Cooking with Jason Atherton or dinner in an Italian castle? It's your bid in our auction to help hungry kids

Naomi Ackerman
The winning bidder — and their friends — will enjoy panoramic views from the eight-bedroom castle

Today we launch an auction packed with prizes to raise funds for The Felix Project charity.

Experiences up for grabs include a four-day stay for a party of 16 at an Italian fortress — the 12th-century Castello di Procopio, perched on a hill above the river Tiber near Perugia. The eight-bedroom castle, owned by Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev, has been carefully restored, providing historic grandeur alongside up-to-date amenities such as professional kitchens and a heated swimming pool in an olive grove. The stay also includes the services of a world-class chef.

Closer to home, one lucky Londoner can enjoy a hot drink and breakfast free every day for a year, courtesy of Gail’s bakery.

Foodies can also bid for a private banquet with Jason Atherton. The chef will create a menu from surplus food that would otherwise go to waste, and produce a feast for up to 30 people at Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s, a community kitchen dedicated to fighting food waste masterminded by Italian chef Massimo Bottura. The winner will also have the chance to chat with Atherton about his cooking tips over welcome drinks.

Safari: An exclusive two-day visit for a family of four to Longleat, set in the beautiful countryside of Wiltshire

Travel options on offer include a trip to the five-star Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives, a stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Bahrain or three days of guided cycling in France.

Families can bid for a two-day visit to Longleat, with a safari trip accompanied by a ranger.

All proceeds will go towards food poverty charity The Felix Project, which takes food that would otherwise be wasted and distributes it to those in need.

Our Christmas appeal raised more than £1 million for Felix. The money from the appeal and the auction will help extend the charity’s market stalls scheme to 120 schools across the city within two years — assisting 50,000 young people and their families.

Our auction is powered by Givergy, an award-winning fundraising technology company which offers a range of cutting-edge platforms to help charities raise more money.

Bidding opens today and the auction closes at 9pm next Wednesday.To bid on the lots please visit

What will you go for?

Incredible prizes on offer


The winning bidder — and their friends — will enjoy panoramic views from the eight-bedroom castle. They can relax in a fitness centre equipped with a bathing “hammam” before heading to explore medieval towns.


The chef will cook a feast from surplus food for up to 30 people at community kitchen Refettorio Felix. All proceeds raised from this item will go towards the Refettorio.


A bidder can snap up a dream getaway for two at the five-star Hurawalhi Island Resort. The package includes an ocean villa, bed & breakfast, and seaplane transfers to and from the airport.


A four-day trip to Machu Picchu, Pisac and Ollantaytambo, with porter, guides and luxury stays at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge and Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is on offer for two people.


Bid for a pair of tickets to the England v India Test at The Kia Oval on Sunday, September 9, courtesy of Surrey County Cricket Club. Plus a tour of the press box with The Independent’s chief sports writer, Jonathan Liew.


The winning couple will fly to Bahrain for a long weekend at the Ritz-Carlton. The lot includes a deluxe room, breakfast, evening meals at any of the resort’s signature restaurants and reduced treatments at the spa.


The Standard’s renowned diary team are invited to every glossy party. One bidder will be taken to an A-list event (political, social or fashion — you choose). Cocktails at the Groucho are included.


One family of four has the chance to enjoy a two-day VIP visit to Longleat. The trip includes a Land Rover safari, accommodation on the estate and a tour from Viscountess Weymouth.


Eco-conscious travellers can be among the first to try Rhodes’ new environmentally friendly hotel. Bid for a three-night stay for two, with breakfast and an ocean view.


Gail’s bakery has donated breakfast and any hot drink every day for a year to one lucky bidder. Options include pastries and breakfast sandwiches, accompanied by a Union hand-roasted coffee blend or tea.


Up to four people can spend evenings unwinding at Chez les Bons, a 200-year-old Charentais farmhouse on the east bank of the Gironde in France, and days on a guided cycling tour around the beautiful countryside. Tougher cyclists can opt for a 170km route through the vines and châteaux of the Médoc.


Two people can enjoy a one-night stay at one of Barcelona’s most famous hotels, renowned for its unusual design. The package comes with 24-hour personalised service, time in its 43rd-storey spa and innovative dining in one of its five restaurants.


Haircuts for a year are on offer from Edward James Salon, based in Clapham and Putney.


Eight people can head to a stunning open-style beach house on the coral sands of Friendship Bay Beach, Bequia in the Caribbean for a week. The property boasts a swimming pool and a bar area with hammocks overlooking 100ft of private beachfront lined with palms.


Budding journalists have the chance to bag a week’s work experience at the Evening Standard and The Independent. You will see first-hand how the news and features departments work and there will be a chance to quiz the journalists.


David Smyth has been the chief music writer for the Evening Standard since 2002. One bidder can join him for an unforgettable musical experience and hear stories from his 16 years of writing.


Gunners fans can snap up a football signed by members of the Arsenal FC first team — with a certificate of authenticity.


A butler quoted in Tatler as one of the capital’s “best rent a chefs” will serve a three-course dinner for eight, cooked by two chefs, at the bidder’s own home. The offer is London-based.

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