As I leave the wooden farm shop with my goodies in a cardboard tray, I feel almost as virtuous as if I’d grown and picked them myself. Fruit and veg, a very decent butcher / wet fish shop and to top it off a vintage barn. Not just a shop, but a whole BARN, full of my favourite things. This is perfect Local Shopping.
Emmetts Farm which was originally a pick your own sweetcorn (maize) and strawberry business with a small farm shop on the side is now a much more all emcompassing shopping experience. The entrepreneurial owners have attracted several businesses to the site, retailing from the original timber barns.
This is a mecca of local produce, the farm shop offers Cheese, a choice of local Oxford ‘College Blue’ – a brie like creamy cheese with a mild flavour. Soft rounds of mead-washed cheese, Devon goats cheese with fresh herbs, sundried tomatos or black pepper.
Artisan bread, rye with caraway seeds, natural sourdough, a small oval walnut bread, a luscious domed loaf topped with tangy cheese and shiny pretzels with crystal salty tops. Beside the bread is a selection of homemade cakes, butter creamed and multicolour sprinkled, slightly imperfect shapes with a perfect flavour. In addition to all that splendour are the fresh vegetables, seasonal crops from both local and those slightly further afield, like the giant English garlic from The Garlic Farm in the Isle of Wight.
Phil Bowditch, the butcher and wet fish shop has it’s own smokery on-site, producing hot oak smoked Scottish salmon, smoked mackerel and kippers, not a drop of yellow colouring to be seen. Dressed or whole fresh, sweet crabs, jellied eels (a British classic), clams and mussels are all regularly available, served with a friendly smile and cooking advice if needed.
The meat is great quality, lamb and pork sourced from local farms. The Aberdeen Angus beef from Scotland. Long links of smoked and free range, sage sausages, nestle side by side with mini chorizos. At Christmas whole or half cooked hams, local goose and turkeys are ordered by the dozens. For those with a heartier meal in mind, a three or four bird roast can be ordered to your own specification.
After gathering a gourmet meal, I popped into Home Barn to check out the vintage homeware. (This may have to be a seperate post). The large barn is brimming with wonderful finds. Fragrant candles from the Nappa Valley sit on sturdy reclaimed pine tables. Original Pepsi crates filled with vintage milk bottles are stacked on an old ships table with swivel seats.
The barn is laid out in rooms, all open plan; a children’s area with brightly coloured toys and a gentlemen’s area complete with stags head and stacked leather suitcases beside a leather chair. In addition there is a bedroom ‘set’ and kitchen dresser shelves with modern Cornish Wear. With a distressed picture frame and an embossed American tin ceiling tile under my arm. I left happy.
Emmetts Farm Shop. Wilton Farm, Marlow Road, Little Marlow, SL7 3RR