The 50 Best farm shops and delis
Local produce, freshly baked bread and exotic treats. Is your mouth watering yet? It will be after a visit to one of these, says Sophie Morris
James Mackenzie owns East Yorkshire's Pipe and Glass Inn, Michelin Pub of the Year 2012, with his wife Kate. His latest cookery book is On the Menu. pipeandglass.co.uk
Rita Exner is the Secretary of the National Farmers' Retail & Markets Association, aco-operative that encourages direct sales to the customer. farma.org.uk
Patrick Clayton-Malone is a founder of Canteen restaurants. canteen.co.uk
Knitsley Farm Shop
"Edward and Rachael Jewson and a brilliant team produce beef and lamb on the farm, which is expertly hung and butchered in the farm shop butchery, " says Rita. "There's a pretty café serving really tasty home-cooked dishes. Bread and pastries come from an bakery on-site – the cheese and bacon focaccia is meltingly good."
Knitsley, Near Consett, Co Durham CH8 9EW (knitsleyfarmshop.co.uk)
Blacker Hall Farm Shop
"The Garthwaite family produces excellent beef which is hung for a minimum of 21 days," says Rita. "The farm shop is famous for its Continental-style butchery and kitchens and bakery that make daily bread, cakes, pies, pasties, salads and quiches. A converted barn houses a stylish café/restaurant, and there's a big children's play area."
Calder Grove, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF4 3DN (blackerhall.com)
Beadlam Grange Farm Shop
"A proper farm shop on a working farm, run by Mark and Jenny Rooke, who pride themselves on selling local produce including meat from their farm and smoked fish from the nearby Yoadwath Mill Trout Farm," says James.
Beadlam Grange Farm, near Helmsley, York YO62 7TD (beadlamgrange.co.uk)
The Yorkshire Farm Shop, Castle Howard
"Set in the spectacular surroundings of Castle Howard, a farm shop with an excellent butcher's counter," says James. "The experienced team sells regional cheeses, home baking and many English wines."
Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA (castlehoward.co.uk)
"A recent and very welcome addition to the foodie scene in Liverpool, Delifonseca has branches in the city centre and at the docks," says James. "It describe them as 'modern versions of traditional European delicatessens', and with the wide variety of stock, it's a claim they live up to."
Stanley Street, Liverpool L1; Brunswick Dock, Liverpool L3 (delifonseca.co.uk)
"Just fab – selling all that's great and good from God's own county!" says James. "Run and championed by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, and acting as a shop window for local farmers and producers, Fodder is Britain's first charitable food hall: all profits are reinvested to benefit the local community."
Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate HG2 8NZ (fodderweb.co.uk)
Sunderlandwick Estate Farm Shop
"This sells a wide selection of East Yorkshire artisan produce," says James. "Head butcher Nigel Duffy and his team sell beef from its own herd of South Devon cattle, also known as 'orange elephants'."
Sunderlandwick, Driffield, East Yorkshire YO25 9AD (sunderlandwick.co.uk/farm-shop)
"An absolute must for any foodie visiting York. Otto Bocca and his staff really know their stuff," says James. "Fantastic air-dried hams, cheeses, fresh Amalfi lemons and a wonderful selection of balsamic vinegars, wines and grappas."
The Old Coach House, Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PW (lelanghe.co.uk)
The Farm Shop, Chatsworth House
"Another spectacular setting for a shop which was Farm Retailer of the Year in both 2009 and 2011," says James. "Great for game, and the Chatsworth range of wines and beers brewed on the estate."
The Chatsworth Estate, Pilsley, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1UF (chatsworth.org/the-farm-shop)
The Balloon Tree
"Famous for its wide variety of fruit and veg grown on the premises – especially the strawberries. The Balloon Tree is part of the Yorkshire Food Discovery Project which aims to reconnect children from urban primary schools with local, seasonal produce.
Stamford Bridge Road, Gate Helmsley, York YO41 1NB (theballoontree.co.uk)
Hunters of Helmsley
"With its green-and-gold livery, and enchanting village setting, Hunters has a slightly Dickensian feel to it," says James. "The takeaway sandwiches are absolutely enormous, and have some great fillings."
