Pride and Prejudice | Outdoor Performance

Join us in our outdoor amphitheatre on Wednesday 8th August for the Heartbreak Productions performance of Pride and Prejudice.

The Bennet sisters, and a host of charming young bachelors (yes, Mr Darcy will be there. No really, yes, that Mr Darcy) will be hosting an evening of comedy, romance, and more than one come-uppance, as we learn how to behave, ahem, properly. Champagne and cucumber sandwiches are permitted at this creative outdoor adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but do ensure you know how to properly use a napkin, remember to chew with your mouths closed, and please try not to fall in love with Mr Darcy, as we believe he is very soon to be engaged. (You may also want to bring a blanket or chair to sit on and an umbrella, should the weather look inclement).

Heartbreak aims to tell stories that inspire, entertain, challenge and help us come to a better understanding of human beings and how we can live together and are now in their 24th year of touring open-air theatre.

Our outdoor picnic hampers will also be available to pre-order starting from just £10.00. If you would like further information, please email restaurantmanager@gordoncastlescotland.com

Please click on the tickets below to add to basket.

Adult £11

Child (Up to 16)£7.50

Concession (65+) £9

Family (2+2) £32.50

The Adventures of Dr Dolittle | Outdoor Performance

Join us in our outdoor amphitheatre on Friday 13th July for the Illyria performance of The Adventures of Dr Dolittle.

When Doctor John Dolittle of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh is taught by his wise old parrot Polynesia how to talk to animals, news of his skills spreads far and wide. Soon animals across the world send messages asking for his help. So, he buys a leaky old ship and, together with his trusty pet-crew of Jip the dog, Chee-Chee the monkey, Dab-Dab the Duck and permanently hungry Gub-Gub the pig, sets forth on a mission to heal illness, spread compassion and gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom. A funny, much-loved and exciting adventure, with a strong message about responsibility towards animals and the environment, this show is created by the same Illyria team who brought you an entire menagerie of animal puppets in DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD and a life-size T-Rex in THE LOST WORLD.

This show is suitable for children aged 5+

Our outdoor picnic hampers will also be available to pre-order starting from just £10.00. If you would like further information, please email restaurantmanager@gordoncastlescotland.com

Tickets available here now 

The Midnight Gang | Outdoor Theatre

Join us in our outdoor amphitheatre on Saturday 7th July for Heartbreak Productions performance of The Midnight Gang.

When the clock strikes midnight and everyone else is sweetly sleeping, Tom and his friends gather in the middle of the night in the name of magic, mischief, and memory making. Join The Midnight Gang on this crucial mission to overcome our greatest fears and uncover the magic ingredient to a fantastic friendship. It truly is an unmissable adventure! Be prepared to be daring at this outdoor adaptation of David Walliams’ bestselling book. Who knows where the night may lead?

Heartbreak aims to tell stories that inspire, entertain, challenge and help us come to a better understanding of human beings and how we can live together and are now in their 24th year of touring open-air theatre.

This event is suitable for children and families!

Our outdoor picnic hampers will also be available to pre-order starting from just £10.00. If you would like further information, please email restaurantmanager@gordoncastlescotland.com

Please click on the tickets below to add to basket. Buy online and save up to 20%

ADULT £11.00 
CHILD (up to 16) £7.50
CONCESSION (65+) £9.00
FAMILY (2+2) £32.50

Heritage Vegetables

June 25, 2018By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Gardening advice 2 Comments

Today we have a blog written by our gardener Liz who joined the team last summer.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Heritage Vegetables

At Gordon Castle Walled Garden we have decided to try growing a variety of heritage or heirloom vegetables.  The definition of heritage/heirloom is a plant that has been in cultivation for 50 years or more.  Some people insist that 100 years is the magic number.  Whichever is correct, modern agriculture really came into its own in 1945, following World War 2.  Nowadays, as well as the Walled Garden, there are many people who have allotments of their own and take great pleasure in growing their own vegetables.

So, some of the vegetables we have decided to grow are: brussel sprouts – Evesham Special, beetroot – Mr. Crosby’s Egyptian, cauliflower – Dwarf Efurt (sometimes known as snowball) celeriac – Giant Prague, Musselburgh leeks, and peas – Kelvedon Wonder.  There are lots more we are trying, the list could go on for ever.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Heritage Vegetables

Today I sowed some of the beetroot and celeriac.  Sown into modules of 104, watered from the bottom, then put into the sunken greenhouse until they germinate.  Once hardened off, they will be planted and left to mature, tended to by our team of gardeners until harvest is ready.  There’s something so lovely about going to the garden to harvest fresh vegetables for your evening meal.  We take great pride in providing delicious Scottish produce for the café – and the chefs love it too!

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Heritage Vegetables

Once we’ve supplied the cafe with vegetables, we’ll sell any extra in the shop.  The shop is open seven days a week.

We grow tomatoes in our greenhouses.  Ailsa Craig – a very hardy Scottish variety, among many other varieties.  A variety of potatoes, also called Ailsa Craig……another heritage vegetable.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Heritage Vegetables

The pleasure this gives me cannot be put into words.  I would not change my job for the world.

