Wednesday, 6 June 2018


WHEN companies put time and effort into making a food product they
usually never know who will end up tasting the fruits of their labours.
And a well-known Co Down business never anticipated that their product
would end up on the tastebuds of royalty - British and Hollywood.
Allison Abernethy said it was a "very nice surprise" to see that their
dulse butter had been used as part of the Royal wedding menu last month.
The wedding menu at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's reception was
revealed by the Sunday Times with products used from across the UK.
The dulse butter is one of the popular butters handmade by Dromara's
Abernethy Butter and from its rural beginnings, is sold in some
prestigious shops in London, including Fortnum and Mason and Selfridges.
As well as being enjoyed by the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex and
members of the Royal family, the Co Down-made butter was also enjoyed by
stars including David and Victoria Beckham and George and Amal Clooney.
“We had no idea about it being used at the Royal wedding, we didn't know
until we saw it in the Sunday Times, so it was a very nice surprise,"
said Allison.
“It was very flattering, a great honour, especially as we were the only
food product from Northern Ireland served at the wedding."
Used as part of the starter of potato and roe with beurre blanc, herring
and trout roe, the roe was sourced from the Argyll Smokery, Dunoon, west
Scotland with the dulse butter from Abernethy, Co Down.
Allison said it was "quite a rare butter" and is very popular with their
“A lot of restaurants in London and throughout the UK use it and they
really like it, as you can see the flecks of dulse and it adds a
saltiness to it without needing to add salt.
“We were pleased to see it used with the fish dish as it is lovely with
fish and it's also really nice with lamb."
Sourcing the dulse from the west coast of Ireland, Allison described it
as a "very Irish thing".
“A few years ago dulse was the 'in' food and used as a superfood. We
thought about how it is such an Irish thing and that it would be a good
combination for our butter. It has really taken off."
As with their other butters, their traditional Abernethy Butter and
their salted butter, the dulse butter is handmade and takes time to make.
“We start at 5am and we don't usually get finished until 5pm, but we
really enjoy the process. We wouldn't be doing it if we didn't enjoy
it," she said.
She said the business, which has been running for eight years, has
afforded her and her husband, Will opportunities they otherwise wouldn't
have had.
“We have been very lucky and privileged with it and have met royalty and
had some great opportunities because of what we do.
“The Duchess of Gloucester came to the business and our home last year,
we have met the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and been to 10 Downing
Street, all of this we wouldn't have done if we didn't do this.
“We have lots of local support and are very, very busy. We support a lot
of farm shops ourselves and butchers throughout Northern Ireland, while
80 per cent of what we make goes to the UK, mainly London."
After their starter, guests at the wedding enjoyed a main course of
roast chicken with sage onion. The chicken was aged 64 days from Creedy
Carver farm in Devon and was served with asparagus and carrots from
Secretts farm in Surrey and Charlotte potatoes from Chris Hayselden's
farm in Sussex.
A wild strawberry and lemon verbena was served for dessert with the
strawberries having been "nurtured in Norfolk".


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