There’s been lots going on over at Vallum Farm recently – and to celebrate, they are throwing a right gala this weekend celebrating the North East’s best food, drink, and craft producers at their new event down on the farm.

The Vallum Christmas Fayre takes place in their newly renovated “Old Cow Barn”, and sees some of the best local producers come together selling tapas sized snacks (similar to this), at a family & foodie based event, this Saturday 17th November only.

Of course our interest lies in the foodie side of it – there will be dozens of stalls and scran from Riley’s Fish Shack, Bywell Smokery and more, as well as those chef demos we can’t pull ourselves away from. One of these is from David Kennedy of River Cafe, and Food Social fame, who happens to be opening a new restaurant at Vallum that we are pretty excited about. An adjoining farm shop/deli extension to the existing ice cream parlour should be very popular, and it’s vegetables will no doubt come from similarly local vegetable god Ken Holland and his North Country Growers – producing some of the best veg produced in this country, if not the world.

We’ll definitely be there – you should be too. Support your local farmers & producers!

At Vallum Farm (map) 11:00 – 11:00 contact vallumfarm.co.uk

Read the full PR after the jump.

FIRST ARTISAN HUB LAUNCHES ON HADRIAN’S WALL

Christmas Fayre celebrates launch of artisan group and David Kennedy Restaurant and Shop 

The region’s first rural artisan producer hub officially launches next week within a stone’s throw of Hadrian’s Wall.

Vallum Farm, which stands on Milecastle 18 eight miles west of Newcastle, officially launches its newly restored Old Cow Barn at the Vallum Christmas Fayre on November 17.

Vallum’s newly restored Old Cow Barn includes a new restaurant, function space and shop run by multi-award-winning chef restaurateur David Kennedy, plus a new ice cream laboratory, on-site baker, market passage, and workshop spaces.

It expands the already active community on-site, which includes the nationally renowned heritage vegetable producer North Country Growers, Bywell Smokery, Vallum Tea Room and Ice Cream Parlour, John Turnbull Upholstery, Hannah Price’s Wildflower Florists and K9 Hydrotherapy.

North East Chef of the Year 2010 David Kennedy officially launches David Kennedy at Vallum Restaurant, Function Room and Shop on November 17. It is his third venture and follows the success of David Kennedy’s Food Social at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle and David Kennedy’s River Café in North Shields, which was recently awarded a prestigious Bib Gourmand.

The Old Cow Barn, which will be home to the Kennedy operation, also features a covered walkway where visitors will soon be able to see Vallum’s artisans at work and enjoy regular markets and fairs, beginning with Christmas Fayre on November 17, from 11am.

Vallum began welcoming visitors in 2005, when owners Peter and Vicky Moffitt launched their now-renowned Tea Room and Ice Cream Parlour.

Since then, their home-produced fayre has won many Great Taste Awards and their Sunday lunch has been Extremely Highly Recommended by Your Northumberland.

The Moffitt family has farmed at Vallum for many years and their Brown Swiss cows – the only herd of their type in the region – supply the milk for the award-winning ice cream handmade by Vicky Moffitt and her team.

Vicky said: “After many months of work, we are delighted to announce that Vallum is now launching a new community of artisan producers who share a common passion for locally, traditionally produced food and craft and value the rich history and tradition of this magical site.

“My husband, like his father John Moffitt before him, has farmed here for many years and we feel passionately about bringing the area to more people, while at the same time creating a growing community of artisans who will work alongside one another, using one another’s goods and produce.

“The Old Cow Barn, which we have restored over the last nine months, is designed to allow visitors to SEE our artisans at work, so that people can truly understand the short journey here from field to plate.

Our new workshop spaces will host many events, which will again help our visitors to learn more about this amazing countryside, where Hadrian’s auxiliaries lived from the land, just as we do. We are the perfect gateway from which to explore Hadrian’s Wall for visitors.”

The official launch of Vallum artisan hub and David Kennedy at Vallum Restaurant Function Room and Shop is celebrated at Vallum Christmas Fayre on November 17. The event begins at 11am and will run all day and long into the evening, featuring artisan food and craft stalls and produce, music, Santa’s Grotto and Elves’ Workshop.

Vallum Farm, East Wallhouses, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE18 0LL, tel 01434 672 652, www.vallumfarm.co.uk

Vallum history and artisans:

Vallum Farm has been farmed by Peter Moffitt, and before him his father John, for many years.

John Moffitt was a nationally renowned dairy farmer and innovator, and he founded the Hunday Tractor Museum which was once a well-known day out in the Tyne Valley. Some of his vintage and model tractor collection remains, and it will soon go on display at Vallum.

Peter and Vicky Moffitt opened the Vallum Tea Room and Ice Cream Parlour in 2005 and have enjoyed much success since with their homemade food and ice cream, made from the milk of the Moffitts’ Brown Swiss herd – the only cattle of their type in the region.

The restoration of the Old Cow Barn at Vallum has taken many months and was prompted by the Moffitts’ commitment to bringing more artisans to Vallum to create a producer hub where artisans can work together and visitors can see them at work and better understand traditional processes.

Artisans now at Vallum:

North Country Growers (Ken and Tracy Holland, suppliers of micro and traditional veg to leading chefs, including Michelin-starred names)

David Kennedy at Vallum Restaurant, Function Room and Shop – to officially open November 17 2012

Bernard Lynch’s Bywell Smokery, producer and purveyor of smoked local meat, fish and game

Vicky Moffitt’s Vallum Tea Room and Ice Cream Parlour, plus Vicky’s award-winning Vallum Ice Cream

Hannah Price’s Wildflower Florists, which specialises in arrangements featuring herbs and wild flowers

John Turnbull Upholsterer, where traditional methods, handed down through generations, are still in daily use.

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