The best local farm shops in Leics
Not fallen off your healthy eating plan with a massive thud yet? Wow, respect to you! But whether you’re a celestial eater or an angel-turned-secret-digestive-muncher, this feature is for you. An inspiring smorgasbord of local produce, freshly baked bread, homemade delights and seasonal fruit and vegetables including the new superfood, kalettes (no, me neither) awaits you at your local farm shop. I’ve been on the hunt around Leicestershire to find the most delectable ones, and here’s the cream of the crop…
This cosy nook of a farm shop is chock full of home-grown produce. As well as seasonal root vegetables, hand reared Aberdeen Angus beef, pork and lamb you can pick up some herbs here to give your winter dishes an extra burst of hearty flavour. The Duffin family have been working on the farm since 1951. Tom looks after the livestock while sister Emily runs the farm and tea shop. Coincidentally, brother John runs a Michelin-starred restaurant down the road and uses most of the produce in his menu, so the taste for fine food truly does run in this family.
Bond Ln, Mountsorrel, Loughborough LE12 7AA, stonehurstfarm.co.uk
Run by George Mount and his family, the Roots farm shop is set in a converted milking parlour on Thorpe farm. Opened in 2008, the shop stocks much of its own produce so be sure to fill your bags with freshly picked Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and potatoes. Other local goodies come from within a 10 mile radius including cheese from Melton Mowbray and eggs from Market Harborough. They also stock a rich variety of reared meats supplied directly from Mr D’s butcher, down the road in East Goscote. Wife Felicity has taken on the reigns of the cafe, so be sure to ask for her creamiest cappuccino and don’t forget a slice of delicious homemade cake or a warm scone to enjoy with it.
Barkby, Leicester LE7 3QE, rootsthorpefarm.co.uk
Try the pork and apple burger from Picks farm shop and you’ll be hooked. An organic shoppers paradise, the farm shop has been running since 1999 and the butchery is at the heart of it. Expect to find a good selection of hand-reared, grass fed meat including Gloucester Old-Spot Pork, Dexter Beef and North Country Sheep. Throw in seasonal fruit, parsnips, swede, broccoli, and in the warmer months courgettes and juicy tomatoes and you’ll wonder why you shopped elsewhere. Grab a jar of their own Old Homestead Chutney, based on an old family recipe before settling down in the renovated Old Hamilton Tearoom where you can treat yourself to their delicious afternoon tea.
The Cottage, King Street, Barkby Thorpe LE7 3QF, picksorganic.co.uk
Set in the historic town of Market Harborough, the Stokes family make sure that the shelves of their farm shop are brimming with delicious local produce. Fill your larder with Colston Bassett Stilton and Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, as well as delicious artisan bread from Hambleton Bakery, Rutland. Stock up on some hearty ingredients for seasonal soups including leeks, kale, potatoes, carrots and cauliflower, all grown on the 550 acre farm. Don’t miss their kalettes, a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale; these mini florets are perfect steamed or thrown into a stir-fry. Pass by the deli and pick up some freshly baked sausage rolls or enjoy their popular breakfast in the Farmer’s Kitchen cafe.
Farndon Rd, Market Harborough LE16 9NP, farndonfields.co.uk