Over thirty-five years ago, Daylesford was born out of a family’s farmland. Bring it back to 2017 and Daylesford Organic Farm is an all-encompassing lifestyle experience, with farm, workshops, events, organic cafe, restaurant, luxury spa, accommodation, supermarket, and Creche.
What began as a simple passion for real food and a desire to feed their children better has grown into Daylesford as it is today, one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK.
All their food comes straight from the farm to your fork: their MEAT AND POULTRY, fruit and vegetables from the MARKET GARDEN, bread from the BAKERY, and cheese, milk and yoghurt from the CREAMERY. To make their famous soups and meals, the chefs use only the freshest ingredients, combined with simple techniques to bring out the natural flavours of seasonal, organic produce.
And then they don’t make a product on the farm, they source from artisan suppliers who share their commitment to quality and sustainability.
Carole Bamford, the founder of Daylesford believes in sustainable and holistic living. Her passion for organic farming, natural clothing and well-considered beauty products has made her an influential champion of craftsmanship, traditional skills and natural living. She is recognised as a visionary in organic farming and healthy food retailing. Someone to admired certainly!
I visited last week with my friend Sophie and was blown away by this wonderful place! We attended on a Saturday to attend one of their, now sold out, Christmas wreath-making workshops with florist Kim. Kim who was lovely, and from the moment we arrived made us feel at ease.
To begin, we watched Kim as she wrestled with some twigs, and intricately wound them around each other until they made a circle shape. Then we all went off to collect the items we would need for our own wreaths, including spruce, conifer, ivy, holly, rosemary and hydrangeas, to name a few.
We then created our own frame, using willow, wrapping it around into circles, trying not to poke the person next to us eye out. Once we had our frame we then began layering on the spruce, intertwining the other foliage in between, before finishing it off with dried limes and orange slices.
Me and Sophie were super impressed with our wreaths, and both decided if all else fails, we will both set up our own floristry, with wreath making business.
After we had finished our workshop, we headed to the farmshop cafe, where we had lunch and chatted for a few hours. Located at the back of the building, the cafe is a large open space, in a barn conversion, which was all decorated for the festive season. Our waiter was brilliant, and the service in general was good, answering any questions about the menu when asked.
Everything on the monthly changing menu is organic (except for the olives and olive oil) and most of the meat served is reared on the farm. The menu had an array of options including a specials board located at the front of the cafe.
I opted for the Hand-Sliced Venison Tataki with White Radish and Ginger to start, which was delicious, whilst Sophie went for the homemade Butternut Squash soup with sourdough bread. For mains I opted for the Superfood Thai Green Curry, which originally had salmon, but I asked for chicken due to my allergies, and Sophie went for the Wootton Estate venision pappardelle with woodland mushrooms and smoked bacon. All the food tasted great, and you could tell is was hearty, and healthy food, which they’d spent time curating the menus for.
The cafe was great, with a lovely communal atmosphere, and it’s a cafe for regular people, not just those with dosh. The place was almost full on Saturday lunchtime, and there were plenty of people queuing to get into the cafe or The Old Spot next door.
After we’d finished lunch we headed over to the Haybarn Spa, for some relaxation, taking in the smells of the iconic Bamford scent. The spa is a wellness retreat, situated next to the Daylesford Farmshop, with a strong commitment to caring for the mind, body and spirit, it provides a calming day retreat. Emphasising the human connection with nature, the Haybarn Spa offers a range of activities that nurture inner peace, including yoga, pilates, meditation, facial and massage treatments.
Me and Sophie both kicked off our shoes, and lay back on the chairs in the relaxation room, having a read of their magazines, and taking in the distant sun setting to the West. After an hour or so I went in for my treatment, a Bamford De-Stress Massage; a concise treatment including many of Bamford’s signature techniques to aid in the reduction of stress. I felt like I nearly fell asleep half way through, and the pressure was amazing. A real treat to end the day!
After a fun day exploring Daylesford Farm, we jumped in the car and headed for home, feeling refreshed, calm and ready for Christmas!
*My visit to Daylesford Farmshop & Cafe was complimentary but as always opinions are my own, and true to word!