You don't have to be a hillbilly to eat dinner in a mountain these days, though it may help if you have the appetite of a caveman. In fact, unless you're dressed in black-tie and prepared to hob-nob with the Lake District glitterati over chilled champagne, canapes followed by a mine full of gourmet three-course cuisine, it's positively discouraged.
Dine in a Mine ... it's a black tie dinner on Friday 21 May with a radical difference. It's set in the cavernous glory of the 900 year-old Honister Slate Mine, deep in the heart of the Lake District.
The truly unique dining experience starts with a champagne and canapes reception in Keswick then a ride up to the legendary mine in 4 x 4s. Dinner – also inside the mine – will be in a section which has been specially opened up into a glorious dining room with views over the jaw-dropping beauty of the stunning Borrowdale valley.
Tickets for the dinner-of-a-lifetime event are £125 per person and the evening will be hosted by BBC1's Countryfile presenter and outdoor evangelist Julia Bradbury.
The highest quality Buttermere and Westmoreland Green slate has been extracted from Honister since Roman times. Found on the roofs of London's finest buildings, including Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral, The Ritz and RAF Cranwell, at 450 million years old, it's going to last. Honister is England's last working slate mine, brought back to life 14 years ago by local entrepreneur Mark Weir, who is also from Borrowdale.
The event is part of the Keswick Mountain festival - five days of adventure with everything from ghyll scrambling to mountain biking, hiking to kayaking in the beautiful Lake District, running from May 19 – 23, 2010.
The Festival also brings together inspirational figures from the outdoor world such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes and BASE Jumper, climber and local lad Leo Houlding in the Theatre By the Lake. Throughout the week the venue will play host to mountain heroes galore including Andy Cave, Andy Kirkpatrick, Joss Naylor, Kenny Stuart, Dave Birkett and Doug Scott CBE.
On the shore of Derwentwater, beneath the classic summits of Skiddaw and Catbells, will be the Adventure Base complete with new themed areas BIKE, CLIMB, HIKE, KIDS, PADDLE AND TRIATHLON. It will be the perfect place to pick up handy tips from experts and try out some new activities plus find out about the latest gear from some of the very best outdoor brands.
For those really wanting to push themselves there is an open water swim, the launch of three new Sportives, fell racing and forest trails. The three hour, Epic Trailquest event is a mountain bike orienteering event that will test navigation and biking skills, those taking part can pick the route they ride to suit their ability making it perfect for all abilities.