We’ve scoured the country, north to south, to bring you the pick of the crop – because a well-stocked farm shop is always a joy to behold
1 Low Sizergh Barn Farm Shop Cumbria
Low Sizergh Barn’s farm trails trace vegetable plots, apple orchards and fields studded with cattle, culminating at its shop, which is housed within a 17th-century Westmorland stone barn. Produce is created with loving commitment. Eggs with rich, dark-yellow yolks sit beside fresh bread and creamy milk, as well as generous cuts of rare pork and fine beef, seasonal vegetables and fruits. The cheese counter (above) was recently named one of the top 200 in the country at the British Cheese Awards. Three Kendal cheeses – the pride of the selection – are made using milk from the Low Sizergh Barn herd.
2 Hopetoun Farm Shop West Lothian, scotland
The pride and joy of Hopetoun Farm is its butchery. Hopetoun Estate is made up of 6,500 acres of woodland and arable land, with an abundance of game. Its Gold Taste Award-winning venison is steeped in the gamey, wild flavours that can only be found in meat of this quality. Hopetoun also specialises in rabbit, pheasant, woodpigeon and partridge. At the shop, you can get your hands on hampers brimming with luxury oils, chocolates, chutneys and wines.
3 Bodnant Farm Shop Conwy, Wales
Set on the River Conwy in the northern reaches of Wales, Bodnant Welsh Food Centre comprises a celebrated cookery school, a carefully curated farm shop showcasing the region’s finest produce, and The Hayloft Restaurant. Inside the shop, Bodnant Bakery can be found alongside a butcher’s and a delicatessen selling everything from award-winning pies and olives to freshly baked bread and cheeses made in the on-site dairy.
4 Chatsworth House Farm Shop Derbyshire
While many venture to Chatsworth to marvel at the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s grand stately home, the attached farm shop attracts a good deal of attention as well. The Duke and Duchess opened the shop in 1977 as a way of selling game and beef from the estate to discerning locals. Now, it is one of the most respected in the county and half of all its merchandise is produced on Chatsworth land. Think bouncy loaves baked at the crack of dawn, Chatsworth jams and over 100 cheeses.
5 Back to the Garden Norfolk
Back to the Garden is applauded for its meticulous attention to provenance. Inside a stunning farmhouse, the deli offers lamb, chicken, turkey and goose reared on its 1,000-acre organic farm, which stretches out across the Swanton Novers Nature Reserve. Carefully selected products line the shelves, all fulfilling the same commitment to quality. Choose from locally brewed beers, wild foods and lovingly grown veg like rainbow chard and squash.
6 Sheepdrove Organic Farm Butchers London
Sheepdrove Organic Farm is the work of farmers and environmental campaigners Peter and Juliet Kindersley, who fell in love with an old farmhouse in the romantic Berkshire Downs over 40 years ago. The spoils of Sheepdrove’s landscape are available to buy in London at its classic family butcher’s shop in Maida Vale. As well as Sheepdrove honey and organic preserves, the store has become iconic in the capital for its masterful cuts of grass-fed beef, lamb and mutton, as well as free- range poultry, gammon, pork, and sausages made using their own unique recipes.
7 The Goods Shed Kent
The Goods Shed (below) opened its daily farmers’ market back in 2002, selling seasonal veg, fresh fish and traditionally reared meat from neighbouring farms. Fourteen years on, the market is still going strong. It now plays host to a bevy of local producers, including a Canterbury-based charcuterie, a fresh pasta stall, Enzo’s Italian bakery and an artisanal cheese seller. It has also expanded into a sprawling food hall complete with a bottle shop, a wine specialist, and the Wild Goose cocktail bar, which serves tipples inspired by the British garden alongside tapas-style dishes.
8 Edington Farm Shop at Three Daggers Wiltshire
Three Daggers is a beloved village pub with a twist. Defying the questionable British pub food of days gone by, it serves modern European dishes created using locally sourced ingredients. It even has its own on-site microbrewery, producing craft beers and ales. As well as feeding and watering committed locals in the pub, Three Daggers’ Edington Farm Shop (above) stocks the produce of nearby Priory Farm: homemade apple juice, pure honey, eggs, fresh bread, condiments and a kaleidoscope of seasonal fruit and vegetables.
9 Darts Farm Shop Devon
Voted Best Farm Shop in the UK at the FARMA Awards 2015, Darts is part of a sprawling shopping village, comprised of a food hall, cider works and ale house, fish shed, butcher’s and a restaurant set among the lush vegetable fields. The farm shop sells the fresh fruit and vegetables of the day, plucked from the surrounding land each morning (right). For a true taste of the region, take a sip of Green Valley Cyder, made on site.
10 Garlic Farm Shop Isle of Wight
In the kitchen, garlic is one of the first things most cooks reach for. It is the staple ingredient for endless cuisines, prized for its delicate, heated flavour and wealth of nutrients. Little wonder, then, that Garlic Farm Shop has become such a prized spot on the Isle of Wight’s culinary map. The garlic experts here grow every possible variety in their sweeping fields, selling a giant array of products from oak-smoked garlic butter and toasted garlic mayonnaise to beef biltong with chilli and garlic, and garlic sea salt with black pepper. There is even a black garlic beer on offer. For anyone who treasures this earthy bulb, this place is nothing short of a joy.
To read more about the UK’s best farm shops, find the full story in ELLE Decoration Country Volume 8