Quality cookware for kitchens with style.
If you’d like to visit the shop in person, but your geography’s a bit hazy, you’ll find us tucked up in the very northern-most corner of England, surrounded by Scotland to the left and the North Sea to the right. We’re halfway between Edinburgh and Newcastle on the east coast. Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island (Lindisfarne) and the Farne Isles are a bit further down. The A1 used to go through Berwick, but now skirts round it, so it’s not impossible to overshoot if you’ve spent 45 minutes behind a tractor and have just found a rare overtaking place.
There are two ways into Berwick town centre – either straight in from the north, through the residental areas and into the top of Marygate (the high street, with the distinctive Town Hall at one end). Or, a far superior visual introduction to the town – drive in over the Royal Tweed Bridge, which is the middle one of our famous three bridges. To the left is the Royal Border Bridge - Stephenson’s outstanding railway viaduct; to the right is the intriguingly unsymmetrical Berwick Bridge (or Old Bridge); ahead is a stunning view of Berwick’s extraordinary architecture, higgledy-piggledy streets and pantile roofs. (Entering by train from the south is even more glorious as the train pulls gently away from the coast, curls round the town then sweeps in, in a perfect arc, over the Royal Border Bridge).
Having somehow found yourself on Marygate, turn right down Hide Hill just after the Town Hall, and turn right again into Bridge Street. If you are driving, slow to a snail’s pace – we’re only a few shops down on the right. There’s a free 2-hour carpark on the left, or if there are no spaces here, there are other carparks in Berwick, the closest being on the Quayside.
It’s our great privilege to be sited in one of the most historically significant, architecturally fascinating, geographically perplexing places in the British Isles. Berwick upon Tweed, once upon a time, was an important strategic Scottish port. So important, the English decided they wanted it as their own. Starting with Edward I in 1296, Berwick changed hands 13 times over a few bloody medieval centuries, finally ending up in England under Edward IV in 1482. The fight hadn’t completely gone out of the Scots, but by then some serious walled defences had been built, with more to follow in Elizabeth I’s reign (1558-1603).The Union of the Crowns in 1603 (when James VI of Scotland became James I of England) restored some semblance of dignity to cross-border relationships.
What Berwick is most famous for is its Elizabethan Walls or ramparts - the only complete walled defences still intact in Britain today - probably in Europe too. Elizabeth I, being a woman who knew how to spend money, commissioned an Italian architect to design the ramparts, and Berwick’s walls, which took 22 years to build, ended up being the single most expensive undertaking during the whole of her reign (they are pretty, though).
But the area is not just rich in smash-and-grab history, it’s rich in food heritage too - the transport to and from Berwick of fish, grain and meat is partly what made it such a thriving and prosperous town for so many centuries. Today we can still boast an abundance of local produce - Tweed Salmon, lobster, crab and mussels, Scottish beef, Northumberland pig, eggs, grains, and masses of seasonal agricultural produce (not to mention hedgerows rich with sloes, blackberries, elderberries, damsons and many other gin-friendly fruits).
This fabulous foodiness hasn’t escaped our attention at the Cookcraft Kitchen Shop. We’ve built up the shop, our knowledge and our core lines very much around what local people want, geared towards local, seasonal cooking. Yet, like Elizabeth I, we acknowlege Continental expertise, as well as influences from further afield across the globe. We’re always keen to try new things and keep up-to-date with innovations in the cookware market.
The Cookcraft Kitchen Shop
16 Bridge Street
Berwick upon Tweed
Tel: 01289 305444
Fax: 01289 305777
Shop Opening Times:
Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5.00pm
Visit our kitchen shop in Berwick upon Tweed.