Alison Brown has swopped her behind-the-scenes BBC producer post for a starring role of her own ... as the new proprietor of The Glasshouse at Stydd Gardens, Ribchester.
The life change came when she opted to take redundancy from BBC Radio Lancashire - after some 30 years working for the BBC, first in TV and then as a radio presenter, and most recently as a producer and part of the radio station’s management team.
Alison, whose home is in Ribble Valley, had always had an interest in catering and after leaving Clitheroe Royal Grammar School took a course in Cordon Bleu cooking.
But it was working at her brother’s restaurant, The Plate, at the family farm Backridge, Waddington, near Clitheroe, that gave her a taste for her new business.
She seized the timely opportunity to become her own boss when Stephen Fullalove, owner of Stydd Gardens on Stoneygate Lane, revealed plans to develop his nursery by hosting other rural businesses and re-opening a cafe in the large plant filled greenhouse.
Alison, a mother-of-two, offers a menu of what she describes as “beautiful simple food”, much of which is locally sourced and a selection of fine teas, coffees and other drinks at the licensed premises.
She said: “It’s quality simple food, just good home cooking.The Glasshouse is a lovely place for people to come and enjoy.“
The cafe bar, which Alison hopes will provide an exciting venue for all sorts of events, including weddings, birthdays and events such as garden or flower club visits, opened on March 6.
But there will be a grand official opening on Wednesday May 8 at 2.30pm by VIP gardener, horticulturist and TV presenter Christine Walkden.
Christine has appeared on BBC’s The One Show, Gardener’s Question Time and in BBC2’s “Christine’s Garden”.Tickets for the event cost £10.00 per person, with 50p per ticket being donated to the Rosemere Cancer Foundation. TV and radio presenter/actor and comedian Ted Robbins, whose local radio show was produced by Alison until just six weeks ago, will be joining Christinet.
The Glasshouse is open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm. Other events planned include Conversational Spanish classes with Margaret Drury, starting Wednesday April 17 at 11am. Alison said: “It’s chance to relax in the beautiful surroundings of The Glass House and you almost feel you are in a cafe bar in the Mediterranean! Margaret will coach you and help you to feel confident to learn how to order food and drinks in Spanish.”
On Wednesday June 5 at 2pm there will be a talk on culinary herbs and their uses.
Maureen Little, author of The Kitchen Garden, has entitled her talk To Scarborough Fair and Beyond.
The author, who lives at Cottam, will take a look at some of the most popular culinary herbs - parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.fshe has discoved.