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Over the Farm Gate

Food heaven on a Farm Stay holiday

Choose to spend your next staycation in the UK on a farm and you’ll be treating yourself to a wonderful food experience. Think cooked breakfasts, sumptuous picnics and hearty evening meals satisfying healthy appetites earned from outdoor adventures.

Enjoying the farm to fork experience is so much easier when you are actually staying on the farm! If you’ve booked a room in a farmhouse then you’re in for a special treat. Breakfasts are likely to feature expertly chosen ingredients, including cooked freshly laid eggs from the resident chickens, home baked bread, marmalade and jams. Ask about recipes and where the food has come from – your host will be delighted to tell you.

Many Farm Stay hosts provide their self-catering cottages with a pack of goodies ready to greet their guests on arrival that will ensure that first delicious cup of tea and/or breakfast as you relax into your holiday home from home is just perfect. In most cases it’ll be a thoughtfully curated collection of locally produced food and drink to give you a real flavour of the area you are staying in. Sometimes hosts bake delicious cakes for their guests – a great way to get your holiday treats off to a good start. (Who diets on holiday anyway?!)

Want to know more? Often our hosts offer tours of their farms to provide visitors with an insight into the crops they grow and what they are used for, as well as the animals they keep. Check to see that this is an option when you’re booking your next Farm Stay break. And don’t forget to look for feeding experiences too. Children and adults (don’t be shy!) alike enjoy meeting farm animals and discovering more about them. You could find yourself getting hands on in the mornings, collecting the hens’ eggs, feeding the resident goats and even bottle-feeding lambs if you’re staying in spring.

Savouring the best the country has to offer

Holidays are about enjoying good food and trying new things. On a self-catering break there it can be a real pleasure to have more relaxed sessions in the kitchen, cooking up simple but tasty dishes with the freshest of ingredients. If you’re lucky and your chosen Farm Stay property has one, you’ll be able to fill your shopping basket at the farm’s own shop. Failing that, your hosts will be able to recommend a nearby farm shop or a local farmer’s market where you can pick up freshly harvested vegetables and other goodies perfect for nutritious and memorable meals. You won’t want to go back to pre-packed supermarket produce ever again!

When it comes to eating out, your hosts will be happy to point you in the direction of reputable local cafés, pubs and restaurants where hearty good food is served. These days good chefs take a pride in making the best of locally produced ingredients and showcasing local specialities, so again you can get a sense of having truly experienced the uniqueness of the area you are staying in.

Foodie breaks and experiences

Our website offers plenty of inspiration for foodie experiences, both on our host farms and at nearby attractions and businesses. If you’re keen to add to your own culinary skills, then look out for workshops and cookery schools nearby. Choose the option ‘food and drink’ in your search.

The area guide, which describes highlights in each county, includes local dishes and other specialities to savour during your stay, like Stilton cheese and pork pies in Leicestershire, Bakewell Pudding in Derbyshire and Shropshire’s Fidget Pie. Be sure to add them to you ‘must try’ list!

Chances are, after your next Farm Stay holiday you’ll be heading home with way more than you took with you – fresh produce, lovely memories, recipes and fab photos.

Foodie top tips

  • In autumn you might be able forage fruit from the hedgerows that line the public footpaths around the farm (remember to ask permission first) and bake them into a quick holiday crumble.
  • While you’re out and about exploring by car look out for honesty stalls — little wooden tables at cottage gates or at the end of farm drives offering everything from free range eggs to fresh fruit, veg and cut flowers, with an old tin as a cash box.
  • Take a scrapbook with you to fill with recipes for the regional foods you have discovered.
  • Don’t forget to share photos of your Farm Stay foodie experiences on social media with the hashtag #FarmStay