TEAMS will race through Christchurch on Pancake Day to launch this year’s Christchurch Food and Wine Festival.

The charity pancake races will take place in the cobbled part of Church Street in front of the historic Priory Church today, with all proceeds going to the festival’s charities for the year – Autism Wessex and Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust.

Starting at 10am, the first heats will see teams from local businesses, including Waitrose, Frettens, Halifax and Aspire Architects, run against each other before local chefs show their prowess.

Students and teachers from The Priory School will also take part, along with a race between well-known ‘faces of Christchurch’ including Mary Reader, president of the Food Festival and David Crumpler, president of Christchurch Rotary.

Vicki Hallam, chairman of the Food Festival committee, said: “The Food Festival has undergone some changes this year becoming a Community Interest Company (CIC) and with a new website, so we thought it would be timely to launch both on Pancake Day.

“It promises to be a great day full of fun for everyone taking part, as well as for spectators, so we’d like to encourage as many people as possible to come along and cheer on the teams.

“We will also be raising funds for our two nominated charities for the year.”

Any teams still wishing to enter the business races or chefs wishing to take part in the chefs’ races can contact Tim Lloyd at The Captains Club Hotel by emailing

This year’s Food and Wine Festival takes place on May 10 and 11.