Castle Supersizes A ‘Stottie’ As Northumberland Day Curtain-Raiser
Langley Castle, the Northumberland-based hotel and restaurant about to see its dream of Northumberland Day come to fruition, is cooking up something super-special for the celebrations in the shape of the ‘World’s Biggest Stottie.’
This culinary treat is being prepared for Langley’s curtain-raising event on Saturday May 27 – the day before the county’s first-ever dedicated day.
At 1pm at the Langley event – in the midst of a Border Reivers event full of historic re-enactments, pike drills, Warden’s Court, ballads and storytelling – and just as birds of prey have stopped wowing the gathered crowd, Langley Castle’s owner, Dr Stuart Madnick, and head chef, Mark Percival, will be unveiling the supersized stottie stunner!
This giant of a traditional Northumbrian treat has been in the planning for weeks, with Mark liaising with head baker, Dean Gibbon, at Geordie Bakers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Many mathematical calculations have been undertaken, and tape measures employed, to calculate the maximum size of the stottie that could be baked in the bakery’s ovens. With an internal oven dimension of 1.2 metres, both Dean and Mark agreed that a stottie measuring 1m2 could feasibly become the centrepiece of Langley’s inaugural Northumberland Day celebrations and, no doubt, justify the ‘world’s biggest’ title. From there, it was a case of working out how much flour, and other ingredients, would be required.
The supersized stottie will be baked on May 26, on a baking tray large enough to cope with this Northumbrian monster, commissioned specially from local metal workers. The culinary gurus have been perfecting the baking of this enormous 15kg flour-based treat for the past week and trials have gone well. The recipe is currently being tweaked, to ensure the record-breaking stottie looks its very best for the cameras.
When at Langley Castle, stage two will unfold, as the stottie is filled with traditional Northumbrian food treat, pease pudding and ham. The pease pudding will be supplied by Pete's Puddin' and the ham by Hayden Bridge's WMH Farm Fresh Meats.
The stottie will be hailed and lauded by John Sadler, the military historian behind Time Bandits, who are organising the Border Reivers event at Langley. Dr Stuart Madnick – officially the Baron of Langley and celebrating the 10th anniversary of his reuniting the castle with this title – will say a few words, before the stottie is sliced up and sold off in delicious portions for charity.
Dr Stuart Madnick, currently at Langley having travelled from his home in Boston, says: “We put out the call for a Northumberland Day in July 2015 and have brought our dream to fruition in less than two years. We wanted to do something extra-special to mark the first-ever Northumberland Day and what could be bigger, better or more Northumbrian than a supersized stottie, filled with tasty pease pudding and ham?
“We already had a wedding at the castle on Northumberland Day itself, so hope this will be a great curtain-raiser that will encourage as many people as possible to support the wide array of events taking place across Northumberland on May 28."
Mark Percival, a former North East Chef of the Year (2011) says: “I’ve never quite had a culinary challenge quite like this, but it was great fun to put together and our thanks go to Geordie Bakers for their input and can-do attitude. Hopefully, the pictures of our foodie treat will spread globally and educate the world about the great Northumbrian food tradition that is the stottie, not to mention our regional delicacy, pease pudding.”
Those heading to Langley on May 27 will also be able to see the bespoke ‘Northumbie Awards’ commissioned from fused-glass artist, Helen Grierson, to reward those who have gone the extra mile to celebrate Northumberland Day. These awards have been sponsored by Helen, Waitrose Hexham, The Northumbrian magazine and Catapult PR and will celebrate the ‘Best Designed Event’, ‘Best Community Involvement’, ‘Best Village or Parish’ and ‘Most Inspiring School’.
Stottie cake of a more regular size will be on offer at Headway ArtSpace in Blyth on Thursday May 25, at a very special tea that will feature Northumbrian piper, Bev Palin, which will also see a world premiere of 'Forever Young’ - a timeless tale for all. Directed by Allie Walton-Robson and featuring devised performances from The Seven Stars alongside other Headway artists, this is a faerie story of forbidden love, loss, family, choice and independence inspired by Northumberland’s beautiful landscape and its borders folklore.
Elsewhere, new events have come on board in the last week, including an open gardens day at Adderstone House in Belford, a village celebration in Elsdon in which villagers will be diving into the Elsdon village recipe book to put on a fabulous afternoon tea, and a wildlife walk in Ridley Park in Blyth, organised by the Friends of Ridley Park.
Other events on offer over the Northumberland Day period are being organised by the Amble Puffin Festival, Prudhoe Community Arts and Allendale May Fair, whist Kirkley Hall has a special Northumberland Day Sunday lunch on offer.
Whilst the supersized stottie will be a big curtain raiser on the food front, other foodie delights will be a special tour of Vallum Farm, which will help footies get behind the scenes and meet the artisan baker and ice cream maker, whilst also touring the polytunnels, if the weather permits on Northumberland Day.
On Saturday May 27, Brocksbushes Farm Shop is also staging a meet-the-suppliers event, at which visitors can sample Brocksbushes own handmade food delights, as well as those produced by suppliers of olives, honey, bread, cheese, sausage and fish. On the same day, there will also be Northumbrian food markets in both Alnwick and Ashington.
When it comes to walking off the calories, special walks organised by North East Guides, Shepherd’s Walks and the Haltwhistle Walking Festival, which all take place on Northumberland Day itself, should be just the ticket.
Dr Stuart Madnick says: “We want to see Northumberland turned red and yellow over the next 10 days, so urge everyone to buy or make a flag and display it, put up bunting and even dress in red and yellow so that there is a real community feel to Northumberland Day, from top to bottom in the county."
More details about everything happening on Northumberland Day, and in the weeks around it, can be found at www.northumberlandday.net
Press calls: Jane Hunt, Catapult PR, 01253 891114 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors