Thirty years ago the Wheatsheaf in Swinton was fast becoming the only place to eat in the Scottish Borders.
Local diners turned into loyal customers who kept coming back and salmon anglers travelling north to fish the River Tweed had also heard about chef Alan Reid and his wife Julie who were running this charming pub in the Scottish Borders.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Alan’s reputation as a chef spread like wildfire and within a few short years the Reids had built up a reputation second to none. Then, out of the blue, they sold it. It was 2003 and after 18 years they wanted to try something different, something they could call home, while at the same time creating a restaurant with rooms.
To the hundreds of loyal customers who had come to know the Wheatsheaf as a regular place to dine, it was quite a blow, for their next project would take them many miles upriver, well out of reach for many of their regular customers, to run another place called Windlestraw.
Luckily for us, the world turns and a decade on the Reids have sold again. This time to take life a little easier and enjoy the fruits of a long run in the demanding hospitality business.
But, as many a chef worth his salt will tell you, it’s hard to close the kitchen door for good and Alan has brought his culinary skills to The Old Dairy kitchen where he is in charge of our pop-up suppers.
It’s all part of what Lynne and I call our concept store at The Old Dairy in Ford where we have a number of antique dealers surrounding our coffee shop, bistro and recently-completed champagne bar and lounge.
The next pop-up suppers will be on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9.
For more details and bookings, call 01890 820325 or 07710 902905.
by Keith Allan