EARLIER this month, the Maxwell’s of Doddington Dairy – run by descendants one of Scotland’s great Border Clans – chose the Scottish Borders Tourism Exchange at Springwood Park in Kelso to launch its new range of luxury ice creams, writes Andrew Keddie.
The picturesque park, in the shadow of 12th century Maxwellheugh, is named after one of the very first Maxwells, so there could be no better place for the innovative company to launch a taste of the Scottish Borders: The Clan Maxwell range.
Already well-known for award-winning ice creams, the range, in distinctive tartan cartons, combines the family’s history and knowledge with the finest ingredients – all churned from Maxwell milk and mixed with Scottish cream. Scottish growers will supply the strawberries and soft fruits and many seasonal flavours.
The Maxwells were one of the most powerful and respected families along the Scottish southwest border for more than 500 years.
A rich and colourful history saw them involved in historical epics from the Crusades to the Border Reivers, but it seems dairy is in the blood.
Highly appropriate for a family whose castles included Castlemik and Cowhill – and as they have been dairy farmers for over 300 years there is not a great deal they don’t know about producing high quality milk.
Today, at the family farm near Berwick-upon-Tweed, the modern-day Maxwells milk more than 200 cows and are hoping the new taste of Scotland’s heritage will appeal to food outlets and tourist attractions throughout the Borders.
Owner Neill Maxwell explains: “We have been making ice cream for the last the 10 years and I really wanted to produce a range that would be a celebration of everything that the Maxwells are about.
“My father was born and farmed in Dumfrieshire, where the family seat of the Maxwells is situated at Nithsdale and we have long been involved in the Borders turbulent history.
“Consequently, Clan Maxwell is a tribute to the history of the clan and our dairy farming background which goes back generations.”
The head of the Maxwell family, whose descendants became the Lords Maxwell and the Earls of Nithsdale, lived at the imposing Caerlaverock Castle on the Solway coast in Dumfriesshire. Earlier this month, the family went back to their roots for a photoshoot of the new tubs featuring the family in their traditional Maxwell tartan.
Commenting on the new range, Sandi Hellowell, regional director for VisitScotland, told us: “Scotland’s natural produce plays an incredibly important part in the visitor experience and often a great day out in the Scottish Borders can be made even better when you are presented with great-tasting local treats such as ice cream.
“VisitScotland’s research shows that £1 in every £5 spent by Scotland’s visitors is on food and drink, amounting to more than £500million for UK visitors alone.”
The new range includes Real Strawberry – made with real Scottish strawberries – vanilla and chocolate. There will also be occasional limited editions and special flavours with a Scottish theme including Tweedside Heather Honey, Cranachan and Tayberry.
Clan Maxwell ice cream is available in 120ml pots and four-litre tubs for restaurants, hotels and ice cream parlours.
Anyone interested in stocking this product and receiving samples should contact Clan Maxwell on 01668 283010, 07968 381 674. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.doddingtondairy.co.uk