The Walled Garden at Wynyard Hall, Tees Valley, opened to the public earlier this month (August), as part of a multi-million pound development to create one of the largest rose gardens in the UK.
And it is shining a spotlight on produce, as well as plants, by stocking locally sourced meat, cheese, cakes, sauces and puddings in the shop at the heart of its visitor centre.
Along with a range of homeware and gifts, visitors can choose goods from top independent North East suppliers, such as Norton-based Blackwells Butchers, the Acorn Dairy, near Darlington and Proof of the Pudding, Northumberland.
There are also dressings and condiments from Great Taste award-winners Wildon Grange, Co Durham, real ales from the Black Paw Brewery, at Bishop Auckland and vintage sweets, courtesy of Hartlepool-based Carnaby’s Treats.
“From the outset we wanted the visitor centre to be a destination in its own right,” said Wynyard Hall’s managing director Allison Antonopoulos. “And, as the gardens are already attracting nationwide interest, it was important to us to showcase what the wider area has to offer.
“Quality, across all areas, is crucial to us, however. And all the goods on sale have been chosen primarily because they taste fabulous – that they are sourced locally is the icing on the cake.”
Dropswell Farm Butcher, Paul Craddock, at Trimdon Station, supplies the shop with a range of meat products including a chorizo-style sausage, produced from locally reared pork.
“We heard about the shop some time ago,” said Paul, “and were very keen to be involved, so we were delighted when they got in touch after someone recommended us to them.
“The shop is everything you would expect from Wynyard Hall – it’s high quality through and through – and the response to our products so far has been better than we could have imagined.”
Along with the shop, the visitor centre, which is the gateway to the Walled Garden, houses a licensed café, serving a variety of light meals and snacks.
The Gardens and Visitor Centre are open daily between 10am and 5.30pm and admission costs £5 for adults, £2 for children aged between 5 and 12, £14 for a family pass for two adults and three children and £30 for an annual pass for up to eight visits a year.
For further information call 01740 644 811 or visit www.wynyardhall.co.uk.