The Organic Farm Shop, Cirencester
To me a farm shop should be just that, a shop on a farm. Not a pretty boutique display of vegetables which clearly haven't been grown on site or even within a five mile radius.
Thankfully the Organic Farm Shop just outside Cirencester is what a true farm shop should be. The vegetables are a magnificent array of wonky shapes with the organic soil still gracing their skins. The meat is a deep colour that demonstrates the good quality of life the animal has enjoyed and the cafe serves up genuine home cooked food that even Mum would be proud of.
For lunch today we decided to give their lunch menu a try and with the sun shining and the temperature finally above 10 degrees it was the perfect excuse for a Cotswold countryside drive.
There were seven of us in our party today and between us we covered pretty much most of their lunchtime selection. The menu doesn't boast many options but in doing so it gives you a confidence that the food will be fresh and home cooked - the open plan kitchen also endorses the trust. I opted for the Roast Beef with seasonal vegetables fresh from the fields opposite while Rich gave the Beetroot and Horseradish Pie a go and another diner ordered the Nut Roast. My beef was extremely tasty and of a generous portion - the gravy adorning it was full of flavour and the vegetables sweet from their roasting. I was lucky enough to sample some of Rich's pie (he's not known for his love of sharing food!) - I sometimes find beetroot hit and miss; often it's overpowered by its earthy tones but alongside the horseradish it had a sweetness to it that made it a delight to taste. The flavour was subtle yet impressively tantalising. The accompanying pastry was a perfect mixture of crust and softness. I have it on good authority that the nut roast too, was delicious.
The best thing about the Organic Farm Shop is the abundant choice of produce made on site as well as celebrating other local producers; Stroud Brewery and Gibson's Organic to name a couple. From eco-friendly cleaning products to homemade cheeses and yoghurts and chunky cuts of lamb they have enough to offer the choice of doing your weekly shop there - don't get me wrong it wouldn't be on the cheap side, although some items are extremely well priced considering the quality, but you would guarantee an ethically sound shop that would taste blooming good.
In addition to the cafe and shop, they also run a number of courses such as cheese making and farm shop cafe salads, which we'll definitely be giving a go in the future.
Just five minutes away from Cirencester, the Organic Farm Shop is a must for anyone after a tasty home cooked meal - minus the washing up, or for someone after good quality, honest produce to create their own masterpiece.
Thank you Hilary and team for lovingly creating a farm shop that does exactly what it says on the tin. We will be back.
13 April 2014
** photo credits: The Organic Farm Shop website