We're passionate about creating a sustainable and vibrant local economy here in Northumberland, so that it's a place where people can continue to live and work - and so we try to buy as much as possbile from local producers or suppliers. And since we have some of the very best and most passionate producers and suppliers right here on our doorstep, why would we buy anywhere else? When we can't do that, then we're on the lookout for businesses with integrity, who care about more important aspects of business other than the 'bottom-line' alone. We're very proud to showcase some of our suppliers here on this page.
You can also buy many of the fantastic products which grace our breakfast table to take home with you , including free-range eggs, honey, and home-made marmalades!
Chris Green is an award-winning butcher based in Longframlington, heading up the family firm founded by his great-grandfather Ned in 1888. He's passionate about supplying high-quality local meat. There’s a lovely little video on his website, showing Chris in conversation with a local farmer-supplier, which encapsulates his passion for ‘local’ (and always British!) high-quality meat. He supplies all of our bacon, sausage and white pudding. He's passionate about his home too, and is one of the greatest advocates for Northumberland we've met in business.
Chris won the Butcher’s category in the Countryside Alliance Awards (dubbed ‘The Rural Oscars’) in three consecutive years – 2011, 2012, & 2013.
All of our fish is supplied by Swallow Fish which operates from the original smokehouse founded in Seahouses in 1843. Owner Patrick Wilkin employs the very same methods of smoking as were developed on the site all those years ago, using oak chippings, and without additives or preservatives of any kind. The natural flavours speak for themselves. Patrick supplies a wide range of MSC-certified fish and seafood, via a small number of local and trusted suppliers. The smokehouse and his ‘Fisherman’s Kitchen’ are well worth a visit, down in the original part of the village; there is a large display of interesting fishing-related memorabilia around the walls. Patrick supplies our filleted kippers (of course!) which Jill also uses in her home-made kipper pate, and also smoked haddock for kedgeree.
Trotters Bakery is run by Graeme & Deborah Trotter, and their son Nathan alongside them is the third generation of this local family working in the business. They deliver our bread fresh from the Seahouses bakery, just 200metres away, each morning, and when it arrives it’s sometimes still warm! Trotters is a significant local employer, within the bakery itself and their shops in several local villages.
Our eggs come from Rob Ord's free-ranging hens, which are part of the mixed farming business at Chatton Park Farm just a few miles from SCH. Rob started producing free range eggs in 2004. The hens are kept in small houses and are out each day with more than 20 acres of grass to roam in. No insipid-yellow yolks here, they're so bright you almost need sunglasses. Colin drives the van on the delivery round, and we love Thursday afternoons because there's always some yarn to be shared, from this guy who's spent his life on Northumbrian farms.
We kept our own beehives here at St Cuthbert's House for several years, but sadly Jeff's severe allergy to bee stings has put an end to that. We would not have been able to get started (or survive so long!) in that endeavour without the help of our friend Willy Robson, who is an expert bee-keeper whose teaching is much in demand.
He and his wife Daphne and several members of their family run the amazing Chain Bridge Honey Farm, and they supply us with their gorgeous honey. Theirs is a business started by Willy's father in 1948 - we thoroughly recommend a visit whilst you're here. You can spend hours there, exploring the multitude of very interesting displays, and you must have a cup of tea aboard their old London bus! They also produce an amazing and beautiful array of skincare products, soaps, ointments and beeswax products.
We source local cheese from Doddington Cheese, Neill & Jackie Maxwell's farm-based business nestled in the Glendale valley over in Wooler. They've won Silver at the Taste of Britain Awards in the 'Best UK Food Product' and recently won 'Best Food Producer' in the BBC Food & Farming Awards- and deservedly so. Their cheese is amazing, and their ice-cream is always a highlight on any summer's day. We usually keep a few tubs in our freezer for you to try. The Maxwells have been farming at North Doddington for more than 50 years. Their dairy cows produce the fresh milk for the cheeses and ice creams of the Doddington Dairy. Their enterprise provides valuable jobs for local people on the farm and within the Doddington Dairy ice cream and cheese business. Their ethos showcases everything that's good about living and working in Northumberland - it's original, committed, innovative and authentic - and their Dairy website is really entertaining and engaging too. These folks know what they're doing alright.
