Twelve lucky children arrived at the prestigious fish restaurant to learn about ingredients and cooking techniques before tucking into a delicious lunch.

The young carers and nurture group children discovered all sorts of culinary skills as Razvan cooked with them to a make spaghetti Bolognese. The children, aged nine and ten, helped to chop onions, grate carrots and stir the big pot of sauce as well as learning about ingredients like basil, tomatoes and olive oil. The lesson also included instruction on how to use a sharp knife, the importance of tasting and seasoning and the children were amazed to learn that a traditional Italian Bolognese sauce would take at least three hours to make.

The children then enjoyed a delicious three-course meal starting, of course, with a bowl of their own spaghetti Bolognese. Then they tucked into Rick Stein’s renowned fish and chips with tangy tartar sauce accompaniment. They finished with scrumptious chocolate and strawberry ice-creams that were cleverly presented with upturned cones and strawberry-flavoured fish decorations.

An added surprise was the chance to meet two live lobsters. At first the children were a little cautious of their new friends but most, with a little encouragement, managed to pick them up and they were all able to study them closely.

The whole experience was unforgettable and the children loved it all. The day was arranged by Lorraine and Lennie Segal on behalf of Variety Wessex.

The outing was part of the “Variety Great Days Out” scheme that aims to give disadvantaged children positive memories. Our group included young carers and pupils from the school’s nurture group.

Frances Cornelius, chair of Variety Wessex, said:

Many thanks to Louis, Razvan and everyone at Rick Stein Sandbanks that contributed to this incredible experience for the children and a big thank you to Variety Wessex committee member Lorraine Segal and her husband Lennie for, once again, arranging this fabulous event. Thank you too to Michael and Elena Obreja who are senior waiters at the restaurant and made a donation of £40 to Variety during the event.

Elisabeth Rawson-Jones, Pastoral Lead at Bethany CE Junior School, said:

This was an absolutely marvelous cookery experience for our children. Thank you Frances and Variety, Louis and Razvan and everyone who made this another incredibly memorable day. The children had an absolutely wonderful time and very much enjoyed their delicious lunch. We really can’t thank you enough!”