Great Dorset Menu Raises £10k for R2R!


The inaugural Great Dorset Menu fundraising dinner at Captain’s Club Hotel & Spa in Christchurch raised more than £10,000 for local charity Room to Reward on Friday 10th November.

Four of the best Dorset chefs whipped up a storm in the kitchen for 100 guests, with Alex Aitken of The Jetty taking home the prize for his dropped ice-cream inspired starter featuring edible sand, River Avon trout tartare, wasabi ice cream, crispy seaweed and sea vegetables.

As well as the starter, there was a fish course from Mark Hix, a main dish of venison from Colin Nash, dessert – Summer Lodge Carrot Garden – from Michael Moirinho, a cheese course from the Book and Bucket Cheese Company and petit fours from Adriana Lisk of Rockwater, all paired with wines supplied by English Oak Vineyard, Langham Wine Estate and Baccello. Further refreshment was supplied by Midas Prosecco, Shanty Spirits, Conker Distillery, Piddle Brewery and Jimmy’s Iced Coffee.

Great Dorset Menu 2023 Champion - Alex Aitken
Alex's Winning DIsh - Oops I've Dropped my Ice-Cream, It's Landed in the Sand

The chefs and sponsors came together to raise money for Room to Reward, a Christchurch-based charity that uses donated unsold hotel rooms as a means for charities and community groups to give thank you breaks to their inspirational volunteers. Captain’s Club Hotel & Spa have been partners of the charity for over 5 years and provided several memorable breaks to deserving recipients in that time. Fundraising on the night took the form of a raffle, three envelope prize draws and an auction, as well as donations from ticket sales.

“We are hugely grateful to everyone who helped make such a fantastic event happen,” said Adam Terpening, Director of Room to Reward. “To the chefs who created such a fantastic menu, the sponsors who provided the drinks, Tim and Robert and the whole team at Captain’s Club who have been wonderful supporters of ours for so long, everyone who donated a raffle or auction prize, everyone who bought a ticket and came along we just want to say a huge thank you. We are a small charity and donations like this go a long way to helping us on our mission to recognise and thank more Hidden Heroes.”

From humble beginnings in 2015, Room to Reward will work with over 1000 hotels across the U.K. by the end of the year. Collectively, they have donated more than £1million worth of breaks to over 2000 volunteers nominated by more than 800 charities and voluntary organisations. Giving those who give up their time to help people and places in need the chance to enjoy a break and take some time back for themselves.

To find out more about Room to Reward, the hotels and charities involved and to meet some of the Hidden Heroes, visit:

We are hugely grateful to everyone who made such a fantastic event happen – and massive congratulations to R2R fundraiser Kate for bringing it all together! As a small charity, events like this make a huge difference to what we are able to to. £10,000 helps cover the cost of organising another 1000 breaks, bringing another 50 hotels on board as partners and welcoming 100 more charities and voluntary organisations to the R2R journey.

Thank you!

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