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All the best: Allison Abernethy on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 52-year-old lives in Dromara with her husband Will and they have two children, Laura (24) and Stuart (20). She is managing director of Abernethy Butter which she runs with her husband.

My best moment

Having Abernethy Butter stocked in Harrods and Fortnum & Mason was pretty big, and meeting Prince Charles and Camilla was amazing, too. More recently our smoked butter won three stars in the Great Taste Awards and was then listed by The Times as one of the top 50 foods in Europe.

My best song

I'm a Ronan Keating fan and my favourite song of his is When You Say Nothing At All. It's a nice, romantic ballad and I love his voice - he's a real crooner.

My best way to relax

Having a facial, pedicure or some kind of really nice beauty treatment. It's one of the few times I get to sit still with the phone turned off for a couple of hours.

My best job

I was a nurse for 32 years before we started Abernethy Butter - those are the only two jobs I've ever had. Being a nurse was rewarding as I was helping people. But when we started Abernethy Butter and Heston Blumenthal started using it our orders just went through the roof and I knew I had to give something up. At the time I thought if the butter business doesn't work out I would have something to go back too, but that hasn't been the case.

My best advice

My dad told me 'do something right, not rightly'. In other words do the job right at the start rather something that would 'do rightly' for the time being.

My best movie

Action movies like Mission Impossible, Die Hard or Taken. I also like romantic films such as Notting Hill or Pretty Woman.

My best gift

When I worked in the cancer unit in Belvoir Park Hospital I got close to a patient and their family before they died. The family came in and gave me a beautiful little Waterford Crystal clock. It's only a tiny thing - but every time I see it I think of the patient and their family.

My best achievement

Other than the kids it has to be the butter business. We've been doing it now for six years and we never dreamt it would turn out the way it did. Our first order has just gone out to Selfridges. And, we've done everything on our own terms - the butter rolls are the same size for everyone and we don't stock in the major supermarkets. We prefer to make our product available in specialist retailers such as delis, butchers and farm shops.

My best buy

A memory foam mattress for my bed. I have a really bad back and when I get up in the mornings I could hardly move. Buying a memory foam mattress has changed my life. Now I hate going away to stay in places with hard beds as I won't sleep.

My best book

Irish female authors like Sheila Flanagan and Marian Keyes are my favourites - nothing too heavy. I want to just relax and wind down a bit with a book.

  • Abernethy Butter is available from local delis and farm shops across Northern Ireland. For more information visit

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