Shopping Local During Lockdown

Shopping Local During Lockdown

I was a regular Tesco Delivery shopper, booking in my flexible slot the night before and building up quite an easy lazy list of items that I had grown to know. With two kids under two and a business to run this has suited me well. I am lucky I can then walk out into Beauly and purchase my meat from the butcher and a few treats from the deli Corner on the Square and that was my shopping pretty much done.
Then CoronaVirus put us on lockdown and getting a major supermarket delivery slot was impossible. This has forced me to get back into shopping local for all my needs and it is something I hope to continue. We have found that the small community we live in has really adapted and embraced community life during this pandemic and we are lucky to be a part of it.
Here are some top local suppliers
Hands down the best sourdough, world class and perfect texture. I like the the original, but they also do an excellent ‘porridge’ sourdough. Available to buy at Corner on the Square Deli.
A long standing favourite of mine, their products are available at markets and local shops, but to get the true section you need to visit their honesty shed where you can stumble across new creations like Chocolate Orange Jaffa, Amaretto or Berry Yoghurt flavour. Since lockdown we have visited much more often and with this good weather its an essential!
The foodie treat in Beauly. With their excellent wine selection, quinoa crisps, speciality products, the deli counter with prepared quiche, pork pies and scotch eggs (Johns favourites), you simply can’t leave without a full basket. During lockdown COTS have come into their own and provided the community with an extraordinary service. Jacqui and her team added all the fruit and veg and key products to their website and set up an order and collect/delivery system. The produce is notably higher quality so the fruit and veg not only taste better but last longer.
Last weekend we were able to order pizza takeaway which was exciting as take aways are few and far between up here.
The butcher has always been my go to for meat and eggs but during lockdown they have encouraged customers to place orders in advance. This has made me plan ahead with my food prep and get back into my slow cooker. It is marvellous, find a good recipe, order a kilo of mince, lamb shoulder, rolled pork or a whole chicken and whack in a load of spices and some liquid, 8 hours later and hey presto you have a scrummy meal and you have batch cooked a few freezer options for a later date.
The Storehouse of Foulis have also created a wonderful click and collect/delivery service. Quintin and Michelle have adapted their business model and helped many households in the wider community. We have very much enjoyed their prepared food range The Highland Cook House for evenings when it has been a busy day with kids and web orders. John offers to cook dinner and off he pops to the Storehouse to pick up a delicious dinner for two. My favourite is the Wester Ross Salmon Fillet.
I hope to continue this shopping pattern after COVID 19, it has made me look harder at the ingredients I buy and work my store cupboard….there were plenty of tins in there past their sell by date.. still taste OK but it has reminded me not be wasteful with food. I will always shop with our lovely local suppliers and I hope post Covid there will be a stronger support and commerical benefit for these small businesses who have adapted during this difficult time.
Lego Technic Corona Virus Therapy

Lego Technic Corona Virus Therapy

John asked for a Defender for his 40th, and he got one – introducing the Lego Technic Defender!!

A fun and enjoyable project during lockdown. With a toddler desperate to ‘help’ build the Defender I think he did well not to lose any pieces or his temper.

We have Land Rover Defender cufflinks available to buy here.


Tailoring Workshop Opening by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay

Tailoring Workshop Opening by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay

HRH Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, opened a new state of the art tailoring workshop for Campbell’s of Beauly, the Royal Warrant holding tailors and country outfitters based in the Highlands of Scotland.

Campbell’s of Beauly, which was founded in 1858 and has previously held Royal Warrants to the Duke of Windsor and HRH the Queen Mother as tweed mercers, said its new facility would allow the company to employ more staff over the next 18 months to meet growing demand.

John and Nicola Sugden, joint owners of Campbell’s of Beauly, said they were honoured to meet the Duke of Rothesay.

John Sugden said: “We are thrilled that HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, accepted the invitation to come and open our new workshop – this has been a wonderful day for the whole team here at Campbell’s, but moreover for the wider community of Beauly and the surrounding area. We are grateful for The Prince’s support and we are extremely fortunate to have enjoyed royal patronage for a number of years, including our most recent Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen.

“Here at Campbell’s, we are committed to maintaining our craft and making it here in the Highlands. We employ a team of eight in our tailoring department and hope that the new expansion allows for us to take on two more staff in the short-medium terms and potentially four more in the long term.”

John’s late father James Sugden OBE was instrumental in setting up The Prince’s Foundation’s Future Textiles training initiative at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire. The programme, which was initiated in 2015, is designed to breathe new life into Scotland’s renowned textiles industry by providing expert tuition in traditional skills such as sewing, weaving and cutting to school pupils and adults looking to gain employment in the industry.

In May 2018, John was appointed as co-chair of Future Textiles alongside award-winning designer Patrick Grant. Through this role, John contributes his knowledge and expertise to help The Prince’s Foundation educate those with lesser opportunities and find solutions to bridge the industry skills gap created by decades of under investment in training.

