Play Hard

HLN’s favourite producers for your festive food shop

Stock up your larders ahead of the holiday season with the help of some of the finest food producers in the North East...

Written by High Life North
Published 20.11.2020


If you’re in need of a cheeky cheese fix this Christmas, look no further. Local independent Grate Newcastle have an un-brie-lievable selection of local, regional and continental cheeses and accompaniments for all your festive cheeseboard desires. Their new website will be with us any day now, but if looks curd kill we’d be slain by the mouth-watering selection of truckles and treats on their Instagram. Put it this way, they’re definitely nacho average producer – in fact, cheese really doesn’t get any cheddar, we mean feta – sorry, better – so cheese the day and check them out! 

Special shout-out to: their fantastic (and locally-designed) tea towels full of cheesy puns – we’re pretty fondue them. 

Founder Moz’s cheeseboard: “I would want something a little bit traditional and a little exciting. Something like a West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, such as Montgomery’s, and a good wedge of Colston Bassett Stilton – you can’t go wrong there! But I’d mix in a washed rind sheep’s milk like St James, which is in the same vein as Taleggio. Finally, a lovely, soft goats cheese like Sinodun Hill or Ticklemore for all-round tastiness.”

252 Jesmond Road, Jesmond, Newcastle,NE2 1LD

0191 649 2528

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Your one-stop-shop for local (and, therefore, extra-tasty) meat, veg, eggs and bakes. Farm & Pantry’s aim is to rebuild the links between local farmers, suppliers and producers, so that when you look down at your plate, you know where your food has come from and how it’s been made. Sustainability is their key – Farm & Pantry work not only to support North East businesses but also to promote ethical practices, safeguard the environment and deliver delicious produce. What’s not to love? 

Special shout-out to: their Build-Your-Own Boxes. If you’re after the great value of a hamper but prefer to go off-piste with what’s inside it, then Farm & Pantry’s do-it-yourself option is perfect. 

HLN’s Top Tip: while subscriptions aren’t necessary, they can be handy. Regular weekly or fortnightly deliveries will score you a discounted price on your orders. And who doesn’t love post?

Clavering House, Clavering Place, Newcastle NE1 3NG

[email protected]

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North Acomb Farm Shop began life back in 1978 when husband and wife team Robin and Caroline Baty started selling surplus eggs from the free-range hens on the family farm from the back door porch. Fast-forward 42 years and there’s all manner of fantastically-fresh produce on offer: from milk and cream from the dairy herds in the fields outside, to home-reared Aberdeen Angus beef, lamb and pork and homemade cakes, scones, preserves, pies and pastries.

Special shout-out to: their homemade sausages, dry-cured bacon and gammon, as well as Scotch eggs and black pudding – all of which help make the perfect Sunday morning fry-up. 

HLN’s Top Tip: Christmas is coming and the free-range turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese at North Acomb are getting fat. To round off your festive feast, peruse the scrumptious selection of mince pies, mincemeat, brandy butter and Christmas cakes too.

Bywell, Stocksfield, Northumberland NE43 7UF

01661 843181

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Award-winning butchers and bottle shop Block & Bottle have recently moved from Gateshead to Heaton, but they’re still serving up their free-range (and North East-renowned) meat, craft beer, organic wine, cheese, veg and pork pies that keep local customers coming back for more. They also sell award-winning salami, cured meats and smoked salmon that they make at sister company, Meat Salt Smoke. And by specialising in whole-carcass butchery, they can serve you up any cut of meat you’d like. Perfect for big Christmas gatherings and small Sunday roasts alike. 

Special shout-out to: their Christmas offering, which leaves no meat-related stone unturned. They haven’t neglected the ‘Bottle’ side of the business though; English Sparkling Wines, Gluhkriek (a Christmas Cherry Fruit Beer), Imperial Stouts and all the latest hype beers from local breweries Wylam, Two by Two and Almasty will all help make your Christmas dinner divine.

HLN’s Top Tip: their deadline for Christmas orders is the beginning of December, so you better be quick – give them a call or pop into their shop on Heaton Road (when local restrictions allow) to make sure you don’t miss out. 

188 Heaton Road, Newcastle, NE6 5HP

0191 265 7955

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A North East cheese institution, Corbridge Larder stocks over 100 different types of cheese and all the accompaniments you’d need to make the perfect festive cheeseboard. But more than that, the last five years have seen Corbridge Larder rediscover itself as a premium Food Hall that offers an excellent shopping and dining experience. So when lockdown eases, you know where to put in your sat nav. 

Special shout-out to: the drinks on offer here. Showing great pride in their local heritage, Corbridge Larder has teamed up with some of the North East’s best wine, beer and spirits producers to offer up some exquisite gift sets. 

HLN’s Top Tip: Corbridge Larder’s Ultimate Family Gift Hamper is the crème de la crème of festive foodie offerings and a prime way to fill your pantry (or that of your loved ones) in one quick, easy go. With everything from teas to tonics, chocolates to coffee beans, and seasonal favourites like nut butter, mulled wine and Christmas pudding, there’ll not be a grumbling tummy in the house. 

18 Hill Street, Corbridge, NE45 5AA 

01434 632948

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