Well, Daylesford Organic Farm is one of those places where you just say “wow”! It truly is amazing. My husband Geoff and I were having a mini break in the Cotswolds and before we left Geoff had looked up a few places online for us to visit for lunch and evening meals but didn’t come across this place for some unknown reason. A very kind lady we met at Meg Rivers which I also reviewed, told us that if we liked Meg Rivers, which we did, then we should take a look at Daylesford Organic Farm. Well many thanks to that lady if she is reading this!
It was a rather rainy day and we cycled 25 miles in the non-stop rain to reach Daylesford. We were a little damp and my legs were splattered with dirt but when we poked our heads around the restaurant door a waiter said it was fine for us to enter and showed us to a table (I later went into the toilets to wash off the dirt with their lovely organic geranium-scented liquid soap and it was so creamy I found it hard to wash off, turning my legs creamy white. Panic!).
It was lunch time so I had a bowl of their lovely ‘soup of the day’ which was tomato & red pepper. This was drizzled with some really tasty extra virgin olive oil and served with fresh bread. The olive oil was from Château Lèoube and is a blend of four different varieties, I just had to buy some to take home with me. For dessert I had wonderful Chocolate Nemisis which was a large wedge of rich dark chocolate mousse. It was divine and I thought I’d died and gone straight to heaven! We enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere so much we decided to book a table for the following evening for supper which they serve from 7-9pm on Fridays and Saturday’s.
During the day we just ‘happened’ to be in the area – again on our bikes – so popped in to get a cake to tide us over until our evening meal. I chose a chocolate brownie, which wasn’t the best I’ve had although it was packed with slices of white chocolate inside. Geoff went for a flapjack and couldn’t resist buying a lamb pasty too. We sat in the car this time and the pasty was out of this world! I’m not a lover of pasties at all and I’m not sure what the pastry was, it wasn’t filo and not quite puff but it was incredibly soft and fresh.
When we went back in the evening there were lanterns lit on the path to show us the way to the restaurant. There were candles on the tables too. I made the mistake of ordering a raspberry bellini when the young waitress told us which was the special that day, it was nice but the price was rather high – I could have bought a good bottle of wine in the supermarket for the same price – which I didn’t realise until we received the bill. My fault for not asking but hey, we were on a break and were enjoying ourselves.
First we shared three different types of fresh bread to dip into a bowl with a generous helping of the olive oil again. My starter was golden beetroot with Daylesford Oddington goat’s curd salad with toasted seeds. All of this was sitting on top of a kind of very thin beetroot jelly which covered the plate. It was served with a bunch of salad leaves one of which had a ‘perfumey’ taste. It was very pleasant and got the taste buds working.
I don’t normally order steak but we both decided to do so as there was sirloin on the menu. I prefer fillet steak as I really don’t like fat or gristle but the very nice young waiter suggested that we go for the rib of beef to share as it would be more flavoursome. This we did and when it was ready, everything on our table was moved to one side to accomodate the large chopping board with this huge piece of beef on, surely for a family of four I thought? The chef came along and proceeded to carve it for us. Rosemary & garlic roast potatoes were served with this alongside seasonal vegetables including sliced broadbeans, sliced green beans and cabbage and a small jug of gravy which had a very nice hint of horseradish/mustard. The beef did have some fat on it but this just melted as you ate it and the flavours were incredible. We couldn’t manage the whole rib and sat there rather full with about half of it left. We were offered to have it boxed up to take home with us which we gratefully accepted and had it in sandwiches the following evening after arriving home.
We shared two desserts, summer berry baked alaska which is ice-cream incased in meringue, and… baked I presume. This was dusted in a little icing sugar and sat in a pool of warm summer berry sauce. Of course the meringue was warm but the ice-cream still cold in the centre and the meringue was like marshmallow inside.
The other dessert was pannacotta with Daylesford raspberries. The pannacotta was lovely and smooth and creamy, with little specks of vanilla pods throughout and sat on a very thin base of lemon sponge. Oh, it was so nice! We each had an espresso and with the meal I enjoyed a nice glass of organic Touchstone merlot whilst Geoff had a bottle of St.Peter’s beer in a very unusual bottle which looked like an old fashioned medicine bottle. We really enjoyed our meal and the waiters and waitresses were all very helpful and friendly.
Daylesford Organic Farm is set in a small village in Gloucestershire with lovely countryside all around and Cotswold stone cottages in the nearby village, all very pretty. The farm shop sells fruit and vegetables all beautifully presented, take for instance the mushrooms displayed on a piece of bent wood and tomatoes placed in a punnet and were all very pretty colours of yellows, oranges and reds. I also came across some golden beetroot which I had never knew existed. The delicatessen was arranged well too with cheeses, biscuits for cheese, pasties, cold meats, fish etc. There was a heart shaped hole in the wall with the staff working hard behind, all very pleasing on the eye – not the workers, but the brickwork!
They sell organic wine, beauty products such as hand-cream too and there is a bakery with fresh bread and cakes and biscuits, a cookery school and within another barn is the Bamford Hay Barn which sells ladies and gents clothing. I did see a very nice jumper but alas, it was £600 more expensive than what I would normally pay!
I did try and persuade Geoff to go home via Daylesford to get a delicious lamb pasty and a cake each for the journey but unfortunately it was not on our route, or so he says.
So, in a nutshell we loved this place – as you can probably guess! There are only a handful of Daylesford cafes/farmshops around so have a look to see if there’s one near you. I shall definitely be taking Helen to one in London when I’m next visiting her and I’m looking forward to it.
Living life, loving Daylesford