It’s taken me a little while to write about my time at Daylesford. This has nothing to do with how much I loved it. On the contrary, I loved this little jaunt to the Cotswolds so much, that finding how to put it into words has been more tricky than I’d anticipated.
There was a type of magic to it. A cosy enveloping wondrousness, that wrapped us up in beautiful threads and looked after us, fed us the best, best, organic food, recharged us and sent us on our way back home to London with warmth and calmness in our bones…
As you already know, I am a rather big fan of Daylesford and have written several times about their stores and restaurants in Westbourne Grove and Pimlico, but I had never actually been to the farm itself. The village of Daylesford is near Kingham in the heart of Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, and that’s where you’ll find the very special Daylesford Farm.
Over thirty-five years ago, the Bamford family began to turn their family’s farmland over to sustainable, organic farming, first in Staffordshire and then in the Cotswolds. What began as a simple passion for real food and a desire to feed their children better has grown into the gorgeous Daylesford we know and love today – one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK.
Attached to the farm is now a gorgeous farm shop, a wellness retreat called the Haybarn Spa, a cookery school and six stunning cotswolds cottages… one of which is called The Potting Shed and this is where LM and I spent a weekend, cooking on our Aga, watching movies under blankets by log fires, snuggling up with cashmere covered hot water bottles, breathing in the scent of enormous fig candles and eating our weight in organic bread and thickly spread butter and honey, bought from the farm shop, which was around a 27 second walk from our front door… exhausting.
Before we arrived I had contacted their personal shopping service order a few necessities. So in addition to the welcome pack of tea, coffee, sugar, milk, butter, eggs, fresh bread from their bakery and a chilled bottle of Daylesford wine (all complementary) there was also bacon, sausages and avocado waiting for us when we arrived.
I had booked the cottage as a surprise for LM’s birthday, and I had also booked him onto a cooking course at the on site Cookery School (he’s a keen cook is LM). You can see their full schedule of cooking classes here. (They would make amazing Christmas presents!) The course I had booked was ‘Nose to Tail Butchery Course’ which he did with his brother (who arrived as an additional surprise!) while I and his brother’s wife strolled around the farm shop and indulged in a delicious Daylesford pizza in their restaurant…
“The passion and respect we have for our animals is paramount in developing their award-winning organic meat. This course will allow you to follow and understand this journey, as well as gaining practical tips and techniques from our expert chefs and butchers.
Our farm butcher will get you hands on with the butchery and demonstrate where the various cuts come from. Over the course of the day we’ll cook a number of recipes highlighting a range of techniques from braising to roasting, leaving you confident cooking from nose to tail.”
We couldn’t resist the farm shop… with so much of the produce coming directly from the farm itself, it’s hard to get closer to the ‘field to fork’ way of life…
We bought some delicious granola, some bacon and eggs for breakfast the next day and I couldn’t resist buying a beautiful mug. For when you find a mug you fall in love with, I believe you should have it.
(I should mention that last night LM suggested to me that perhaps I wasn’t aware of how many mugs we had in our cupboard. I assured him, that I did. And you shouldn’t feel sorry for him – he loves chairs. And your average chair, if you hadn’t noticed, is far bigger than your average mug).
The whole experience of Daylesford is one of luxury, peace and wholesomeness… and there is so much more we could have done, had we stayed longer – cooking workshops, farm walks, talks and massages… we’re already thinking when we can go back so we can fit more in…
It was the most wonderful stay in the heart of one of the most beautiful and foodie spots of the Cotswolds. Daylesford’s sister restaurant The Wild Rabbit is a culinary treat a mere stone’s throw away from Daylesford farm and they have some wonderful Christmas celebrations planned for the whole family: Christmas at The Wild Rabbit.
So this is a call to you to treat yourself. Next time you are thinking of getting away, head to Daylesford, breathe in the country air, do a class in chocolate making, have a facial, wrap yourself in crisp white sheets and lie in until 3pm, light the fires, lock the doors and eat all the puddings.
Because that’s what you do at Daylesford.
p.s. Don’t look at their Christmas Hampers, whatever you do. You won’t be able to resist.
Daylesford near Kingham
This post was shot on my LEICA D-LUX – dinky but dynamic ;)
We were guests of Daylesford and all thoughts and opinions are my own.