Liz

June Garden Update

June 14, 2018By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Gardening advice 2 Comments

What a glorious start to the growing season we’ve had this year! After what seemed like a never-ending winter, the current spell of fine weather has been a real blessing allowing us to get a head start in the garden. We’ve been flat out all month planting over 10,000 vegetable, flower and herb plants, our beds and borders are really starting to fill up. Its been the hottest and driest May on record and keeping the garden watered has been hard going, but we’re all set for a really good growing season.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Salad

Our tulips have been magnificent this year, flowering right through May, the delicate pink ‘Angelique’ and frilly purple ‘Labrador’ were the favourites with visitors and flower arrangers. The cut flower beds are just coming into bloom with our summer flowering annuals and perennials, the calendula and cornflower are the first to show some colour but there are over 50 other species hot on their heels. We sell freshly cut flowers every day in our shop and we can also cut to order, so please get in touch for more information.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Our apples, plums and apricots gave a lovely but short-lived display of blossom and it looks as though we’re in for a good crop. The dry weather often makes them drop their fruit in June but with well over 350 trees there should still be plenty for our chefs and visitors to enjoy later in the season.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden

The asparagus was particularly good this year, we harvested almost 50kg of spears through April and May. Salad leaves, sugar-snaps, mange tout, beetroot and carrots are busily being cropped from the vegetable beds and whisked straight to the kitchens for our chefs to work their magic on. If you’d like a taste of the walled garden at home, we’re selling the best of our vegetables from the lean-to next to our potting through the summer, so drop in to try the freshest fruit and vegetables in Scotland!

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Asparagus

The building work continues in the walled garden with the development of the area around Garden Cottage at the centre of the south facing wall. We’ve taken out the box hedge and re-homed it next to the lovely iron gate in the east wall. We’re replacing it with elms posts and rails for trained step-over apples and there will be two small lawns and a patio to frame the cottage, giving our guests somewhere to enjoy the view of the garden and perhaps a G&T after a hard days fishing!

Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Many thanks to everyone who attended the Highland Games, especially those who visited our plant stall, it was a fantastic day. The games support the whole estate and all the money raised from selling plants will go straight back into the garden restoration project.

There’s so much going on in the garden at this time of year, our tomatoes and cucumbers are growing at a rate of knots, we’re growing lots more edible flowers and heritage vegetables out in the veg plots this year and we’ve got a large selection of chillies just starting to flower and fruit in our greenhouses. If you’re a keen gardener, a lover of good food or are just looking for peaceful walk in beautiful surroundings, please do come and visit the Walled Garden this summer, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! Thanks, Ed.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Volunteer Week

April 11, 2018By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Uncategorized No Comments

This week we are celebrating all the help we get from our wonderful volunteers in our beautiful Walled Garden!

Throughout the years we’ve had many people volunteer time helping develop the garden to its full potential and we are ever so grateful of all who come to lend a hand. We are proud to support the WWOOF program where volunteers can experience a wide range of opportunities all across the world on organic farms. We have welcomed a number or volunteers throughout the years through this program and have seen a real positive effect to the garden because of them. Check out our short video below where we interviewed two volunteers from Brazil last winter.

As well as working with the WWOOF program, many of our volunteers come from the local area, keen to help us complete this historic project. One of our regulars, Margaret has been with us for over four years now.We managed to steal a second of Margaret’s precious time to ask about her volunteering experience.

“I started volunteering at the beginning of the restoration of the Walled Garden and just love seeing the progress that has been made. I’ve learnt so much about gardening from planting to growing apricots and step over apples. It’s a real team effort and we all work hard – it’s kept me fit during my retirement that’s for sure! My favourite part of the garden would have to be the amphitheatre. It’s such a unique addition, especially for this area, and it’s so lovely to see the families gather in summer when we have outdoor theatre performances. This year will see lots of progression in the garden and I can’t wait to be a part of that.”

We too are a fan of our outdoor performances and with over five lines up including Pride and Prejudice, Dr Dolittle and The Midnight Gang it will be a jammed packed schedule. Find out more details here.

Volunteers at Gordon Castle Walled Garden

We love to get our volunteers involved with as wide a range of jobs in the garden as possible. You can expect to do everything from weeding, seed sowing and planting out to harvesting, cutting, arranging and drying flowers and decorating the café and shop. We’re always happy to teach volunteers about what we are doing so no previous gardening experience is necessary. We take volunteers Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm and are very flexible as to when and how long you would want to work. We also offer a free friends of the Walled Garden membership, a bowl of soup for lunch and free garden produce depending on what is available to all our volunteers.

We truly appreciate all the help we get as it is invaluable to the garden and to our business. As a big thank you we are hosting our 4th birthday garden party on the 7th July to celebrate all our volunteers, staff and their families. There will be live music, a bbq and lots of craft cider to enjoy. You are all invited!

If you would like to volunteer in the garden, we would love to hear from you! Please send your CV and details to info@gordoncastlescotland.com. 

