Favourite Things: Ahead of the Food Fight Against Cancer, organiser Kay Simons runs through her menu of attractions
Kay Simons, aged 53, was born in Sheffield and lived in Dronfield Woodhouse until marrying Daniel in 1982. They moved to his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before moving back. Their sons, Zack, 27, and Asher, 24, live in London. Daniel was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1986 and, after three years of treatment, beat the disease. Then Daniel was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and, after the greatest fight, finally lost his battle in March 2010 at the age of 53. When Daniel was in remission, he had his check-ups at Weston Park Hospital, and the couple became involved with the hospital’s cancer charity, with Daniel becoming a patron.
We started a horse show in Dronfield, which became an annual event and ran for five years with people attending from all over the country. We have many fond memories of this, and the boys and their friends still talk about those days. Our friends did anything from cooking and serving breakfast at 5am to the announcing and staffing the car park.
Weston Park fundraisers
We took groups of 30 to 50 people to Florence to raise money for Weston Park and the Cavendish Centre. Daniel and I organised two and I ran another. All hotels, meals and guided museum tours were included. We held an auction out there and not only did everyone have a great time, we raised a lot of money.
When Daniel was going through treatment for malignant melanoma, George Foreman (who is a close friend of a very good friend of ours in Houston) gave him a boxing glove on which he had written “Keep fighting”. It is very special to us.
One of my favourite cookery shows is Saturday Kitchen. I love the relaxed manner of James Martin, and he often has interesting guests. I thought how amazing it would be to have our live cookery show with him in Sheffield, and I’m so excited that it is finally going to happen at the Lyceum. I love spending time with family and friends and it always seems to revolve around food and wine. Occasionally a few friends come over and we all cook challenging dishes with a theme. So far we have done Italian, Indian and a bread making day. We then ask eight or 10 people to join us for a meal.
I love Italian food and my favourite restaurant is Milano’s in Millhouses. We have been going there as a family since Marco took it over, celebrating many birthdays and anniversaries there. The staff have been there for years and the food is always delicious and consistent. For large parties and charity functions there is nowhere better than Baldwin’s. I am always blown away by the quality of the food served for so many people. Lunchtime food is excellent, too. Another outstanding place is the Pasta Bar at Hunters Bar.
I have to work all those calories off, so I exercise at Underground Fitness at Parkhead. It’s a small and very friendly gym with excellent equipment. Owner Georgia is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I also like to play tennis when I have time and we can get a group together. I do cardio tennis at Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre, which is great fun and a good work out.
Walks and cafes
Walks with the dogs are a great way of getting exercise and catching up with friends. We have such beautiful walks near us and usually end up with a lovely coffee and snack at the end. Some of our favourite walks are Chatsworth where we visit The Old Smithy in Beeley for great home-made food. Hathersage has Brooks Coffee Shop and The Plough, which are both dog friendly. There’s also Grindleford Cafe and Longshaw.
Seven Hills Bakery
This little gem is such a wonderful addition to Hunters Bar. The breads are excellent and if you do not have the time to bake your own, this is the place.