THE annual Winter Solstice Soup Day was held on Sunday in the picturesque courtyard of the Grafton Regional Gallery to much success.

Friends of Grafton Gallery member Jenny Russell said all the elements combined to make it something memorable.

"I think that the day was a fantastic success," Mrs Russell said. "It was a beautiful day, with the perfect surrounds of the gallery and beautiful weather above our heads.

Mrs Russell said the Friends had been organising the Winter Solstice Soup Day for several years and it was one of their favourite events on the calendar.

Nine chefs were invited from all over the Valley including first timers Irons and Craig and Heart and Soul as well as soup day regulars Roches Family Hotel, Alchemy South Grafton, Victorias, Vines at 139, Tree Tops, Grafton Farmer's Market and Austin and Co. who provided guests with tantalising flavours each one different from the next.

Grafton Regional Gallery director Jude McBean said the chefs came up with a huge variety of delectable delights.

"The chefs were fantastic at their cooking. The emcee for the day mayor Richie Williamson introduced every chef to the people in attendance so it felt really personal. We had a connection to the chef's cooking before we tasted it."

According to Ms McBean the super soup scoffing record of 10 soups in one day by one patron remains intact with the closest competitor to the record falling short at eight soups.

"I guess the soups were a bit heartier this year," she said.

More than 80 people were in attendance for the day's festivities which Mrs Russell chalked up to "lots of hard work from a very dedicated team".

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