Best of local produce on the menu at festival
Berwick's historic Quayside and the adjacent Dewar's Lane Granary courtyard provide the setting for today's Mouth of the Tweed Festival of local food and drink.
The annual festival, being held for the fifth time, is an opportunity for local people and visitors to discover the wide variety and excellent quality of produce that comes from our local farms, fields, rivers and coastal waters.
More than a dozen stalls will showcase the best of the food and drink produced on both sides of the border, within a 16-mile radius of Berwick.
The range of locally-sourced food and drink on offer during the day from the producers’ stalls on the Quayside and in the Mouth of the Tweed member cafes and restaurants in Bridge Street, Sandgate, Hide Hill and West Street illustrates the important role that farming, fishing and producing, processing and selling food play in our local economy.
Produce on sale at the festival will include organic meat and locally-smoked charcuterie, ice-cream and farm-made cheeses, artisan breads from a wood-fired oven, Tweedside honey, homemade cakes and meringues, jams and preserves.
Visitors can also enjoy locally-roasted coffee, a barbecue featuring prime Aberdeen Angus beefburgers and real ale on tap from Spittal’s own micro-brewery.
Alongside the producers’ stalls, there will be a display illustrating the Tweed salmon netting industry in the past and today and an information stand from the Berwick Slow Food Group.
Talented young local musicians from the Small Hall Band will entertain visitors with traditional acoustic music and the retiring Salmon Queen, Shannon Blackhall, will be touring the producers’ market during the festival.
This will be Shannon’s last official engagement before she hands over the role to the new Salmon Queen, Nicole Ainslie, at the traditional crowning ceremony tonight.
Another attraction during the day will be the salmon fishermen working with their cobles and nets at the last commercial salmon fishery on the Tweed.
Mouth of the Tweed is a voluntary organisation comprising more than 70 businesses and organisations located within a 16-mile radius of Berwick that share a common interest in celebrating, developing and promoting the food and drink heritage of the area, today and in the past.
Its members range from Simpsons Malt, Britain’s largest family-owned maltsters and one of the town’s biggest employers, to Spittal Improvement Trust that owns the 18th century salmon-fishermen’s shiel in Sandstell Road, as well as producers, shops, restaurants and cafés that are committed to offering locally-sourced food and drink.
In association with Cittaslow Berwick-upon-Tweed and the Berwick Slow Food Group, they are developing a network of sites, projects and businesses related to the food and drink produced in the area around Berwick, both past and present.
Berwick’s history of producing and processing food and drink is reflected in unique features of the town’s built heritage, such as the Tweed salmon fishermen’s shiels, ice-houses, herring curing sheds and smokehouses, old brewery buildings, granaries and maltings, and premises like Wm Cowe & Sons in Bridge Street – currently being refurbished – an outstanding example of a grocer’s shop that has changed little since Edwardian times and which was home to the famouse Berwick Cockles, a boiled sweet.
Admission to the festival is free of charge and the event is open to the public from 10am to 4pm.