Wedding season is in full swing!

We’ve just had some super feed back from a recent bride and groom for a wedding we catered at the stunning Mellerstain House

The service from Gill Orde in Catering for our wedding was absolutely excellent – everything ran very smoothly and we really appreciated everyone’s hard work. Special mentions go to the seconds of the main course and dessert, keeping one young dad’s tea warm while he was looking after his baby daughter and taking desserts to the family in the cottages. Thank you so so much for making our reception wonderful – please pass this on to everyone who was working during the day but also on the Friday to set everything up!

Lorna and Stuart

We really enjoyed catering for Lorna and Stuart and it was a pleasure working for them from the very start. We designed a bespoke menu for them reflecting the food they liked and using some fun elements in the dessert to wow them. They said they liked apple crumble so we jazzed it up by adding mini toffee apples to the plate and a swipe of rich dulce de leche before adding the freshly prepared piping hot crumble and creme anglaise – well, if something’s worth doing it’s worth doing right… right?!?



The day went along swimmingly and the decor and wedding planning were provided through Lindsey Hunter at Get Knotted. We’ve just done another super a wedding at Mellerstain with the same team and I look forward to giving you some information from that super feast too!


The Events Season 2014: Staff Required

Just add Gill Orde In Catering

Just add Gill Orde In Catering

Are you a future star waiting to be discovered?

We are looking for ASTONISHINGLY STELLA staff for the busy season ahead of us in 2014.

It’s an exciting time for the company and you will be joining a highly skilled and motivated team of professionals who can lay claim to some worthy accolades!


We are looking for Chefs, Waiters and Bar staff to help deliver 5 star food, drink and service to our discerning clientele.

We always need general hard grafters who can assist with setting up and breaking down event kitchens and other odd jobs so if you are happier beavering away in the back ground don’t be shy. Give us a shout!

Our rates of pay are extremely competitive and our training is comprehensive.


If you love people, love parties, love food and have a hunger to learn then you will LOVE working for us.

Applicants should be eligible to work in the UK and fill these other criteria:

  • Hospitable, customer oriented, willing to learn.
  • Speak, read and communicate in a good level of English.
  • Must be of smart appearance with excellent personal hygiene standards.

2013 – The Highlights

It was our busiest year ever, a year that saw us welcome my brother Christian Orde and his young family back from New Zealand to join the business and help with what would be an amazing Summer season.

Tasting Plate of Cherries - Charity Dinner June 2013

Tasting Plate of Cherries – Charity Dinner June 2013

In the previous year and early 2013 we recruited some excellent staff; a pair of first class chefs, a tireless event manager, a Duracel restaurant management team, waiters, cooks, secretaries and a kit manager. These new additions slotted admirably into our existing and long serving brigade and without the esprit de cours they developed over the winter of 2012/13 I doubt we would have coped quite so well in the virgin territory we were to forge. New staff at Abbotsford’s Ochiltree’s Dining even managed to get some training for the Winter Olympics in! 

All our staff come from the Scottish Borders and we are all proud to cater to the good people of our region (and further afield) using locally sourced quality food and drink cooked and served to high standards, standards we are always trying to better!

Trio of Border Salmon - Gill Orde in Catering Ltd

Trio of Border Salmon – Gill Orde in Catering Ltd

We kicked off our 2013 events with snowfall at Abbotsford and a spree of private dinner parties. Once staff holidays were through we prepared for March with a Silking dinner for the Faculty of Advocates, Corporate Catering at the ever popular Buccleuch Point to Point for Lycetts and a wedding in an unusual location – St Georges School, Edinburgh! We prepared and served 150 guests from a maths class room we had converted into a kitchen. The menu of Trio of Border Salmon, Smoked, home cured gravadlax and hot smoked was followed by Wild Highland Venison carved at the table. Apple Tarte with Over Langshaws Vanilla Ice cream finished off the meal in style.

With Spring and April came a special Wedding for a fellow caterer and family friend from the South for whom we provided one of our favorite dishes of the year. We really enjoyed preparing all the sweet treats that went into this dish and getting the puddings out for the 200 guests was fun but hard work. The vibrant colours really brought a wow factor to the meal, great fun!

Dessert Sharing Platter - Gill Orde in Catering

Dessert Sharing Platter – Gill Orde in Catering

We also were busy opening our Tea rooms and Cafes for the season, Mellerstain and Harestanes had a good run over the year with increased visitor numbers and some very nice weather helping things along. Unfortunately Thirlestane Castle needed to be closed for refurbishment during all of 2013, however we did cater some very nice weddings there.

Charity DinnerMid Summer 2013 was unlike anything we had experienced before. The official opening of Abbotsford House by HRH Queen Elizabeth II was  day to savour for all involved. We provided a taste of the Border’s for her Majesty and 28 VIPS showcasing Tweed Smoked Salmon, Border Lamb and Tweed Valley Strawberries. A further 600 guests enjoyed picnics using local produce from Shaws Fine Meats and Standhill Dairy. All the packaging was made from Scottish produced 100% recycled and biodegradable Vegware. Our team really pulled together and it was a honour to serve such high profile guests and to work with such committed and talented staff.