“British manufacturing, particularly textiles, is on the up again and the biggest issue that the industry faces is the shortage of skills due to a lack of success and, thus, investment over the last 30 years. Step-by-step we can collectively start to turn this predicament around, and it starts from the grass roots upwards, and this means teaching traditional skills like those taught at the Dumfries House through The Prince’s Foundation’s Future Textiles programme.

“Hopefully our investment here at Campbell’s will allow for future graduates to be able to come to Campbell’s and gain work experience in a proper working environment”.

Campbell’s tailoring business represents around 45% of the company’s gross sales. “The foundations of our tailoring sales come from the many estates that maintain age-old traditions of estate tweeds.

“This relatively consistent business has given us the platform to be able to build our new facility with confidence. We also have a significant business in tweed jackets as well as Highlandwear, and the business has often been referred to as The Guardians of Tweed. The hope is that we can continue to grow and increase our footprint here in the Highlands”.

Over the past five years, Scottish estates have spent in excess of £1.3million on tweed, based on surveys conducted by Scotland’s seven regional moorland groups.

Campbell’s and Eagle Review Partnership

Campbell’s and Eagle Review Partnership

Campbell’s of Beauly are delighted to announce our new partnership with Eagle Review – the no.1 travel advisor for fieldsports lovers.  Advising on prime locations for stalking and fishing, from idyllic countryside retreats to dense jungle getaways, Eagle Review allows you to build your fieldsports holiday based on location, sport and animal to fit your desired needs. Choose from 6,500 fishing, shooting and hunting locations – from Wild Boar hunting in Hungary to Tarpon fishing in Florida. Eagle Review links local guides, venues and accommodation to sports enthusiasts around the world to arrange trips tailored to each specific need.

We want to build awareness of Eagle Review and their fantastic business to our fieldsport-loving customers. Many of our customers are active with guns or rods, and we believe this partnership will be a great link for those who want a quality, tailored experience when booking their next fieldsport venture. Campbell’s of Beauly and Eagle Review will work to share our vision of quality craftmanship in outdoor pursuits, clothing and sporting equipment, to ensure our customers have access to this excellent service when building their next stalking, shooting or fishing experience.





The Highland Cross 2018

The Highland Cross 2018

I entered and completed my first Highland Cross alongside two friends, Gemma and Heather, we stuck together and completed this tough local duathlon in a time of 7.5 hours and we raised £945! The Highland Cross is a 50 mile duathlon comprising of 20 miles by foot, followed by 30 miles by bike from the west to the east of Scotland. It attracts hundreds of participants per year of all athletic capabilities, starting at 18 years old and with no maximum age limit. It is an all terrain route starting in Kintail, snaking through the beautiful Scottish west coast, through Affric and finishing in Beauly – just outside the Campbell’s front door. It is a spectacular day to observe the determination and endurance of all those involved.

The Highland Cross started out as a Charity Challenge in 1983 – back then, titled “The Midsummer Madathon”. The aim was for 3 teams to cross from Loch Duich to Glen Affric, a total of 60 miles to raise money for the Highland Scanner Appeal. The challenge quickly grew and has become a historic route to test your fitness abilities, all while raising money for notably worthy causes. Today, 795 people in teams of 3 enter the race each year, with all sponsors donated to help local causes, those disadvantaged by disability, in ill health or in social need.

This year, the funds raised are being shared between 5 charities: Blythswood Care, Highland Hospice, MS Therapy Centre, Skye and Lochalsh Mental Health Association, and the Abriachan Forest Trust. If you would like to contribute towards these causes, you can do so through the Tough Mamma’s Virgin Giving page linked here – we are grateful for any donation!

Well done to all those who participated! If you are interested in learning more about The Highland Cross, you can visit their website or Facebook page.

Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen

Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen

HM The Queen Bestows Royal Warrant on Iconic Tailoring and Countrywear Business

Campbell’s of Beauly

One of the oldest established tailoring specialists in the Highlands, Campbells of Beauly, established in 1858, have been granted the Royal Warrant for supply of tailored goods to Her Majesty the Queen.

The workshop in Beauly has for many years been making suits for the Balmoral Estate and the company has held two previous Royal Warrants since the 1960’s. In particular, those for the late HRH The Prince of Wales (later The Duke of Windsor) as well as HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The grantee, Mr James Sugden OBE, has worked in the industry for over 50 years and Campbell’s was acquired by his Son and Daughter in law John and Nicola Sugden in 2013 from the Campbell family. As well as a thriving tailoring workshop the business boasts a unique retail emporium specialising in knitwear and tweed garments, many of which are made in Scotland and the UK.

John Sugden, Director said ‘Nicola and I are absolutely delighted for all the team here at Campbell’s as this is such a wonderful reward for all their hard work and attention to detail. Many of the team have worked here for over 20 years and this is the perfect recognition for their dedication and loyalty. The first people we shared the news with were the Campbell family and Tom Owen our Head Cutter for over 40 years who were all delighted.’