Archive for the ‘Competitions’ Category

Winter in the UK: Enter our photo competition to win a £500 holiday voucher!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
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We love winter here at Sykes Cottages. From crisp mornings with frost on the grass, to clear, starry nights when your breath mists, it really is a beautiful season.

We’re sure plenty of you feel the same way, so we’re celebrating wonderful winter and all it has to offer with our latest competition. Simply submit a photo of your favourite winter outdoor scene in the UK – using the app below – for a chance to win a £500 voucher to stay in any of our fantastic properties.

We want to see what makes winter special for you, so get creative and have fun! We’ll announce the winner no later than March 7th via our Facebook and Twitter pages. Good luck!

These terms and conditions apply to the “Winter in the UK” competition (“the competition”) run by Sykes Cottages (“the company’’) and by entering themselves into the competition, entrants will be deemed to have read and accepted these terms and agree to be bound by them. Those who do not agree should not enter into the competition.

The object of the competition is for entrants to submit their favourite photo of Winter in the UK. Entries will be judged on the photographic quality of the picture and representation of the beauty of winter in the UK. The entry will be submitted to the company’s official blog page via Any entry to the competition must be the entrant’s own photo. Any submission found to have been used without the photo owner’s permission will be disqualified from the competition immediately and will result in the forfeiture of any prize awarded.The company: Sykes Holiday Cottages, Lime Tree House, Hoole Lane, Chester, Cheshire, England, UK CH2 3EG The images must be submitted to the company’s official blog page by March 1st 2015 (“the closing date”).

This competition is open only to residents of the UK & Ireland aged 18 years or over. Employees of the company, their families or anyone else associated with this competition or its operation are not allowed to apply.

All information detailing how to enter this competition forms part of these terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the entrant abides by these rules. The decision of the company is final, and no correspondence will be entered into after the decision. Submission of an entry will be taken as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

To enter, you must:

Choose the favourite photograph you have taken of Winter in the UK

Submit the photo to the company’sblog by the closing date.

The winning entry will be determined by the company, and the winning entrant will be contacted through their chosen social media channel by 28th Feb 2014. The final decision is binding and no correspondence will be entered into. The company reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and entrants and to disqualify anyone who submits an entry that is in breach of the rules, or those that do not comply with content restrictions (defined below).

CONTENT RESTRICTIONS: Entrants must not include any of the following content in any entry:

Pornography, adult-oriented content or any other sexually-explicit material;

Explicit language or content, images of violence, or promotion of illegal activities;

Content which infringes intellectual property rights or laws;

Content which is defamatory or maliciously false;

Content which brings or is likely to bring the company, its website or Sykes Cottages into disrepute;

Material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, age or any other basis;

Content owned by any party other than the entrant or the company (e.g. recorded music; pre-produced video, etc.);

Material that is unlawful, or which may constitute a criminal offence including (without limitation) the Communications Act 2003, Malicious Communications Act 1988 or any other legislation in force during the competition.

Any entry which does not comply with these content restrictions, in the sole discretion of the company, will be disqualified from the competition.

By entering the competition and submitting an entry, every entrant:

Confirms that his/her entry is an original copyright work (as defined by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) and that he/she owns all right, title and interest in the entry or has all necessary rights and authorisations to submit it and the express permission of all individuals, content and materials embodied or featured in the entry to submit it for possible use as provided for in these terms (and will procure that any individual featured will enter into an appropriate image release where necessary);

Agrees that his/her entry does not otherwise violate the company’s Terms of Use or infringe the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity;

Grants to the company the perpetual and unlimited right and license to use, license, edit, modify, duplicate and/or create derivative works from the winning entries throughout the world and in perpetuity, including, but not limited to, the right for the promoter to publish, display, broadcast, distribute, reproduce, perform, create derivative works from and otherwise use the entry via the internet or any other interactive media, on television, in print and/or any other media currently existing and hereafter developed and without limitation and without further payment or compensation to the entrant following the delivery of the prize, or his/her heirs and successors, on its own or as part of any audio-visual or other production; to advertise any of Sykes Cottage’s products; for any other purpose whatsoever.

Any works showcased on the site as winners will nonetheless be credited to those who submit them, highlighting their ability to produce winning entries or any that will be shortlisted in a “runners-up” collection, the size of which is at the company’s discretion.

Entrants agree that the company will be entitled to edit entries as it deems fit in accordance with current advertising regulations and will not be obliged to make any use of any part or all of a entry.

Entrants are solely responsible for Internet connectivity, software and/or hardware that may be required in order to create and/or submit any entry.

All entries must be received by the closing date.

Only one entry per person. No purchase necessary. Late, illegible, incomplete or corrupt entries will not be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. Entries must not be sent through agencies or third parties.

The prize consists of a £500 voucher to use solely on the Sykes Cottages website.

The company reserves the right to substitute the prize (or any portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value at its sole and absolute discretion. The winners are fully responsible for any and all applicable taxes in respect of the prize (including, where appropriate, import duty). All costs and expenses associated with receipt of the prize and any use not specified in these Terms and Conditions as being provided including, but not limited to, any and all expenses incurred by accepting the prize, are the sole responsibility of the winners.

By entering into the competition, the winners agree to participate in publicity following the competition, should it be required. This may include use of their name and image in online and offline publicity, communications, and in any other media worldwide without any fee being paid.

For the names of the winners, please send an SAE to Epiphany Solutions Winter in the UK Competition, The Small Mill, Chadwick Street, Leeds, LS10 1LJ within four weeks of the closing date.

Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the company and accordingly the company may at its absolute discretion vary, amend or cancel the competition without notice (in particular if it or the website on which the competition is operated is affected by any denial-of-service attacks, viruses, hacking or any other technologically-harmful material or act) and the entrant agrees that no liability will attach to the company as a result thereof.

To the extent permitted by law, the company and its agents and representatives hereby expressly exclude any liability whether in contract, tort, criminal law, breach of statutory duty or otherwise for any direct, indirect or consequential loss, damage, injury or disappointment (including without limitation any pure economic loss) suffered or incurred by any entrant, winner or any third party whether foreseeable or not in connection with:

Any act or omission of the company in developing, planning and administering the competition;

Any entry or attempted entry into the competition.

The company will not be liable for any inability of any person to enter the competition because of any unavailability of such page, failures in computer systems or networks, other malfunctions, or for any other reason.

The company will not be liable for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network, cable, satellite, Internet Service Provider (ISP) or lines, computer systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any damage to the entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials relating to this competition.

All conditions, warranties and other terms which might otherwise be implied by statute or common law are expressly excluded from these Terms.

Nothing in these Terms will exclude or limit the company’s liability for death or personal injury caused by its negligence or for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

Entrants agree that by entering the competition their personal details may be stored and otherwise processed by the company for the purposes of administering the competition and for the marketing and sending of other special offers where you have consented to receive the same.

If you have a comment, query or complaint about these terms or the promotion, please contact Epiphany Solutions, The Small Mill, Chadwick Street, Leeds, LS10 1LJ

The company may refuse to provide the prize in the event that an entrant fails to satisfy the eligibility requirements under these terms in clauses 5 and 7 above, or has committed or is alleged to have committed any act of fraud or dishonesty, or is in breach of any of these terms.

In the event of any dispute regarding these terms, conduct, results and all other matters relating to the competition, the decision of the company will be final and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.

If any provision of these terms (or part of any provision) is found by any court or other competent authority to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal, the other provisions will remain in force. If any invalid, unenforceable or illegal provision would be valid, enforceable and legal if some part of it were deleted, the provision will apply with whatever modification is necessary to give effect to the commercial intention of the parties.

No failure or delay by a party to exercise any right or remedy provided under these terms or by law or any abandonment of any such right or remedy will constitute a waiver of that or any other right or remedy, nor will it preclude or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy. No single or partial exercise of such right or remedy will preclude or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy.

These terms and any non-contractual obligations arising out of or in connection with them will be governed and construed in accordance with English law. The courts of England and Wales will have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or matter of difference which may arise out of or in connection with these terms.

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Simple Crafts: A Guide for Beginners Facebook Competition

Friday, January 9th, 2015
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As you may have seen, over the past couple of months we have been getting rather crafty here at Sykes Cottages! At the end of 2014 we worked with some very talented and creative bloggers to create Sykes Cottages Simple Craft Guide for Beginners. This guide includes five simple craft ideas that are inexpensive, use little to no specialist equipment and are perfect to make in your holiday cottage!

Sykes Cottages Simple Crafts

Click the above image to see the full guide

To celebrate our craft guide being created, we are running a Facebook competition where there will be three lucky winners! All you have to do to enter is head over to the Sykes Cottages Facebook page and comment on this post telling us who you would like to make a handcrafted gift for and what you would make them. You can use our simple craft guide for some inspiration if you wish.

