Adventure into Wonderland for The Lovely Cow Shed's unique afternoon tea with drama in Ribble Valley

The proprietor of a Lancashire based outside catering business has ambitious plans to go down a rabbit hole ... and she wants customers to come too.

By Fiona Finch
Monday, 28th February 2022, 3:45 pm

Annie Lupton set up The Lovely Cow Shed catering business just months ago. Big birthdays, buffets, picnics and celebrations of all kinds are bread and butter to her.

But now Annie, who formerly managed Ribchester Sports and Social Club and Grimsargh Social Club, is planning an event on a totally different scale.,

She is inviting customers to a unique 'Adventure into Wonderland' tea party.

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Annie Lupton pictured at an event she catered for

Her invite reads: "Join us to take a trip down the rabbit hole like never before with taste sensations galore and interactive scenes from the adventures of Alice."

The event takes place on Saturday, April 2 from 2pm - 4pm at Ribchester Village Hall.

Young members of RATS (The Ribchester Amateur Theatrical Society) will perform scenes from Alice as part of the tea party with a difference.

Annie said: "I thought it was definitely time to get out and enjoy a beautiful afternoon tea with help from our young people doing scenes from Alice in Wonderland."

Part of the poster for Adventure into Wonderland

She explained the pandemic had meant Young Rats had not taken part in their usual performances, so the group was delighted to come on board. Annie said: "Everybody wants to get back to some normality."

Howver the tea party will be full of surprises She continued: "There's going to be a short scene when people are coming in. Then there will be afternoon tea and when eating tea there will be a scene, at the end there will be another scene going out."

While not wanting to preview too much of the event she says entry will most certainly be through an unusual rabbit hole. She said: "It's going to be a very different afternoon tea. There will be a drink me/eat me station. "

Local balloon artist Betty Balloon is also creating decorations for the event. Annie sources locally produced cheese and meats and said she likes to use products and services from other local businesses in her events too.

The Lovely Cow Shed also specialises in "grazing tables" for celebration and corporate events.

Annie set up The Lovely Cow Shed when looking for a new job during the pandemic after the business she worked for, Janis's Taste Buds in Ribchester, closed following the death of proprietor Janis Whitlock in February, 2021.

But although it is a youthful business Annie is already tasting success. She said: "I've just been nominated for a Ribble Valley business award. It started off very small and it's grown from there. I've got a five star food rating and I work from home."

Home is a farm on Jeffrey Hill, Longridge, near Preston and the farm was the inspiration for the name of her new business. She said: "It's called The Lovely Cow Shed because my husband's favourite cow was called Lovely. She lived until she was 20 and she died in 2020. So when I was thinking up a name ... it's the lovely cow shed!"

Tickets for the Adventure into Wonderland had almost sold out earlier today. They cost £15 for chidlren and £29.95 for adults. For more information see The Lovely Cow Shed on Facebook @thelovelycowshed or its website or hereTo subscribe to the Lancashire Post see here

Doughnut time
Savoury and sweet Valentine selection from The Lovely Cow Shed