Saturday, 26 January 2013

As I Said To Mr ‘Udson…

upstairs downstairs bridges hudson

Back in the Old Days, way before Downton, there was Upstairs, Downstairs [the great original one, not the awful newer incarnation]

And downstairs you would find Mr Hudson and Mrs Bridges ruling the household staff with a mixture of stern glances and wry smiles.

I am not sure when the “Mrs Bridges Food Company” in Arbroath was founded, but their website makes it quite clear that they consider themselves to be carrying on the spirit of the Eaton Place Kitchen in the way they produce their products.

mrs bridges cranberry and orange treats

Among our Christmas presents, we received a jar of Mrs Bridges Cranberry and Orange Treats. These are basically small boiled sweets – each about the size of a fresh cranberry. They are exceedingly delicious. And wonderful to suck very slowly, so they last ages!

We are really enjoying these little sweets – but we’re a bit perplexed by the website which says

As you’d expect from a deluxe brand with traditional values, the Mrs Bridges collection is crafted using classic methods…Based at our family run company in Arbroath on the east coast of Scotland, Mrs Bridges products are all manufactured with no additives, thus we preserve tradition - and more importantly rich flavour.


With the best of Scottish soft fruits on our doorstep in the berry fields of Scotland, Mrs Bridges’ recipes use only the highest quality crops to produce a notably superior collection of food gifts. As Mrs Bridges herself would say “the difference is in the taste” creating a deluxe range from original recipes…

The reason we are perplexed is that the back of the jar lists these ingredients; sugar, glucose syrup, palm oil, citric acid, emulsifier, soya lecithin, flavourings, concentrates, apple, radish, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot.

Now I am not denying that their radishes, sweet potatoes, apples, pumpkins and carrots are all sourced from the ‘highest quality crops’ – it is just that I vaguely expected there to be a cranberry or an orange appearing somewhere in the list!

Never mind – they taste very good [with all those vegetables included, can I count them among my five-a-day?]


  1. I,ve never seen a cranberry or an orange grown in Scotland in my puff, never mind fields full of them!!. Never mind, Angela, the clue on the jar is in the 'flavourings' and 'concentrates' so there's bound to be a little of each fruit somewhere amongst those, hopefully. I think you'd have to eat 5 jars a day before you even got a hint of your daily requirement!Have a good weekend, my friend. x

  2. Hmm, maybe you should write and ask them who forgot to put the cranberries in!

  3. that is very interesting and strange. I too would call or write to them about it. We can buy those candies over here, very expensive.

    Thanks also for the info on ashes.


  4. Mind boggles - still at least they were not made with "added horse" so I suppose we should be greatfull for small mercies.

  5. Aren't cranberries grown in bogs? Not that in this case I guess it matters, cranberries being absent and all. Ah, sometimes it pays *not* to read the label!


  6. The careful reader will note (as you did) that they don't actually claim to put any of those soft fruits into their products. I think these sweets should definitely count towards your five-a-day, though I have a feeling the radishes, etc. are used mainly for colouring.

    And yes, the new U/D is dreadful. We watched a few episodes and then gave up in disgust. (Could they possibly have crammed in any more morally questionable and socially hot topics than they did? I think incest was probably the only thing they left out - but perhaps that occurred too after we stopped watching. The straightforward fornication of James and Sarah begins to seem wholesome by comparison.)

    Wisconsin is a major cranberry producer, by the way. :)

    1. No, I think they gave up before they got as far as incest! Everybody was to buy watching Downton Abbey on the other channel.

      I did not know that cranberries came from Wisconsin. I LOVE cranberries!


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