Northumbrian fare can take pride of place on Christmas tables this festive season thanks to a new local business.

Northumbrian Pantry, which is based in the small Northumberland village of Simonburn in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall Country, is launching with a bespoke range of artisan jams, jellies and chutneys including several that have been created especially for Christmas.

Alice Murray, who runs the business alongside husband David and trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, explained: “I was born and brought up in a close knit Northumberland community so creating preserves of the highest quality, that are also representative of the region, has always been very important to me.

“To maximise on flavour we carefully select the best ingredients, which are either handpicked seasonally from the orchards and wild hedgerow of the North Tyne Valley, or sourced from trusted local suppliers and markets.”

Alice, who grew up on the neighbouring Nunwick Estate, adds her personal touch throughout the whole cooking process with everything being hand prepared in small batches, using time honoured techniques, with both traditional recipes and Alice’s own creative inventions.

Northumbrian Pantry’s branding exudes colour with different pastel accents having been chosen for each jar label to reflect the varied harvest fruits and other ingredients used, such as plums, pears, apples, damsons, tomatoes, chillies and herbs.

As well as wishing to celebrate the region and support other local businesses in their supply chain, Alice and David, whose varied backgrounds include careers in finance, marketing and photography, are committed to a positive environmental approach to their business practises. They have focussed on limiting the use of plastics and using recyclable materials in their packaging, such as having recycled glass in the jars, wherever possible.

David explained: “Alice and I both lived in Botswana for five years, where we worked in conservation tourism helping protect the wildlife of the Okavango Delta. We learned a huge amount about the world of conservation, so having this at the core of our philosophy is very important to us.”

The initial Northumbrian Pantry