The lucky first prize winner will win £300 of Sykes Cottages vouchers and a craft kit so they can get creative when they go away. Two runners up will win £50 of Hobby Craft vouchers.

Good luck!

Please find terms and conditions for this competition below.


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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Healthy Halloween Treats Competition

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
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We aren’t daft at Sykes Cottages; we’re well aware that Halloween and healthy don’t go hand in hand – especially when it comes to the kids. With the spoils of the trick or treating, it can seem like all kids eat over Halloween is sweets. We’ve decided to see what we can do to change this by launching our Healthy Halloween Treats competition. We’ve asked a select group of bloggers to see if they can create an alternative to the usual sugary fare that will still keep kids happy. This isn’t an enviable task; we all know how much the little ones love their sweets, but the ideas we got back were fantastic. From snail porridge to spiders web pizzas and many more gruesome delights, take a look at our healthy Halloween treats and see what you think.

The Entries

the mummy diary

The Mummy Diary’s eyeball cupcakes and spider bites

Niki at Play and Learn Everyday put together some healthy pumpkin cookie bites using oats, honey and pumpkin purée, and she also made some fantastic pumpkin teething biscuits so even the younger children can get in on the Halloween fun. Then there was Ellie at The Mummy Diary who came up with some delicious looking banana and chocolate chip cupcakes, complete with an eyeball topping (maybe not quite so delicious looking), and also some spider bites made from a healthy and easy to make fruit and nut mixture.

hijacked by twins

The spiders web pizza from Hijacked by Twins

We also had a brilliant entry from Tina from Trials and Tribulations of a Brummie Mummy who made some mini pizzas made to look like witches hats, spookily shaped Halloween sandwiches, chocolate witches fingers and the classic toffee apples! Next up was Kirsty from Hijacked By Twins. She whipped up some pizzas with a spiders web topping made from carrot strips and olive slices, as well as some creepy banana ghosts and a batch of delicious looking mini pumpkin pies. Another top idea came in from Donna at Red Head Baby Led. Donna turned an ordinary pack of oranges into some fantastic miniature pumpkins complete with a sugar free jelly filling and of course some scary faces carved into them!

married to a geek

Married to a Geek’s fruity blood bath

Then there was a particularly ghastly graveyard scene produced by Angeline at Daft Mamma! Featuring a witches cauldron, pumpkin patch, gravestones and even some slimy eye balls made from grapes, it’s one that’s sure to get the little ones tucking into their five a day over Halloween! Simone from Married to a Geek went all out with her entry making strawberry ghosts, a goblet full of ‘Devil’s Drencher’ and marshmallow eyeballs, and she even threw them all together to make a fruity blood bath! Then there was Louisa from Eat Your Veg who produced two cracking recipes. First up was her mini orange pumpkins with a blood sorbet (don’t worry it was just frozen raspberries and honey) and also a cauldron full of blood soup served up with Halloween inspired cheesy toasts.

mummy memories

A spiders web cake from Mummy Memories

Up next we had Mary-Kate at Mummy Memories who made a healthy version of a classic chocolate cake using a natural sugar alternative. The cake was topped off with a homemade peanut butter icing and a scary spiders web made from YoYo Bears and raisins so there’s plenty of fruit in there too! Otilia from Romanian Mum came up with two devilish desserts, first up was a set of cake pops featuring pumpkins and ghostly faces followed by her own take on the Bruce Bogtrotter cake from Matilda with an extra creepy Halloween topping! And finally we had Louise from A Strong Coffee. Louise made a selection of creepy delights that the younger kids would enjoy. From a ham sandwich disguised as a spooky spider to some snail porridge, and even a witches brew with ogre’s eyes made out of kiwi fruit, what more could you want?

 Our Runner Up

Now came the hard bit as we were given the difficult task of picking out a winner and also a runner up to the competition. As you can see all of the entries were fantastic so it took some real deliberation amongst the increasingly hungry team here at Sykes HQ however there were two that we kept going back to. Just pipped to the post was Louise from A Strong Coffee. We absolutely loved her spooky spider sandwiches, and thought that the use of kiwi fruits as ogre eyes were fantastic!

spider sandwiches

A Strong Coffee’s Spooky Spider Sandwiches

 The Winner

This meant that our winner of our Healthy Halloween Treats Competition was the entry from Louisa at Eat Your Veg. They looked, and sounded, suitably terrifying and were full to the brim with copious amounts of fruit and veg – all in all the perfect Healthy Halloween Treat!

mini pumpkins

Mini Pumpkins with blood sorbet

blood soup

Blood soup and cheesy toasts










So there we go, hopefully you’ll agree with our choices but make sure you keep your eyes peeled for any future competitions that we’ll be running. We’d also like to say a massive thank you to everybody who took part! All of the entries were brilliant and they’ve certainly inspired all of us here at Sykes HQ!