A Very Merry End To 2017

December 22, 2017By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog

A Very Merry End To 2017

Christmas has come around all too quickly and the end of the year is always a time for family and reflection. As we look back on our year, there have as always been the highs and the lows of running a business and dealing with the day to day stresses whether personal, financial or physical!

Five years ago we were living in the South, Angus working long hours in London, bringing up seven children between us, and enjoying visiting his parents a few times a year, fishing or staying in Garden cottage with friends. ( the castle was let on a long lease after his grandmother died). If you had told me that as fifty something yr olds we would be running an exclusive use venue, a fishing business, holiday cottages, build a café and visitor attraction garden open to the public 363 days, start up a shop and a products business ( the gin is going down well!) I think we would have just laughed at the impossibility, but here we are! The learning curve has been steep, but we have met amazing people and made many new friends along the way.

There are so many different parts to the Estate and Walled Garden that sometimes we ‘run’ from one thing to another and never seem to have time to stop and take stock of what has been achieved in a relatively short space of time.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Summer 2017

The Walled Garden
For us the high points were seeing the building of the garden advance yet further. The bountiful  harvest of plums, apricots, apples and pears from our ancient trees and listening to the comments of returning visitors who all said they could see such a difference in the garden from last year. It is hard when you are in the garden every day to see the progress and not focus on all the things we still have to do and improve. So lovely people, thank you! It will give us fresh impetus for planning the coming year. The ‘lows’ were the terrible Summer, horrendous for our vegetables, everyone’s morale and our pumpkins which were puny! Nothing grew except the weeds which were unstoppable. For the café staff waiting to serve on all those lovely outdoor tables, so many wasted weekends, although we were lucky with our outdoor theatres ( except Mikado!) and our birthday weekend and market day were ‘made’ by finally having some good weather. We were so excited to win ‘best food tourism experience’ and it gave everyone on site a huge lift.

Gordon Castle Autumn

The Castle
The re-plumbing and re- wiring and total re-decoration have now faded slightly from our memory as we continue to ‘fill’ the Castle with people from all parts coming to enjoy either the fishing, (not too bad a season), corporate guests wanting to give clients a special experience, some unusual wearing of kilts and plenty of whisky tasting, weddings, we did a lot of weather watching but were able to make use of the newly restored Orangery where we have replaced the roof that had collapsed and had been open to the elements for a decade, and some very happy family celebrations.

We welcomed our first festival ‘refuel 2017’ and despite the weather they are returning next year. We also had the circus and a number of smaller lunches and dinners.

Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox

The Highland Games
This has now become a ‘date’ for the diary both locally and further afield and has grown into a serious part of our year, although this year with Angus struck down with ‘man flu’ for the whole week before it was not our easiest or happiest ‘lead up’ and as the torrential rain fell on Saturday it was a very ‘wet’ low point. However the sun shone for Sunday and 10,000 people came to support the many different competitors and exhibitors which made it all worthwhile for our small team who really put the hours in, and work so hard to make it a success. It is a crazy amount of time spent for one day with so much preparation and planning needed but I think we have all created an event with a really special atmosphere, that is wonderfully supported by our local community and we could not have enjoyed more handing over a cheque to the head of Milnes and look forward to hearing what the pupils have been able to do with it. We have already started planning for next year! May 20th!

Gordon Castle Highland Games 2017

The Gordon Castle luxury branded products continue to grow, our bath and beauty products get rave reviews from the guests in the Castle and we are looking forward to having an amenities range for hotels and  restaurants during the next year.

Gordon Castle Gin Potting Shed

The gin won gold medals from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Brussels and China. It is now found in many independents and some supermarkets  so we hope to build on the success next year. More cider will be made from our apples and pears and hopefully some new products for the shop.

On a personal note I became a grandmother for the first time, to gorgeous ‘Sienna’  which has made me reflect on the miracle of new life whether a baby or rejuvenating the land and look back over the last few years as well as looking forward to all the excitements to come.

Baby Sienna

 

Zara Gordon Lennox Granny

Angus’ youngest son left school and has been working in the Walled Garden office before going to New Zealand in January! A big milestone for us to get them all through some kind of education. The rest are in the South currently and fingers crossed employed.

Geordie and Angus Gordon Lennox

We feel incredibly lucky and very blessed that we live in such a beautiful place. Although the snow is falling as I write, being in the garden after everyone has left on a Summers evening is my ‘happy place’, watching the oystercatchers or red squirrels whilst I weed or mow and watching nature perform miracles through the seasons, from seed to fully grown plant is truly inspiring and makes me feel we can all work together to try and create something that can benefit our planet and protect it for future generations. I hope we can all find time in 2018 to do that which makes us feel happy and more connected with the world around us.

Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox of Gordon Castle

Which only leaves a huge thank you to all our very dedicated and hardworking team without whom none of the above would be possible and to all our visitors, customers and clients for your continued support, we appreciate and value each and everyone one of you. ‘Tis the Season of goodwill, frosty days, warm fires and maybe even a glass or two of our gin or cider, may we  wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and amazing New Year.

Best wishes for 2018,

Angus and Zara