With Christmas just around the corner we bring you some of the best farm shops across the country, all jam-packed with sustainable and seasonal goodies for you feast on. They’re definitely worth a visit…
Billing ford Road, Bintree, Dereham, Norfolk
Run by third generation farmer Algy Garrod, who opened the farm shop in 2005 to sell bird seed and Christmas trees. Now you can pick your own pumpkins or pop in for popcorn made with cold-pressed rapeseed oil grown on the farm, or stock up on Bray’s Cottage pork pies and flour produced in Norfolk’s last working watermill.
Branch Road, Calder Grove, Wakefield
Award-winning (you can’t argue with Britain’s best roast beef) and so local that 90% of everything sold here is from the surrounding region. Click & collect is popular – order by 1pm and collect from 2.30pm on the same day – and now includes a popular shellfish platter. The butchers and fishmongers welcome questions, fillet to perfection and offer recipe cards. The wine loft in the eaves of a 400-year-old barn contains bottles from around the world and a growing collection of Yorkshire artisan gin.
Topsham, Exeter, Devon
The Best Farm Shop in the UK (Food Reader Awards 2018). Darts Farm is a family business run by three brothers; retail with Michael and James and the farm by Paul. Started by their father, Ronald Dart, in a hut selling produce from the fields and offering ‘pick- your-own’ in the 1970s, today it’s a lifestyle shopping experience with a working farm at its heart. Specialist retailers include The AGA Shop, Fired Earth, Orange Tree, Cotswold, RSPB and the Treatment Loft.
Daylesford near Kingham, Gloucestershire
So stylish, the carrots have surely come from central casting, but it truly is all about the provenance here at the Bamford’s 2,350-acre farm. Every product has full organic certification from the Soil Association, and staff will happily tell you where every cut of British Friesian Hereford cross beef was reared. You can attend cookery courses on Nose to Tail Butchery or Artisan Bread, stay in self-catering cottages and take a treatment in the Bamford Haybarn Spa.
Tern Hill Road, Market
Drayton, Shropshire. England’s first community owned farm has been organic for over 65 years. Its Farm Shop is stocked with carefully sourced local goodies, including home- cured bacon, handmade sausages and pies and lots of ale and beer. It’s also a great day out because visitors are encouraged to take one of the trails around the working farm to see the livestock.
West Firle, Lewes
Focused on promoting the excellence of British farming, this South Downs farm and shop’s shelves bulge with more Sussex produce than can be found anywhere. On offer is raw Jersey milk, 80 cheeses, seasonal fruit and vegetables and a range of jams and chutneys. Eddie Grundy would approve of the on-site Cider Barn, home to the National Collection of Cider & Perry. Apples are pressed here daily and 100 draught ciders are served.
Lodge Farm, North Warnborough, Hook
A traditional 500-acre mixed farm, run by its fourth generation, grows and rears much of the produce at Newlyns. Traceability is all-important, and you’ll find cuts of meat from rare breeds including Hampshire Down rams, Berkshire pigs and Shorthorn bulls. There’s a café, cheese room, and an excellent cookery school. Learn to make steamed bao buns, patisserie or finesse your butchery skills. Newlyns also offers a House Chef service, which provides a chef in your kitchen or a fine dining drop-off service.
Self-styled “foodie day out”, and judged Best Local Food Venue by the Countryside Alliance, families pitch up to buy from the fishmonger, butcher and bakers working throughout the day. There’s also a chocolatier, Puzzle Room escape challenge and Cookhouse Restaurant. Set up in 2009 by cousins Oliver and Rob Paul, who are often seen tucking into Red Poll Beef from their farm.