the requirement of that grant was that we had a business element to the project that would allow us to sustain the community part, Taste Tideswell; that business was Tideswell School of Food which opened at the beginning of December 2010.

We opened in the grip of a recession and whilst in theory that recession is over, it isn’t in the pockets of many people.  We were also bound by Big Lottery Fund rules that stipulated we had to spend our entire grant within the first year.  This undoubtedly caused us to grow too quickly amongst other problems.

Four years down the line, Taste Tideswell has achieved many notable successes.  The annual Food Festival has gone from strength to strength with over 6000 people attending this year to buy from our village shops and the 60+ stalls that came for the day.

The Community Kitchen Garden, behind the Institute, has become an important focal point of the village.  Taste Tideswell funded the clearance and landscaping of the garden. The team of keen volunteers who manage the garden have done sterling work there and the garden is a credit to their efforts. Children from the Tideswell Pre-school regularly help in the garden, and produce from there is always supplied to the lunch club for our elderly villagers.

Comparing the village in 2009 and now shows some big changes. Where many villages up and down the country have seen shops close and facilities die, Tideswell is thriving.  The Cherry Tree, Parlour Blue, Peak Volumes, The Dairy Parlour Café have all opened; a third cafe is opening in the new year and there are rumours of another shop opening too.  Moreover we haven’t lost any of our pubs either.

Tideswell School of Food was set up to support our retailers, promote good and locally sourced food and provide an income for Taste Tideswell activities.  It always had its local detractors but has established an excellent reputation in the region for the high quality courses it has put on.  We have employed some amazing staff who have put in hours of hard work to build that reputation. We have always sourced our supplies from within or as close to the village as possible and it is hoped that the community appreciate the invaluable asset that our local retailers are and continue to support them actively.

Sadly we have now come to a point that without severely cutting the quality of what we do, we are no longer sustainable as a business and we have taken the hard decision to close.

It is our sincere wish that the community part of the project, Taste Tideswell, can continue – the Food Festival and the Community Kitchen Garden.  However as of 6th October 2014 Tideswell School of Food will close and we will begin the process of winding the companies up.

On behalf of the current volunteer board members and those individuals who have sat on the board in the past, I wish to pay tribute to all the staff who have worked at the School of Food over the years and to the many volunteers who have given their time freely to the school and the project.

Taste Tideswell and the School of Food has made a big difference to Tideswell and the community it served and all those involved can feel proud of what they have achieved.

BBCOne’s Countryfile Shoot and Cook

After last night’s broadcast on BBCOne of Countryfile Shoot and Cook feature at The School of Food (still available on iPlayer), our websites suffered!  We did our best but the sheer numbers of people visiting our sites caused us problems.  We apologise for these, but the sites are back up and running and you can book online.

Our office is open from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday so you can always call on 01298 871262, or email info@tideswellschooloffood.co.uk.

Thanks for your patience.

Garden Work Force Plea

The Kitchen Garden in snow - March 2013So much for spring on 24 March, it was more like midwinter. We couldn’t even find the raised beds, never mind getting them ready for planting.

So, please mark SUNDAY 14 APRIL on your calendar as the day that we work on the garden. Same place and same time – 11am. Look forward to seeing you there.

Maureen (01298 871542) & Judy (01298 872408)


It’s spring (hopefully) and time to get more of the Kitchen Garden ready for planting.

So – on SUNDAY 24 MARCH at 11am (weather permitting) we want to get an enthusiastic work party together to get the garden licked into shape (perhaps dug into shape is more appropriate)!

We have areas that need destoning and digging over, grit to be dug in to improve drainage and a pathway to be made.  And that’s just for starters!

So if you would like to help please join us for an hour or so – everyone is welcome.  We’ll be in the garden (behind St John’s Institute) between 11am and 1pm.  If you would like to find out more about the Kitchen Garden please contact Maureen (01298 871542) or Judy (01298 872408).

We hope to see you there!

BBC programme now available

Many people have asked if they can catch up with the Village SOS programme the BBC made about Taste Tideswell.  It is now on YouTube and available here.

Tideswell Food Festival 2013 will be on Saturday 4th May.

Tideswell’s Food Festival organising committee are back in harness and planning next years event. The date is confirmed as 4th May 2013 from 10am ’till 4pm. The aim is to make the Festival bigger and better than ever before, whilst retaining the artisan food theme.

Any trader with interesting goods, wishing to know more about registration, should contact us at philip.walker@live.co.uk. Forms can be downloaded from this link…. Stallholder Registration 2013

Tideswell Food Festival, 2012 – a fantastic success

Food Festival Crowds 2012Tideswell’s 2012 Food Festival proved to be an outstanding success. The day long Food Festival ran on 5th of May and attracted hundreds of keen food loving visitors from far and wide. Over fifty stalls lined Church Street and Fountain Street selling a fantastic variety of food from African jerk chicken to chilli cheese, from chocolate to cupcakes. Tideswell-based community groups also took out stalls.

During the day, singers, dancers and guizers entertained the crowds who weren’t even deterred by the brief snow(!) shower. The village traders were just as busy as the stall holders, many of whom sold out quite early on in the day.

The Tideswell School of Food, held cookery demonstrations and wine tasting throughout the day and hundreds of folk went on organised tours to learn more about the school and why we’re here. The community kitchen received a steady stream of visitors keen to learn more about what to plant and when. Meanwhile Taste Tideswell’s education office Michelle, ran children’s competitions which proved popular. High Peak Radio broadcast from the festival all morning.

Tideswell School of Food DemoThe Food Festival was organised this year by Phil Walker from Tideswell Stores and other traders with the support of the Taste Tideswell staff.

Feedback received has been overwhelmingly positive, many traders commenting that it was the best Food Festival they’d ever been to.

For a fantastic blogpost from a visitor, please click here.

Tideswell’s Food Festival Is This Saturday.

Saturday’s festival is almost upon us,  and a phenomenal 50 traders have been confirmed. 

With artisan food ranging from Afro-Caribbean  and Asian, to wild boar sausage and savory eggs, Tideswell can truly boast an experience to rival any real food market in the area, or indeed the country.

Complimenting the artistry and craftsmanship of the food producers will be a few select crafts sellers. Examples of what will be on show are exquisite hand made jewellery and quality craftsman built garden furniture, all showcasing local skills.

Regretably, the advertised Beer Festival has been cancelled, but real ale buffs will still find something of interest at the two stalls selling craft made bottled beers, as well as in the Village pubs.

The Tideswell School of Food will be running cooking demonstration throughout the day and John Hattersley from Hattersley Wines will be running a session on wine tasting, something that is bound to be popular.



Tideswell Food Festival’s jam-packed schedule of entertainment. Saturday 5th May

We are now in the final stages of preparation for the Tideswell Food Festival.

There will be a jam-packed schedule of entertainment running from mid-day. In Church Street we shall have Morris Dancing by the combined Brigate and Garters teams, May Pole dancing by the children of Tideswell Bishop Pursglove School and Clog dancing by the Shutlers Clog.

The fabulous Brough Shires will be providing horse and dray rides through the streets, and you can get up close with some baby lambs who will be raising money for the Air Ambulance.

Tideswell Male Voice Choir, plan mini-concerts in Fountain Street. In the Parish Church of St. John there will be concerts by the Albion Singers from Sheffield, and the Children’s Choir.

And if that’s not enough, the excellent Tideswell Players will pop up around the village with a series of readings.

High Peak Radio Interview

Taste Tideswell is recruiting for a new Head of Operations.  Taste Tideswel’s chairman Pete Hawkins was interviewed on High Peak Radio about the projevct and the post.

You can hear the interview again – High Peak Radio Interview – Pete Hawkins.