The team at a Ballater eatery that forms part of a restored Deeside landmark with a royal link has hailed an “incredible” first year of trading.
The Carriage – a cafe, bistro and tearoom founded by The Prince’s Foundation – opened for business a year ago in a bid to help the town regain its footing following a fire that all but destroyed the Old Royal Railway Station.
In the first year, almost 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 adjoining Highgrove Shop, sweet treats and pampering products proved to be most popular with 1,053 jars of preserves and 961 bars of soap 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.
"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 Carriage’s first full year.
"The Old Royal Station has always been a busy tourist destination but now that our executive chef Ross Cochrane at the Rothesay Rooms across the road has won a series of prestigious food industry awards and the restaurant has made it into the Michelin Guide, we have been put on the map for our food as well."
Robert Lovie, deputy executive director of The Prince’s Foundation, said: "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."
Profits from the sale of Highgrove products are donated to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.