13 Market Place, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5BL (huntersofhelmsley.com)
"A lovely, friendly farm shop with its own café and private dining area," says James. "Great meat and game, fantastic, award-winning steak pies, a well-stocked cheese counter, and regular outdoor events in the courtyard."
The Drewton Estate, South Cave, near Brough HU15 2AG (drewtons.co.uk)
Clitheroe's Bashall Barn calls itself a "Food Visitor Centre" because in 10 years it has grown from a small outfit into a large farm shop with a coffee shop, ice-cream parlour and award-winning restaurant, with Bowland Brewery next door. Lancastrian specialities are made with farm produce in the on-site kitchen.
Bashall Town, Clitheroe BB7 3LQ (bashallbarn.co.uk)
The long-standing Bury Market gives a lot of bang for its black pudding – a slew of delis and farm shops all under one roof, showcasing the best of local produce including, of course, that famous black pudding. Open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
1 Murray Rd, Bury, Lancs BL9 0BJ (burymarket.com)
East & Midlands:
Essington Fruit Farm, Shop & PYO
"The farm – which Richard and Mary Simkin started as a pick-your-own in the 1980s – produces a range of 35 different fruits and vegetables, Hereford beef and pork, sold through its own butchery," says Rita. "The restaurant features dishes with 'zero food miles' on its menu. Try the farm's own roast gammon with new potatoes – simple and truly delicious."
Bognop Road, Essington, Nr Wolverhampton WV11 2BA (essingtonfarm.co.uk)
Battlefield 1403 Farm Shop
"The farm is on the site of the Battle of Shewsbury in 1403 and has an exhibition centre telling its history," says Rita. "The converted farm buildings around a courtyard make a very attractive setting for selling the farm's own beef and lamb, home-cooked products for the bakery, delicatessen and cafe."
Upper Battlefield, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 3DB (battlefield1403.com)
The Organic Farm Shop
"Run by Hilary Chester-Master and a fabulous team who really love making people feel welcome," says Rita, "They aim to offer good value for money. The organic farm grows fruit and veg, produces beef and milk, cheese, yogurt and butter. Food in the restaurant is delicious and vegetarian; on Sundays there's a roast of farm-produced meat on offer."
Burford Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire – don't use the postcode to find it, use Barnsley Village or look for the B4425. (theorganicfarmshop.co.uk)
Deli On The Square
It is no surprise that the foodie hotspot of Ludlow has such a fine store as the Deli On The Square. The focus here is on cheese, with more than 140 varieties are on sale – along with mustards, meats, oils and vinegars as well as gift hampers.
4 Church St, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1AP (delionthesquare.co.uk)
Doddington Farm Shop
The Kitchen Garden and the herd of Lincolnshire Red Cattle supply the farm shop at the grand Elizabethan Doddington Hall. You'll also find pork pies, Scotch eggs, baked goods, cheeses, British charcuterie and Doddington Estate honey, marmalade and apple juice.
Doddington, Lincolnshire LN6 4RU (doddingtonhall.com)
Gog Magog Farm Shop
A family-run farm shop, butchery, deli and canteen in the rolling greens of Cambridgeshire, Gog Magog is almost a day out in itself. The shop bustles with bright seasonal produce, tempting cakes and all the dried goods and condiments that you'd ever need, while the deli hosts Neal's Yard cheeses, Monmouth coffee and an array of charcuterie and antipasti.
Heath Farm Shelford Bottom, Cambridgeshire CB22 3AD (gogmagoghills.com)
Apley Farm Shop
The Apley Estate is near Telford in Shropshire on the River Severn. The shop and Creamery Café are charming and contemporary with traditional twists, and bursting with everything a good farm shop should have: produce from the estate, local farms and small producers, encompassing deli, butchery, grocery, bakery and pantry items – think beef and game from the estate and locally-made meat pies. You can rest up in the Playbarn after a shop, where there are distractions for the children.
The Apley Estate, Stockton Buildings, Norton, Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 9EF (apleyfarmshop.co.uk)
Hollow Trees Farm Shop
Robert and Sally Bendall are the third generation to farm at Hollow Trees, a 140-acre farm where the emphasis is on involving visitors – there's a Farm Trail and Plant Centre – as much as selling great food. The vegetables are picked daily, the meat is home-reared and there is home-baked bread and local and regional foods, wine and cider. The coffee shop serves breakfast, snacks, full meals and Sunday roasts.
Semer, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 6HX (hollowtrees.co.uk)
Bodnant Welsh Food Centre
"The latest in a new kind of farm shop where production – a dairy making cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, and a bakery for real artisan bread – takes centre stage alongside a cookery school," says Rita. "The converted farm buildings are stunning and there's a top-notch restaurant on site and a café overlooking the river."
Furnace Farm, Tal y cafn, Conwy LL28 5RP (bodnant-welshfood.co.uk)
Cwmcerrig Farm Shop
"The café at Cwmcerrig farm shop is fast building an excellent reputation as the place for good, home-cooked foods and great value," says Rita. "Run by the Watkins family, the meat comes from the farm's own Texel lambs and Hereford beef cattle; there's a delicatessen counter bursting with home cooked meats, quiche, Scotch eggs… truly something for everyone here."
Gorslas, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA14 7HU (cwmcerrigfarmshop.co.uk)
Brockweir and Hewelsfield Village Shop and Café
Patrick recommends this winner of last year's BBC Radio 4 Local Food Retailer. Once you sit down with an organic coffee in sight of the cafe's views down the valley, you won't want to leave. Before you do, pick up some fresh bread, eggs and local cider from the shop.
Mill Hill, Brockweir, Chepstow NP16 7NW (bandhvillageshop.co.uk)
The Rhug Estate's decade-old farm shop was reopened in 2011 in a beautiful oak and cedar building where more than 2,000 local, organic and specialist products are sold, including Rhug's own organic meat and more than 70 cheeses. In addition to the takeaway burgers and bacon, you can dine on the estate's produce in the newly opened Bison Grill, open all day and in the evening at weekends.
Rhug Estate, Corwen, Denbighshire LL21 OEH (rhug.co.uk)
Steven Salamon runs Wally's Deli today, but it was started in 1947 by his grandfather, an Austrian emigré, as a small delicatessen selling hard-to-find Continental foodstuffs. It still specialises in fine European and international products with a very impressive range of cooked and cured meats and sausages, sweet things, breads, oils, spices and branded goods from the United States and South Africa.
42-44 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE (wallysdeli.co.uk)
Foxy's Deli & Café
Ten years of Foxy's Deli have made it, rightfully, a Penarth institution, and its varied offerings make it all a good deli should be. It has a wide selection of local cheeses, cakes and patisseries, cooked meats, dry goods, jams and condiments, local produce such as honey and ice cream and a refillable bottle system.
Royal Buildings, Victoria Road, Penarth CF64 3ED (foxysdeli.com)
A working farm on Anglesey with a shop and café selling and serving Welsh Black Beef, home-grown produce, cakes, jams and ready meals, alongside other local produce such as fish and bread. There is also a second shop at Carnaerfon.
Gwydryn Hir, Brynsiencyn, Anglesey LL61 6HQ (hooton's.net)
Spanish delicatessen, Welsh location. The selection of Spanish foods at Ultracomida is hard to match anywhere in the UK, as is the education on Spanish food that the range offers. There are two shops, at Narberth, Pembrokeshire, and Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, both with restaurants, and a comprehensive online shop was launched this year.
1 Pier St SY23 2LN/ 7 High Street SA67 7AR (ultracomida.co.uk)
Scotland & Northern Ireland:
Valvona & Crolla
"The original, and still one of the best," says James. "Run by the Contini family since 1934, Valvona & Crolla is an Aladdin's cave of Italian specialities, and does a great line in whiskies, too. There are various offshoots around the rest of the city as well."
Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AA (valvonacrolla.co.uk)
"'Know the farmer, know your food' is the ethos behind this farm shop, which opened in March 2011, converting a range of derelict buildings into a farm shop and café," says Rita. "There's a large butchery counter selling beef from the farm's Galloway herd, pork and lamb from the farm and a range of local foods including cheeses from the nearby Loch Arthur creamery."
Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway G2 8PT (kilnford.co.uk)
Ardross Farm Shop
"This is a little gem of a farm shop, tucked into the corner of the road with the sea just over the fields," says Rita. "Run by mother and daughter, Fiona and Nikki Pollock, it's stocked with their farm's traditionally reared beef and home-grown vegetables, plus other local and Scottish foods."
Elie, Fife KY9 1EU (ardrossfarm.co.uk)
The Blackface Meat Company
The Weatherall brothers supply restaurants including Fergus Henderson's St John and Rowley Leigh's Le Café Anglais with their Blackface sheep, Galloway cattle and slow-grown "Iron Age" pork, a cross between a Tamworth and a Wild Boar. If you have a DG postcode and visit their farm in Dumfries to collect in person, you'll receive a 20 per cent discount.
Weatherall Foods Limited, Crochmore House, Irongay, Dumfries DG2 9SF (blackface.co.uk)
A proper farm shop, but in Edinburgh so you don't have to clock up more miles for fresh produce. The Store is a family business – it also sells from the family's Aberdeenshire farm – and sell 21 day-aged Aberdeen Angus beef, mixed meat boxes and treats from other local businesses. The charming cafe sells home-cooked and seasonal meals and cakes.
13 Comely Bank Road, Edinburgh (thestorecompany.co.uk)
The Scottish Deli
The Scottish Deli has two Perthshire shops, in Pitlochry and Dunkeld and owner Alec scours the country for its best produce. Think smoked and cooked meats and fish, jams, chutneys, cakes, breads and a particularly fine cheese selection, as well as a few items from farther afield and a range of ready meals.
Pitlochry PH16 5BL/Dunkeld PH8 0AR (scottish-deli.com)
Churchtown Farm Organic Farm Shop
"A shop at the forefront of the (relatively young) organic movement in Northern Ireland, headed by father and son John and Dale Orr," says Rita. "It sells home-reared organic beef, organic Saddleback pork from Dundermotte in Co Antrim, vegetables from Camowen Green Organic Farm in Omagh and Mill View Farm in Comber, plus plenty of good pantry foods.
30 Churchtown Road, Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland
The history of the Brown family trading on Belfast's Lisburn Road goes back to 1933, and more recently their bright and enticing delicatessen has been winning lots of awards. The long deli counter and floor-to-ceiling stores of fine foods are packed with cheeses, meats, dry goods and condiments and Arcadia oils, vinegars and chocolate, and there's also large selection of thoughtfully-selected hampers.
378 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 6GL (arcadiadeli.co.uk)
South & London:
Lifton Farm Shop
"The Mounce family farm produces a range of berries (there's a PYO open in summer for strawberries and other fruit), veg and beef from its South Devon herd, which is sold in the shop and used in the meals served in the restaurant," says Rita. "The bakery is part of the shop so you can see your bread, cakes and pies being made."
Lifton, Devon PL16 0DE (liftonfarmshop.co.uk)
A working farm where you can visit the animals, fish ponds and vegetable fields, and pick-your-own, recommended by Patrick. Darts Farm has evolved over 40 years from a retail outlet to a well-known West Country shop with an on-site butcher, fishmonger, baker, deli, cider maker and restaurant.
Topsham, Exeter, Devon EX3 0QH (dartsfarm.co.uk)
The Bertinet Bakery
Baker and food writer Richard Bertinet is famous for his fabulous bread and if you're in Bath, his bakery cum deli is well worth a visit. The traditionally made sourdough, spelt, rye and baguettes are joined by fancier breads and pastries, and you can enjoy these as well as soups, tartines and pastries with a cup of tea in the café, or sign up for a course in the cookery school.
12 St Andrew's Terrace, Bath BA1 2QR (bertinet.com)
Field & Flower
A relative newcomer to the farm-shop scene, Field & Flower is based at its own farm in Somerset's Gordano Valley and source meat from here and other local farms – all within 15 miles – to sell online.
Known nationwide for their box scheme, the Watson family has farmed at Riverford for 50 years and have three shops. The first at Staverton is a wonderland of meat and deli items, fresh bread, organic veg and fruit, not to mention coffee, oils, cakes and much more. Expect to leave with very full bags, and a light wallet, vowing never to set foot in a supermarket again.
Staverton, Totnes, Devon (riverfordfarmshop.co.uk)
Cowdray Farm Shop & Café
The café at Cowdray has been named Farma's Best On-Farm Café-Restaurant 2012 and most of the produce for here and the shop comes from the 4,000 acres of land, much of it organic, and venison comes from the naturally managed woods. There are also home-made pies, cheeses and charcuterie, wine, chocolate and an in-store bakery.
Cowdray Park, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 0AJ (cowdrayfarmshop.co.uk)
The Garlic Farm
There's much more to garlic than standardised white bulbs. Visit The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight to find out: the café is open for breakfast and lunch and the shop sells many kinds of home-grown garlic as well as home-made sauces, mayonnaises and mustards, breads, and even garlic beer.
Mersley Lane, Newchurch, Isle of Wight PO36 0NR (thegarlicfarm.co.uk)
Farrington's Farm Shop and Café
Make time to visit the animals at Farrington's, before stocking up on the home-grown fruit and veg, cheese, antipasti and charcuterie from the deli counter and meals and baked good from the farm kitchen. The Thoughtful Bread Company is also based on site, as well as a spacious café.
Home Farm, Main St, Bristol BS39 6UB (farringtons.co.uk)
"The E5 Bakehouse is an East London artisan bakery and coffee shop," says Patrick. It was set up by a few former wage slaves and their Hackney Wild and 100 per cent rye Bordinsky are famous. There are also jams, tarts, pastries, cakes and coffee and fabulous hot lunches – think chorizo, butter bean and spinach stew, spicy lentil soup and beetroot, walnut and goats' cheese sandwiches. The Saturday bread courses are inspiring new generations of real bread fans.
Arch 395, Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3PH (e5bakehouse.com)
The Modern Pantry
If you don't have time to sit down and eat, you can still enjoy The Modern Pantry's delicious creations by stopping at its small food store. "Anna Hansen sells her own chutneys, jams and relishes as well as unusual spices, granola, cakes and fresh items for breakfast and lunch at the is small pantry next to her lovely restaurant," says Patrick.
E47-48 St John's Square, London EC1V 4JJ (themodernpantry.co.uk)
A lovely north London deli which, over the past 30 years, has grown to three shops on Brecknock Road. The original, known as the Nut Shop, stocks all manner of dried store cupboard goods as well as oils, vinegars and Asian foods. The Veg Shop is packed with fresh and organic produce, and also runs a delivery box scheme, and the Bakery has hot, home-made meals: quiches, soups, pizzas and salads, as well as the wonderful bread.
30, 32 & 33 Brecknock Road, London N7 0DD (bumblebee-naturalfoods.co.uk)
Slow Food-endorsed W5 serves Ealing residents the food everyone deserves: a very varied stock of local, organic, seasonal and fairtrade foods – there's even Ealing honey – and cakes, coffees and juices in the café. Shop here, and you'll think differently about what you want to cook and eat.
19 The Green, Ealing W5 5DA (farmW5.co.uk)
Best for... Garlic-lovers
The Garlic Farm - For a fresh look at a tasty favourite, visit this Isle of Wight institution. Whether you go for the shopping or for lunch, you'll see garlic used in delicious new ways
Best for... European treats
Delifonseca - Boasting two branches in Liverpool, you can fill your shopping basket at the delicatessens and your stomach at the restaurants of this independent outfit
Best for... Local delicacies
Rhug Estate - Whether you visit in person or go online, you'll be dazzled by homemade scotch eggs, organic pies, salamis and cheeses. The shop also serves burgers. Yum.
- 1 Disability campaigners celebrate 'victory' after government rethink over plans to make it more difficult to claim disability benefits
- 2 Bankers could face jail after report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
- 3 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 4 We never knew Nigella Lawson - and we still don’t
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf