Local produce is key at new restaurant

Socrates Giazitzoglu, head chef, at Holystone Lodge
Socrates Giazitzoglu, head chef, at Holystone Lodge

After a complete renovation, a new restaurant and lodge is now open in the heart of the Coquet Valley.

With meat coming from the fields outside, water from the local spring and an 80-year-old AGA in the kitchen, the owners of Holystone Lodge and Restaurant are looking forward to a successful future.

Chris and Janet Watmore bought the estate three years ago and have since spent time renovating and improving the farm, cottages and lodge.

The couple, who owned Turfland, the first company in the UK to grow turf from seed, wanted to diversify and decided to open a restaurant to attract more people to the area.

Janet said: “Holystone is a beautiful estate but when we came it was just getting ready for a makeover.

“Chris and I are tremendous animal lovers so we started off by putting in cattle sheds and sheep pens.

“Then we moved on to the buildings and the lodge house had a lot of structural problems.

“We decided that it was a choice between demolishing it or completely renovating so we went with the latter and built it from the inside out.

“While we were doing that we started to think about diversification for the farm.

“As we were doing the work we started thinking that it would work as a restaurant and it all just came together.

“It is forming like a little oasis in the area.

“We are hoping it is going to be a nice place for people to come for a get away and for a meal.

“And we are employing people to work here as well. “

Head chef Socrates Giazitzoglu, who has worked in the industry for 35 years, will be heading up the kitchen.

He added: “I am really looking forward to it all.

“The area deserves something good like this and I think people will travel to come to us as the area is so beautiful and because we are going to try our best to give them the best food and the best service.”