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Time to order festive fare.

WITH Christmas fast approaching, it's time to order those hampers, reserve your turkey or maybe even opt for a delicious duck, goose or guinea fowl.

The staff at Blagdon Farm Shop are busy taking orders for their highly sought-after poultry, which remains at the same price as last year.

"We don't just talk about local, we actually live local," said manager Jo Celerier. "To prove it we'd like to invite people to the shop on Saturday, 29th November, for a taster day."

Free-range turkeys are at the top of the list, such as the Blagdon bronze with its rich, moist, finely grained meat or the traditional white turkey, with a more subtle flavour.

The turkeys are naturally reared, living outdoors in grass paddocks at Blagdon where they are free to forage and roam.

Blagdon also produces Aylesbury ducks, chickens and guinea fowl. Blagdon-reared grass-fed geese are available for those with a taste for the traditional. All the poultry is provided oven ready.

You can also opt for dry-cured gammons, along with chicken, duck and guinea fowl, which won national Gold Great Taste Awards this year.

And why not treat that special someone to a fantastic hamper filled with only the best products from the range of fine foods?

Another great option is Vallum Farm Shop, only 20 minutes from Newcastle on the Military Road at Eastwallhouses. Why not pop in, order your Christmas goodies and have a bite to eat in the tea room, where you can try its delicious handmade Christmas pudding ice cream? It also serves Sunday lunch from noon to 2.30pm each Sunday, serving Kielder organic beef and lamb (booking is advisable). And don't forget to try its liqueurs and truffles from sloemotion, which are ideal stocking fillers.

Another is the farm shop at Widdrington Farm, near Morpeth, run by Sarah and Hugh Oakey.

The spectacular views of Druridge Bay really are breathtaking.

Here you can enjoy tempting homemade treats in the coffee shop or browse the gift shop, which stocks ranges such as Alex Clark, Little Dog Laughed, Emma Bridgewater, Mrs Bridges and Jellycat. Co-owner Sarah Annett said: "The Farm Shop boasts a superb, fully stocked butchery counter with succulent, tender beef and lamb from our own farm.

"Our free-range chickens are supplied from Thornbeck - they are a Rick Stein gold label award-winning bird with a fabulous taste.

"You'll go a long way to get better pork as well. Tom Burn from Hunting Hall in Beal supplies us with amazing rare-breed pork that even gives crackling on the pork chops. We also use the rare breed pork to make all our own sausages including the ever popular Country Barn Sizzler with peaches and Shropshire blue cheese."

North Acomb Farm Shop has been associated with the finest range of farm fresh produce for three decades.

Situated in the heart of the Tyne Valley (four miles east of Corbridge), the organic status fields at North Acomb gently roll down the hill from the farm shop to join the A69 in which their herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle and flock of Suffolk cross sheep graze.

When you drive up to the farm shop, there's an open building beside the car park where you will be greeted by their nosy pigs, peacocks and Gemima the goose.

North Acomb Farm had been a part of the Baty family since the early 1930s, but when Robin and Caroline took over the farm in 1978 it was long before diversification became the buzzword of every farmer.

Inside the farm shop the shelves are awash with mouth-watering goodies.

The real home-made cakes and pies are delicious, and there is a very tempting selection of UK cheeses, milk, cream and home-made butter.

The mouth-watering farm-made sausages, black pudding and dry cured bacon are all made to their unique recipes.

Now Christmas and New Year is approaching, North Acomb comes into its own. Already customers are ordering their free range turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens, plus Aberdeen Angus beef on and off the bone, gammons and cakes. With many of Northumberland's producers all in one place, Hexham Christmas market is the perfect place to do your food shopping and take in the festive ambience.

Special events on Thursday, December 4, will include a travelling fairground in the Market Place and on Thursday, December 11, there will be rowing and fitness challenges in the Shambles, singing by the Hexham Community Choir and a New Orleans-style jazz trio. On December 18, Churches Together will hold a candlelit procession through the town.

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FINE FOODS Above, Hexham Christmas Market, and, right, food produce on sale at the North Acomb Farm Shop, situated in the heart of the Tyne Valley, four miles east of Corbridge.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 21, 2008
Words:787
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