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Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Competition: Discovering Autumn’s Best Bits

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
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Photo Blogging Competition: Autumn’s Best Bits

Whether you like crunching through leaves, wrapping up warm or sipping on one of the season’s popular hot drinks we want to know about it! Show off your autumnal photography skills in our newest competition to be in with your chance of winning £400 to spend at John Lewis!

To enter this competition, take a picture of what you think is autumn’s best bit, put it into a blog post and tell us why it’s your favourite thing about autumn! Once you’ve published your post, tweet the link to us @SykesCottages or send us an email including a link to your entry. Don’t forget to include a link back to this page in your post, so that your readers can enter, too!

Autumnal Bench

image via Flickr

image via Flickr

image via Flickr

image via Flickr

image via Flickr

 Terms and Conditions:


  1. This competition is open to any blogger located in the United Kingdom or Ireland and aged 18 and over.
  2. The competition is not open to employees of Sykes Cottages or any agencies or group companies related to Sykes Cottages.
  3. The promoter and Host of this competition is Sykes Cottages and can be reached via email at
  4. Using a false name or address for this competition will lead to the entry being disqualified.


  1. Entries to the competition can be made by emailing the blog post entry to or by tweeting the blog post @sykescottages
  2. All entries will be acknowledged within one working day of their submission.
  3. All entrants must include instructions on how to enter the competition, or a link to instructions, at the end of their blog post. Eg. “If you would like to enter Sykes Cottages competition to win £400 worth of John Lewis vouchers then simply head over to…”
  4. Only one entry per blog, multiple entries will not be counted.
  5. Entries made using methods generated by a script, macro or the use of automated devices will be disqualified.
  6. By entering the competition entrants accept that their entries will be shared across Sykes Cottages’ social media platforms including, but not limited to, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, The Sykes Cottages Blog and Instagram.

The Prize

  1. There will be seven winners in this competition. With the first place prize being £400 of John Lewis Vouchers, second place being £100 of John Lewis vouchers and five further prizes of smart phone camera lenses
  2. This competition is in no way affiliated with John Lewis, the John Lewis Partnership or it’s subsidiaries
  3. Prizes are non-transferable, non-refundable and there is no cash alternative available.
  4. Prizes will be sent to the winners home addresses


  1. Competition opens at 12 noon GMT on the 7th of October 2014.
  2. Competition closes at midnight GMT on the 17th November 2014, any entries sent after this time won’t be counted

The Winner

  1. The winner of the competition will be chosen by a panel of judges at Sykes Cottages and this decision is final.
  2. The winner will be chosen and notified on or before Friday the 21st of November 2014.
  3. Once we have heard back from the winners we will then post their names on the Sykes Cottages Facebook and Twitter account.
  4. Details of the winner can be obtained by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the following address; Sykes Cottages, Lime Tree House, Hoole Lane, Chester, Cheshire, CH2 3EG
  5. The winner may be required for promotional activities and by entering the competition accepts that their name may be provided or published as per the terms and conditions.

Data protection and privacy

  1. Any personal data relating to entrants will not be disclosed to a third party without the individual’s consent (other than the winning entry). Data relating to entrants will be retained by the Promoter and Competition host for a reasonable period after the Competition closes to assist in operating competitions in a consistent manner and to deal with any queries on the Competition.
  2. Information provided to enter the competition may be used, shared or published or used for publicity in a digital format and includes your name, your location and/or profile picture.
  1. By providing the Competition host with your personal data you consent to the Competition host sending you marketing emails.
  2. If an Entrant does not wish for their personal information to be used for marketing purposes, a request to remove consent for personal information to be used for marketing purposes should be submitted in writing to the Competition host.


  1. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall exclude the liability of the Promoter or the Competition host for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence.
  2. The Promoter and Competition host accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the Competition or accepting the prize. The Promoter further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the Competition.
  3. The Promoter reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this Competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of the Promoter in all matters under its control is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.
  4. The Promoter shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion, inevitable accidents, supervening legislation or any other circumstances amounting to force majeure.
  5. The entrant completely releases Facebook from any involvement in this competition.
  1. The competition is not sponsored, associated, organised, endorsed or administered in any way by Facebook.
  2. Information provided as part of the competition is not provided to Facebook.
  3. The Competition will be governed by English law.


