When you live in the sticks, one of life’s little luxuries is food. We keep writing about it, so you know here in Ludlow we are well catered for: a fair number of farmers’ markets, delis and of course farm shops. We love them because they can be unique and we like knowing the provenance of our food.
We applaud and support farm shops that are taking the initiative to showcase not only their own produce and specialities but also other local food producers. Lucy and I thought it would be interesting to highlight a few.
After a bit of research involving recommendations from friends and families, farm shop signs that cropped up in our sight lines while travelling around and, of course, Google; we came up with a less-than-exhaustive list of four shops within a ten-mile radius of Ludlow. One was immediately disqualified because there was nothing farm like about it. Look if you’re going to call yourself a farm shop, well for a start a proximity to a farm would be nice! The big farm shop baby of the bunch is the Ludlow Food Centre – Lucy’s fan favourite but she’s already covered it here so it’s not included.
Quarry Farm based in Luston just outside Leominster is fairly special and is one that I was already familiar with and have now introduced Lucy to. I enjoy their meat and before I discovered the farm shop often bought their tasty pies and sausage rolls from various village shops. The Quarry Farm shop itself has unexpected surprises in stock. Lucy says it’s a perfect one-stop shop for those special occasions when you’re entertaining guests. You can impress with very little effort because aside from posh popcorn, artisan drinks, vegetables, a good selection of wines, the owners will also give you top tips on how to prepare and cook the meats you select. And, when friends stay over (happens a lot in the countryside!) the shop sells the best frozen croissants and pain au chocolates – a firm breakfast favourite of my own little Edit.
As its name suggests it’s all about the cheese! This working dairy just outside Leominster produces local, artisan cheeses and boasts an award-winning cafe which we didn’t get to sample on our farm shop tour. We’ll save it for next time. This is a tiny shop with a small selection of food products such as locally produced condiments and liqueurs, ideal for gift giving. We walked away with Monkland brand Smoked Little Hereford and The Other Monk cheeses, local Herefordshire produced British cassis, Damson Gin, chilli jam, farmhouse pickle and even a couple of greeting cards.
The farm shop that really isn’t! From the outset this shop announces itself to be not just quirky but perky too. Just a couple of miles outside Ludlow off the A49 the owners claim a love of all things vintage and in the shop, you will find an interesting and fun mix of retro pieces, and painted, upcycled items. This is a great spot if you share the vintage love. Lucy planned to sneak back for a decorative mirror and wooden shelf she had spotted. Froggats also has a very sweet little cafe which again, we didn’t have time to sample but we were tempted by the delicious baking smells wafting from the little kitchen. There was a display of reasonably priced farm fruit, vegetables and homemade jams but on the day we visited, the fridges were bare of any of their rare-breed pork. Never mind any excuse to return!
Lucy and I rather enjoyed the Farm Shop trail and we will be returning to this theme soon because there are a few more to explore. But for now the season to be jolly approaches, so our Xmas special on things to do, see, buy and bake is up next.