Darts Farm, Devon
Ronald Dart started selling vegetables 40 years ago in a modest hut for a farm shop. Now, Dart Farm is run by his three sons, and is part of a popular food village, complete with baker, deli, fishmonger and even a cider maker. It’s a favourite among those in Exeter. Located in Topsham, their store is made up of produce from hundreds of artisan suppliers – and if you want to try some excellent west country cheese, you’ve come to the right place.
Gloucester Services M5, Gloucestershire
Gloucester Services were opening in just 2014, but the light and airy architecture have made it a hit among drivers. Unlike the usual dreary motorway services, this farm shop is well stocked with local produce (it works with around 130 local suppliers), with a butcher’s and fish counter available for those who are driving home to visit family. Plus, the service station is free from greasy fast food, there’s a kitchen that serves homemade dishes using local ingredients.
Middle Farm, East Sussex
Thanks to the animals roaming around, this is a farm shop experience like no other. At Middle Farm, you can buy home-reared pork, lamb and beef, as well as local cheeses. And whilst you’re mulling over which type of sausage to buy (there are 20 different types, after all), the kids can head outside for pony grooming, pig feeding and small animal handling. Plus, it’s now home to the National Collection of Cider & Perry – so there’s literally something for everyone.
Welbeck Farm Shop, Nottinghamshire
Welbeck’s School of Artisan Food has gained acclaim for its courses, from taster sessions to year-long diplomas, but for those that aren’t necessarily a dab hand in the kitchen, their farm shop will give you everything you need to make a great meal. With lamb and cheese from the Welbeck Estate and bread from its own wood fire bakery, it’s no wonder the shop has won numerous awards for its food – it’s reason enough to visit their Limehouse café and enjoy a slice of their infamous chocolate Guinness cake…
Algy’s Farm Shop, Norfolk
Algy’s is quite the family affair, with the Manor Farm being run by three generations of the Garrod family. The farm shop opened in 2005, initially to sell Christmas trees, but now it sells plenty of home-grown veggies, local cheeses and Brays pork pies. Wherever they can, they’re using local produce – like the popcorn produced with rapeseed oil grown on their farm.
If you want top quality – and the price to match – then head to Daylesford. One of the best farm shops for sustainability, they have their own abattoir and an award-winning cheesemonger. And if that wasn’t enough cheese for one person, there’s also a dedicated cheese room, that plays home to their Gloucester cheese, which has PDO (Protected Designated Origin). Not only that, you can also stay overnight in the Daylesford cottages or take one of their popular workshops.
Newlyns Farm Shop, Hook
This Hampshire farm shop stocks beef, pork and lamb from its own 500-acre farm, which are also used in their own ready-made meals like their beef bourguignon and lamb moussaka. And upstairs there’s a cookery school that runs day and evening classes, with their ‘Cooking to Impress’ course and Tapas masterclass being among the favourites.
Blacker Hall Farm, Yorkshire
At Blacker Hall Farm, around 75% of the produce they sell has been made on-site, so whether you’re picking up some essentials in the shop or having lunch with friends in the café, you know the food is made locally – extremely locally. And that dedication has paid off – they were named Great Taste Shop of the Year 2016 by the prestigious Guild of Fine Food. Not only that, but they also have an extremely well-stocked wine loft, so you’ll find the perfect tipple to go with the food you buy.
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