THE new coffee shop which a couple have opened in their antiques and crafts centre in Northumberland is paying tribute to a celebrated resident of the nearby castle.
Keith and Lynn Allan opened the cafe in their centre in the former dairy opposite Ford Castle last year and have launched a range of jam, jellies and marmalades in honour of Lady Waterford, who lived in the castle from 1859-91.
Lady Waterford entertained a wide range of friends at the castle, including the Queen of the Netherlands, William Gladstone and Sir Edwin Landseer, who painted her portrait.
The Victorian fashion for afternoon tea was a popular occasion for her guests to enjoy and the castle kitchens will have produced their own preserves using a wide range of fruit from the walled garden.
Lynn Allan’s new range of preserves will feature suitably historic recipes including marmalades with a dash of rum or with Seville oranges, ginger black treacle and scented geranium.
“The Old Dairy sits directly opposite the castle so we thought it was fitting to name our jams after this remarkable woman,” said Lynne Allan who runs Restoration coffee shop.
“Lady Waterford did so much for the village of Ford and the locals who lived here that we thought it would be rather fitting to name the jams after her.”
“Throughout the season, local strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, plums, damsons, quince, wild blackberries, rowan and crab apples will be picked to extend the range of preserves. We even know of an old mulberry bush that produces the most wonderful fruit for jelly.”
Keith and Lynn Allan moved their architectural antiques business from Scremerston near Berwick to the former dairy opposite Ford Castle around 18 months ago.
Since then they have attracted small crafts businesses to work in units in the old stables including a vintage jewellery and clothing shop, a maritime antiques dealer and an interior textiles store run by Ingrid Wagner whose other outlet is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The couple, who have been selling antiques for 17 years, say their venture is helping to bring more tourists to the village.