The Sill’s 90 seater café

Fresh Element, the gourmet experts behind BALTIC Kitchen, Garden Kitchen and Six Restaurant in Gateshead and Newcastle, has been awarded the catering and hospitality contract for The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre on Hadrian’s Wall.

Following a competitive tender process, Northumberland National Park Authority has appointed Fresh Element to operate The Sill’s 90 seater café and provide full catering support for events at the venue.

Renowned for its commitment to sourcing quality local ingredients, Fresh Element will operate The Sill Café with a focus on simple, seasonal and sustainable dishes. Visitors can expect freshly made sandwiches and light bites, along with a selection of seasonal specials, showcasing some of the finest ingredients Northumberland has to offer.

Sarah Glynn, Sill Manager, said: “We are delighted to be working with the team at Fresh Element. Their commitment to provenance provided the perfect fit for The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, which will transform the way people understand and engage with landscape.

“We want our customers’ journey of landscape discovery to take place from the moment they arrive at our venue to the moment they leave. The catering they receive whilst with us is key to this. The ethos behind Fresh Element’s offer will allow us to tell some interesting stories about the journey our food takes from the field to the plate.

“Fresh Element will also link with our busy activity programme and help us to develop a range of fun and informative events connected to local produce including cookery classes and workshops to engage more people in the discovery of food and drink with a connection to the National Park and the wider area.”

Spearheaded by Northumberland National Park Authority with support from partners and funders including YHA (England & Wales), and thanks to money raised by National Lottery players through a £7.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), The Sill is an iconic visitor attraction like no other.

Located at Once Brewed on Hadrian’s Wall, The Sill is set to help more people explore the landscape of the National Park.  In addition to the café, the building boasts an 86 bed Youth Hostel, gift shop, fixed and temporary exhibitions, a rural business hub, several learning and event spaces, a tourist information service and a fully accessible Whin Sill grassland roof, the only one of its kind in the world.

Andy Ross, director at Fresh Element, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world to the café this summer and working with event organisers throughout the region to utilise The Sill’s incredible event spaces.

“We firmly believe The Sill is a fantastic addition to the North East as a cultural destination which will attract more visitors to the region. We are committed to helping the Park achieve its vision for The Sill by providing a catering and hospitality experience that complements its ethos and enhances the visitor experience.

“Northumbrian produce will be prevalent throughout the café and catering menus and all our staff are knowledgeable about the provenance of dishes to help promote the benefits of supporting the local food economy to customers. All our dishes will be freshly prepared on site or supplied through our own butchery and bakery. This enables us to procure ingredients of unparalleled quality and sustainable credentials from within the North East.”

Since the company launched in 2004, Fresh Element has always focused on using local and ethically sourced ingredients. They bake breads with organic flour and work with a variety of local fish suppliers, butchers and growers.

Northumberland National Park and Fresh Element look forward to welcoming their first visitors to The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre on 29th July as a finale to the UK National Parks Week celebrations.