Having become disillusioned by growing potatoes with an emphasis on volume and regularity, in 2000 Anthony & Lucy Carroll decided to grow one-acre of four older, traditional potato varieties - and when they took them to Berwick Farmers Market, they realised they were onto something! They won The British Farming Award ‘The Arable Innovator of the Year 2015’. Growing traditional varieties, contrary to the industry’s demand for bland uniformity, makes for a great local product from Carroll's Heritage Potatoes.
Since 1984 Mark Robertson has been making farmhouse cheeses in the heart of Northumberland, on the Blagdon Estate. Mark is proud that the milk that goes into every mouthful from the Northumberland Cheese Co can be traced back to the Northumberland farm it came from.
We use cheese from both Doddington and the Northumberland Cheese Co, on our delicious cheeseboards.
Crazy Fred is an Aussie who settled on Tyneside. On his website he shares something of his life story, growing up as part of an adventurous family with parents who were 'doctors with itchy feet and hippy tendencies'. It would make a compelling feature film.
He shares Jeff’s passion for spicy food, and having learned some 'secrets' in his journey around the world, began a business selling his own completely fresh chilli sauces in 2010. Jeff has sourced and tried literally hundreds of hot sauces over the years, but now simply replenishes his stocks from Crazy Fred. It’s serious, and fabulous.
If you're not a chilli lover, you might not 'get' this fascination. But if you are, you'll want a spoonful with breakfast. Just say the word.
Willow Cottage Preserves is Jane Curry’s passion; she takes supplies of fruit in season and enables us to enjoy it right throughout the whole year. She's based a few miles up the road in Lowick, and is very proud to use the lessons learned from her Grandma to make exquisite preserves.
Free-range 180 is a new business headed by embattled dairy farmer Peter Crawford from Peepy Farm, Stocksfield in Northumberland.
Like many dairy-farmers caught up in faceless supermarket price-wars, he found himself being paid less for his milk than it cost him to produce. Yet with great foresight and understanding of his product, he knew that there would be a demand for a premium, local product. Milk from Free Range 180 is milk from local herds, which have grazed contentedly outside at grass for at least 180 days, and for which farmers are paid a fair price. Simple. And so much more lovely, you really will taste the difference.
We stock several really good beers crafted locally in Northumbria. Our favourites are from The Durham Brewery, a family business which cares passionately about its quality product - and which, by happy coincidence, uses the St Cuthbert cross as their logo, celebrating the fact that the Saint is buried in Durham Cathedral.
Steve, Christine & Elly from the brewery have worked with us to provide our very own St Cuthbert's House beer - which is truly spectacular, just wonderful. We're very proud to have it.
We stock a range of botanically-brewed and genuinely delicious soft drinks from Fentiman's, a family business which has been making them in Northumberland for over 100 years. Thomas Fentiman first used a recipe he had been given as security for a loan, after it wasn’t repaid. It seems he got a good deal, nevertheless!
Our wines are supplied by Martinez Wines, which is not a Northumbrian company - but when we met Jonathan Cocker we knew he was the supplier we wanted. He worked for the Martinez family for many years before taking the business over in very difficult and tragic circumstances, and the family-based approach to doing business is the way we like it.
His own family run a pub locally, and although he himself is based in Ilkley in Yorkshire, we hear a certain wistfulness when he talks about Northumberland. Maybe one day, Jonathan...
Our elderly neighbour has been making marmalade throughout the great part of his 80-odd years, and has supplied us with his home-made marmalade until recently. When his health began to fail he offered Jill his lifetime’s collection of copper pots and marmalade-making tools. So now Jill - with a little advice here and there form Les - makes our own SCH marmalade for the breakfast table!