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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

The Sykes Cottages Haggis Championships 2014

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
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Are you a bit squeamish when it comes to the ‘great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race’? No? Well you’re in the minority according to a survey that we ran with the Great British public just a few weeks ago. Amongst questions exploring peoples’ opinions on holidaying in Scotland, we asked whether or not they would order a haggis dish if they saw it on the menu of a Scottish restaurant. When we got the results back, almost two thirds of people replied saying that they wouldn’t and this didn’t sit quite right with us! After all, haggis is one of our national delicacies and so we decided to see if there was anything that we could do to change this, which led us to launch the inaugural Sykes Cottages Haggis Championships!

We turned to the food blogger world to see if anyone could think up an alternative to the classic haggis, neeps and tatties that would change people’s minds, and the response that we got was fantastic. An amazing array of dishes came back; brunches, dinners, you name it we got it. From the Italian inspired right the way through to a touch of Indo-Scottish fusion food and they all looked delicious! Sadly we were given the unenviable task of picking a winner from the ranks so why don’t you take a look through the entries and see if you agree with our choice?

The Entries


Hodge Podge Days’ Haggis Brunch

First up was Harper from Crumbs and Petals who decided to turn the traditional Burns Night dinner on its head and came up with a recipe that would be perfect for a glorious summer afternoon, her Haggis and Vegetable skewers which can be cooked either under the grill or out on the barbecue if it’s a nice day! Then we had Jane from Hodge Podge Days who, rather than going down the typical dinner route, decided to produce a hearty, haggis themed brunch where the main attraction was accompanied by a beautifully poached egg as well as a home-made potato cake, something that would definitely get you up and running in the morning!


Vohn’s Ulster-Scots Pasties

Agata from Bark Time decided on a more healthy approach and cooked up a “Haggis in the Hole” with a sweet potato and potato mash and a side of steamed vegetables. Whilst Chloe, the Nine Grand Student, went all continental with her entry and rustled up her haggis carbonara for us that was both easy to put together and looked delicious. On the other hand Vohn, from Vohn’s Vittles, went back to her Irish roots with her Ulster-Scots Pasties, a Scottish take on the classic Ulster Pastie using haggis in the place of the the traditional sausage-meat mixture, and she even tracked down a locally sourced beer that she used in making the crispy batter!


The Weegie Kitchen’s Haggis Samosas

Then it was the turn of Mairi in her Weegie Kitchen. She decided to use the influences of the Asian communities in the hustling city of Glasgow and came up with her Haggis Samosas, that are perfect either as an afternoon snack, or accompanying a plateful of curry. Next we had Cheryl from The Glasgow Scullery. Cheryl really went above and beyond the call of duty in getting people to try haggis out and produced what can only be described as a two course haggis bonanza. The first course was made up of her Haggis ravioli complete with a port wine reduction and then it was time for the pièce de résistance, a beef and haggis wellington served with haggis bonbons and a potato rosti!


Ananyah’s Haggis Bonbons

I think that everybody here at Sykes was expecting The Edinburgers to come up with some kind of haggis inspired burger and so we were all a bit shocked when instead they produced their haggis and goats cheese filo parcels that go down a treat with some chilli dip! Then there was the entry from What Claire Baked. Like the Nine Grand Student, Claire turned to the continent for a bit of inspiration and came back with her “Great Haggis Lasagne” the perfect comfort food for a cold winter’s night. Our final entry came from Michelle over at Ananyah, who put together a couple of stunning dishes that were designed to be the perfect introduction to haggis. First up were her Haggis bonbons with a garlic and chilli dip, followed by some haggis won tons with a home-made red wine and wholegrain mustard sauce.

The Sykes Cottages Haggis Champion 2014

So after much deliberation we finally managed to pick our winner, and the illustrious prize went to The Edinburgers! We loved the imagination behind their dish of haggis and goats cheese filo parcels and thought that the flavour combinations would work brilliantly, especially with the locally sourced chilli jam.

haggis and goats cheese filo parcels

Our Winner – Haggis and Goats Cheese Filo Parcels

We’d just like to say a massive thank you to all of the people who set aside some of their time to take part in the  competition, we wish that we could have picked all of them as winners! And if any of you reading this fancy having a go at the recipes listed above then don’t forget to take a look at the bloggers’ posts where you’ll find everything you need to know!

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Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.