VIDEO: Feast your eyes on changes at The Alnwick Garden

The first of The Alnwick Garden’s new catering facilities has been opened under the attraction’s new partnership with Searcy’s.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 9:32 am
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 9:43 am
Searcy's MD Matt Thomas with the Duchess of Northumberland and baker Lee Quigley. Picture by Jane Coltman

Searcy’s, the renowned British caterer, founded in 1847 by John Searcy, the pastry chef to the then Duke of Northumberland, were appointed as the Garden’s official caterer last year.

And yesterday, the Duchess of Northumberland officially opened the new The Pavilion Kitchen and launched the new locally-sourced and inspired menu at The Treehouse. The John Searcy Bakery will open to the public in April.

Searcy's MD Matt Thomas with the Duchess of Northumberland and baker Lee Quigley. Picture by Jane Coltman

A range of new menus have been introduced at The Pavilion Kitchen using seasonal and high-quality produce, with Searcy’s chefs re-imagining classic British fare.

Searcy’s founder John Searcy was the Duke and Duchess’s private patisserie chef more than 100 years ago (in London and in Northumberland).

The Duke gave the young John the money to set up his own catering business.

The Duchess of Northumberland said: “The introduction of new caterers, British firm Searcys, will oversee and push the culinary offering at The Garden to a new level.

Some of the catering staff. Picture by Jane Coltman

Their renowned reputation for quality, sustainability and innovation is a wonderful welcome to our on-going vision and we hope our existing and new visitors will see the subtle, yet delicious changes at every level.”

The Duchess has original receipts from the archives for highly-coveted culinary items from the original kitchens.

The Garden was one of the first places in the UK to grow pineapples for the parties and glitterati of the time and there will be a scorched pineapple cake among multiple new menus and offerings to celebrate this.

The Pavilion Kitchen will focus on seasonal hot dishes and small bites from breakfast to lunch and afternoon snacks, while the revamped Treehouse menu will celebrate the best of British seasonal fare with indulgent dishes.

The Duchess with regular visitors Eileen Gearing, Sheila Maddison and Audrey Maddison. Picture by Jane Coltman

With the coffee shop and bakery featuring hot drinks, cakes and bakes as well as breads and more throughout the day.

Get a copy of this week's Gazette for a chance to win a meal for four at The Pavilion Kitchen, as well as entry to the Garden

The new-look Pavilion at The Alnwick Garden. Picture by Jane Coltman