Ballater eaterie marks first birthday

It's been a busy first year for The Carriage
It's been a busy first year for The Carriage

The team at a Ballater eaterie which forms part of a restored Deeside landmark with a royal link has been celebrating its first anniversary.

The Carriage, a bustling cafe, bistro and tearoom founded by The Prince’s Foundation, opened for business in a bid to help the village recover following Storm Frank flooding and a severe fire at the Old Royal Railway Station in 2015.

The Carriage bistro and tearoom

The Carriage bistro and tearoom

Through his charity, the Prince of Wales opened the Rothesay Rooms restaurant in 2016 to help drive tourism to the area and, in turn, provide employment and training opportunities for local people.

This charitable outreach initiative was expanded in August, 2018, with the opening of The Carriage and a Highgrove shop located inside the former Royal station.

In the first year, 10,000 pots of tea, 6,173 bowls of soup, 8,734 scones and 4,478 slices of cake have been consumed, with 2,720 visitors opting for the famous afternoon tea and 3,869 enjoying an evening of dining at the bistro.

In the Highgrove Shop, sweet treats and pampering products proved to be most popular with 1,053 jars of preserves, 961 bars of soap and 282 scented candles purchased.

Carolina Cochrane, group manager of The Carriage and Rothesay Rooms, said: “It’s been an incredible first year for The Carriage, for which I am very grateful. Ballater is such a beautiful village and it is such a great place to work.

“We are lucky to have a great team of staff working at both The Carriage and Rothesay Rooms and I am very proud of all we have achieved during the first full year.”

Robert Lovie, deputy executive director of The Prince’s Foundation, added: “It has been truly wonderful to see how popular The Carriage has become over the past year.

“The Old Royal Station has always been such an important part of Ballater’s rich cultural heritage and it is very rewarding to see people enjoying it again.”

The tearoom is full of authentic Royal touches. The Royal Waiting Room is a meticulously preserved private dining space, retaining almost all of its original details.