Luxury hotel stays, tickets to a symphony orchestra concert and a tour of a chocolate factory are some of the lots going under the hammer in this week’s Yorkshire Post Christmas appeal auction.
They are among 50 exciting gifts and experiences – many of which money cannot normally buy – which have been donated by local businesses to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and help it to support the 58,000 people with dementia in the region.
One lucky bidder and a guest will enjoy a night in the five-star splendour of one of the world’s most iconic hotels – The Dorchester in London. The break includes first class train travel from Yorkshire courtesy of Grand Central.
For a getaway closer to home, a stay at The Timble Inn, a romantic Grade II 18th century coaching inn located in the wonderful Washburn Valley, near Harrogate, is also up for auction.
The package includes a conducted tour of nearby Swinsty and Fewston reservoirs by local expert Paul Calderbank.
Another mini-break is also up for grabs at Harrogate’s White Hart Hotel and Fat Badger, including dinner, bed and breakfast for two people.
Music-lovers have the chance to bid on four top-price tickets for the London Symphony Orchestra’s concert at the Barbican, London, on June 6 next year, plus the exclusive opportunity to meet its musicians during the interval.
The show features an all-Beethoven programme, including the composer’s life-affirming Eroica symphony, with performances from three dazzling soloists: violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos, renowned pianist Enrico Pace, and the LSO’s own principal cellist Tim Hugh.
For those with a sweet tooth, a tour of Whitakers chocolate factory in Skipton for up to four people would make an ideal present.
The lot also includes a gift voucher for £100 to spend in the chocolate shop and lunch at celebrated French restaurant Bistro Des Amis, situated above it.
Another indulgent experience comes courtesy of Goldsborough Hall in North Yorkshire – the first family home of Princess Mary – which is offering one of its Royal Afternoon Teas plus a guided walk around the 11-acre gardens she created there.
The highest bidder and a guest will get to enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, savoury treats, freshly baked scones and cakes in the magnificent Jacobean Library or outside on the terrace, weather permitting.
There is plenty to keep sports fans entertained among this week’s lots.
Cricket lovers can bid for two tickets with hospitality for day three of the second Investec Test Match between England and Sri Lanka at Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Headingley ground on Sunday, June 22 next year.
And for rugby fans there are two tickets to a Leeds Carnegie home fixture during the 2013-14 season, as well as a pair to a Leeds Rhinos home fixture during the 2014 season.
Other items up for grabs include a Altura night vision waterproof cycling jacket and a miniature Audi children’s pedal car from Leeds Audi.
The last 10 lots will be announced next Saturday.
The money raised for the Alzheimer’s Society will go directly to help people in Yorkshire who are affected by dementia, helping to fund local services such as the charity’s Singing for the Brain choir groups and its dementia cafes.
Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: “We are delighted the Yorkshire Post has chosen to support our work in its Christmas Appeal 2013.
“The money raised will fund services providing direct help to people living with dementia and their carers in Yorkshire.”
This year’s appeal is sponsored by Leeds law firm Clarion and the auction is being managed again by Harrogate-based Cicada Communications.
Managing director Di Burton said: “Dementia is a huge issue for us all and we applaud the work of the Alzheimer’s Society in providing such vital services in Yorkshire for people with dementia and their families.”