THE Country Barn has won Best Local Food Retailer for the North-East in an annual rural retailer competition run by the Countryside Alliance.

The farm shop at Widdrington Farm, Morpeth, is run by Sarah and Hugh Oakey.

The farm shop at Widdrington Farm, Morpeth, is run by Sarah and Hugh Oakey. It was nominated by the public and shortlisted from all the entries down to three finalists before the judges declared them the winners.

Sarah said: “Hugh and I now have to go the House of Lords in February for the national competition. For such a young business this is an extreme honour and we are immensely proud to be the recipient. It is an enormous thank you to our fantastic team of dedicated staff that we are in this position and look forward to our visit to London.”

The Country Barn is one of many North-East retailers where customers can pick up their last minute Christmas food and gifts.

Another is Brocksbushes Farm Shop and Tea Rooms situated in picturesque Northumberland surroundings, just 30 minutes’ drive from the centre of Newcastle on the A69. The fundamental policy of Brocksbushes is to provide freshness, quality and choice in every department and to give customers a pleasurable day out whether they are selecting their groceries from the varied and delicious selection in the shop, treating themselves in the tea room, picking their fresh fruit and vegetables in the fields, or choosing the plants for their gardens.

It’s the ideal place to buy your Christmas trees, hampers and poultry, all of which have been reared “welfare friendly”.

“Low on mileage but high on taste” has always been the ethos at Blagdon Farm shop, off the A1 north of Newcastle. The shop is committed to bringing fresh and tasty food to the plates of local people and to top restaurants.

Here you’ll find free-range and rare-breed meat including pork, chicken, guinea fowl and duck plus fresh seasonal vegetables. It recently scooped the gold award at the Smithfield Awards, the national meat Oscars, for its Blagdon Special sausage.

North Country Organics, at the Airport Industrial Estate in Kenton, Newcastle, aims to provide customers with best-quality organic fruit and vegetables at affordable prices.

It works closely with The North-East Organic Programme to stock as much local produce as possible.

It uses prominent suppliers, such as Northumbrian Quality Meats, Acorn Dairy, TPF Organics and Nafferton Farm.

Most of the produce on sale at the Routier-listed family-run North Acomb Farm Shop, near Stocksfield, Northumberland, is either grown or made on the spot. Ham and bacon are cured on the premises and own-recipe sausages are sold alongside milk, homemade butter from the farm’s Friesian herd, British cheeses and free-range eggs.

Newcastle-based Chirton Fisheries specialises in fresh fish and shellfish caught locally and off Scotland.

The family business, run by Paul Robinson, recently moved from the Greenmarket, after 31 years, to the Grainger Market.

Donald Gilberts Butchers in Gosforth shopping centre has over 100 years’ experience and is gearing up for the festive season with the finest of food fit to grace any table.

Here you’ll find local free range corn fed birds supplied by Thornbeck Farm, which is featured in TV chef Rick Stein’s book Food Heroes of Britain. As well as three bird roasts, there are bronze turkeys, ducks, geese and pheasants.

Local dry cured gammons and bacon are also available from Broom Mill farm as well as local Northumberland lamb. You may also like to try the carvery rib of beef hung on the bone for 28 days for that extra tenderness and fuller flavour.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer