The Organic Farm Shop near Cirencester in Gloucestershire was one of my first experiences of a farm shop. It is my ‘local’ farm shop when visiting my family, and stopping off here on the journey is a sign that we’re nearly there.
As you turn off the road and down the long tree-lined drive to the farm shop, you pass piggies in a field and a market garden sized field of fruit buses and pollytunnels, before you reach the farm shop nestled amongst a grove of trees. There is something lovely about seeing the produce growing in the fields before you enter the farm shop, something reassuring – and a great reminder about where a lot of the produce you buy in the shop comes from.
In addition to the farm shop (which is stocked with fantastic goodies) there is a cafe serving delicious, home-cooked vegetarian food. Meat-eaters do not be detered by the veggie menu, it is scrumptious food and you won’t sit there wondering where you steak is. If N can cope, anyone can.
As it was my birthday weekend, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch in the cafe. It serves daily specials and have a standard menu which comprises of a variety of baked potatoes and omelettes. Most meals are served with a selection of salads, which are displayed on the counter.
You can pick and choose which salads you want – N and I turned down the mung bean, red cabbage and cauliflower salad, but were really surprised by salad of celery, cucumber, fennel and sunflower seeds. I was also converted to the true potential of polenta – an ingredient that I have had disastrous-throw-in-the-bin results with – these were crisp, cheesy ‘croutons’ that topped off our salad. Yum yum.
So N opted for a selection of salads topped with melt-in-the-mouth goats cheese (he had eaten his before I had a chance to take a snap). I chose from the specials board and tasted my first asparagus of the season – an asparagus and cheese tart with salads. This tart was so good and would really like to recreate, or at least try to!
As you can see it didn’t take us long to finish it all off. I am also coming to the realisation that I am a bit obsessed by taking photographs of empty plates (those that are empty because the food that previously was on them has all been gobbled up). I was so tempted to take a photo of the table next to us after the family had left, there was something fascinating about the empty plates, cutlery, cups and crumpled napkins strewn across the table. N gave me such a look at the suggestion that I quickly put the camera away.