The new season is underway at Heatherslaw Cornmill with new management at Heatherslaw Tearoom. Lauren and Keith Elstob, owners of the Blue Bell Inn at Crookham since 2011, are excited to take over the Tearoom, situated in the former granary at Heatherslaw Cornmill and one of the oldest enterprises amongst the many at Ford & Etal Estates.
Award winning marmalade-maker Lynne Allan, who runs Lady Waterford Preserves at The Old Dairy in Ford, is celebrating even more success at this years World’s Original Marmalade Awards which took place over the weekend in Cumbria.
The awards, which take place every year at Dalemain Mansion near Penrith and described as the Oscars of the marmalade world, are highly prized and can mean opportunities to supply the likes of Fortnum & Mason in London. Both amateur and professional marmalade makers take part from all over the world and compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and this year Lynne has won all three.
This year the sleepy village of Ford celebrates the life and legacy of an extraordinary women: Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford, who lived at Ford Castle from 1860 until her death in 1891.
A deeply religious lady and a talented artist, Lady Waterford worked to improve conditions for those who lived and worked on her estate in North Northumberland, employing a nurse to look after their health, re-building homes and commissioning a school (now called the Lady Waterford Hall) for local children.
Her most lasting legacy can be seen inside the Hall. Here stunning life-size watercolour murals adorn the walls along with smaller sketches and paintings by Louisa. The murals, painted over a twenty year period (1862-1883) portray Biblical scenes and have a local feel as the faces portrayed are those of estate workers, the plants and animals depicted being Northumbrian.
A BRAND new real ale brewery is set to begin production of original cask ale in Slainsfield, near the village of Etal, this Spring.
The newly formed Cheviot Brewery will occupy the currently vacant property of the former North Northumberland Hunt kennels, on the Ford & Etal Estate, where work is already underway to renovate the premises in order to house the new venture.
A touch of the Italian Riviera is about to hit sleepy little Ford village. Chef Giuliano Piscina is travelling from his restaurant in Sestri Levante to spend a week at The Old Dairy where he will host two cookery classes and two suppers. The classes take place on Tuesday and Wednesday 30th and 31st January and the suppers on Thursday and Friday 1st and 2nd February.
If you're looking for a winter or early spring break and want to add a touch of luxury check out Hay Farm House or The Gables - they've got great deals on accommodation. For the adventurous amongst you, take a look at the great discounts being offered on outdoor activities with Active 4 Seasons, and for warming winter food try the 'specials' nights at Cafe Maelmin Don't forget to see winter opening hours for things to do around Ford & Etal - hours are short but there's still plenty to see and do.
Exciting times lie ahead at the Black Bull in Etal. The pub - the only thatched-roof hostelry in Northumberland - has been out of service for two years during which time it has been a huge miss with both locals and visitors.
Keeping a working mill in good running order is quite a task and at Heatherslaw Cornmill maintenance goes on behind the scenes throughout the year. As the visitor season draws to a close you might be forgiven for thinking that the miller puts his feet up on a sack of grain and takes a well-earned break but in fact the opposite is true.