Prepping desserts for 200

Prepping desserts for 200

Swiftly following the opening of Abbotsford were a series of high profile weddings and events which saw us cater for over 5000 people in the space of a fortnight! It’s all a blur now and to have worked at that level of intensity with such professionalism deserves great respect and recognition for all our staff. When people ask us if we are busy it’s alway set in comparison to those two weeks and when doing multiple weddings and events over the rest of those Summer days, week in week out, we simply dust off  our shoulders and say “It could be busier.”

We had great fun on the 13th of July… some people are superstitious but we had a couple of events on that day, clearly we have some care free and fun focussed clientele. One in a marquee dramatically jutting from the front of a Georgian Mansion house – what could go wrong???….


….And a wedding for over 250 guest where we served an ambitious dessert including an Ice cream bombe… again… what could go wrong in 31 degree heat??? Everything went to plan, come guys, what did you expect? It’s GILL ORDE IN CATERING! I left the marquee the night before at 11pm and was back at 9am prepping the puddings. The freezer was running at a steady 0 degrees and close to packing in but thank heavens we got the meal served!

Assiete of Summer Puddings - Mini Pavlova, Gran Marnier Ice Cream Bombe, Lemon Mousse

Assiete of Summer Puddings – Mini Pavlova, Gran Marnier Ice Cream Bombe, Lemon Mousse

I like the story behind this dessert. I managed to have a chat over a pint with the Bride and Groom before the wedding and discovered that they both loved Terry’s Chocolate Oranges – I knew i had to get those flavours onto the menu somewhere so we asked local ice cream producers Over Langshaw Dairy to make a chocolate and Gran Marnier ice cream which we would cast in chocolate spheres. It was a charming moment when, at the top table, the bride and groom got to share one of their favorites treats whilst everyone else commended them on their good taste!

We must mention the fantastic marquees and dining spaces we served our food in over the past year too! We had African themed marquees, brilliant cream and gold interiors and flowers that filled the air with really luxurious scents. We were well looked after by our event suppliers too, a big thank you needs to go to:

Best Intent Marquees

Carnival Chaos

Get Knotted

Michael Wares

Sitting Pretty


Tower Productions


As Summer merged into Autumn we found ourselves looking after some lovely guests at some of the large holiday homes we cater for. We’ve had guests from China, France, USA and across the UK. It’s been a pleasure hosting them and giving them a taste of the Borders.

We look forward to a busy 2014 with bookings through January and February to keep the wolf from the door. We will be pushing ourselves harder than ever to improve upon this years successes and we thank our wonderful loyal clientele for supporting us through this year and the many years previous to that.

Roll on 2014!

Justin Orde


If music be the food of love: Little Sonny – Eli’s Pork Chop

Here’s a funky slice of harmonica grooving goodness for you. Little sonny has a mean set of pipe on him and this tune is helping us work our way through a deep December afternoon in the kitchen. If they ask you what’s cooking then tell em’ “Pork Chops!”


An elegant Sunday lunch

An elegant Sunday lunch

It’s Christmas time and tis the season to be jolly, we really enjoyed catering this fantastic house party! A wonderful seasonal main course of baked gammon was served with a sugar snap pea and caper salsa with boulangere potatoes and carrot puree.

DSCN1789 DSCN1786


If Music Be the Food of Love: “Memphis Soul Stew” King Curtis & The Kingpins

I would book these guys to play my wedding in a heartbeat!

Cocktails, Hen Nights, Mother’s Day and more.

We’ve been busy as ever here getting geared up for a number of events over the month of March. We’ll be in the field, in the hills and by the river over this month with our cocktail barmen doing some exclusive parties, our private chefs delivering fine dining in some amazing Country Houses and our events team serving the hungry hordes at the Point to Point races.

Gill and Michael have been enjoying some relaxing time with my Brother and his family in New Zealand. They’ve brought me back some amazing spices like Horopito – a lovely peppery bush plant. They’ve also placated me with some excellent Patagonia Chocolates from Queenstown – Wasabi flavour… you can see I’m a fan of the spicy end of the flavour spectrum.

We’ve also recently been reading a couple of handy cookbooks:

Essence: Recipes from Le Champignon Sauvage,  David Everitt-Matthias

Letters to a Young Chef: The Art of Mentoring – Daniel Boulud 

I’m in the midst of building up a fresh young team of waitresses, commis and admin staff who have joined us as part of our recent expansion. Both these books are fantastic documents that aid in personal development but the first book I ask young chefs to read is:

Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain 

If only because I found it so inspiring personally and Bourdains writing is engaging and incendiary. Maybe not the worlds best chef but he really know’s how to bing to life the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen.

So Mother’s Day is upon us and Ochiltree’s Dining is fully booked. We have a great menu on and complimentary Bucks Fizz for Mother’s to enjoy upon arrival. It promises to be a great day!