Sky Park Farm: the Grazing Rooms, Petersfield

Grazing Room Sky Park Farm
The large interior

Sky Park Farm

Sky Park Farm in West Harting (close to Petersfield) is a deer farm with a delightful cafe, restaurant and upmarket farm shop. It’s just a short drive from Portsmouth and we’ve visited three times these past few months. More about the deer farm later but let’s talk about the food.

Cheese souffle
Cheese souffle


The Grazing Rooms

The Grazing Rooms is an on-site restaurant serving food throughout the day. I’ve been for breakfast twice, lunch and on this occasion, we were invited in for an evening meal. It’s a large airy space spanning two rooms and plenty of windows letting in natural light. The chairs are particularly comfortable and the place has a modern country barn kind of feel. I like the little touches like the subtle deer pattern on the staff’s aprons and shirts. The bill also comes beautifully presented with more information about the farm and the food suppliers.

Butternut soup
Butternut squash soup

Local produce

The Grazing Rooms focus on local produce with a minimum mileage – something that seems to be popular right now (and rightly so) with the likes of The Pig promoting their 25-mile menu. Sky Park Farm’s vision is to deliver 40% of its food from within 30 miles, with a further 40% from within Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex. Not only is this better for the environment but it’s also a fantastic way to support local businesses. As I mentioned, I’ve tried all three menus at the Grazing Rooms so let’s work our way backwards starting with the delightful dinner I enjoyed recently.

smoked almonds
Smoked almonds to nibble on

Dinner at the Grazing Rooms

The Grazing Rooms open for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights and when we went (at the end of January) the main dining room was half full. Enough of a buzz to create a nice atmosphere but quiet enough to be able to properly catch up. We shared a bottle of red wine and Dad had a bottle of beer which was brewed down the road. We shared some salted smoked almonds while pondering over the menu. There was a good selection of dishes on the menu including a few venison dishes – I presume their speciality being a deer farm – and vegetarian too. Carlos and I shared the homemade gnocchi with a butternut puree and the cheese souffle – a favourite of ours.

homemade gnocchi
Homemade gnocchi

The gnocchi was to die for! So much so, I wish I had it again for my main. It really was something special. Our cheese souffle was also very nice, the best we’ve had in a long time. Mum had the pumpkin soup which was vegan and a hearty portion. I plan to run nearby soon (along the serpentine trail) so I can end my long run with some warming soup, thick granary bread and some salted South Downs butter, which is served with the non-vegan version.

butternut Wellington Grazing Rooms
Butternut squash Wellington

Our mains were equally as nice with the boys opting for the venison bourguignon which was both warming and comforting and perfect for the sub-zero temperatures we’ve recently been experiencing. This was served with creamy mashed potato, half a fresh baguette and baby onions. I tried some and it was lovely despite not being much of a meat eater. Mum and I had the butternut squash Wellington which was vegan and served with roasted root veg. The parsnips, beetroot and carrot were cooked to perfection and the portion size was perfect. There are also several fish dishes to choose from which also caught my eye. By this point, I was pretty full but I couldn’t leave without trying a dessert.

Sticky toffee pudding
Sticky toffee pudding

Carlos and I shared the sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel since cream and their special, biscoffee cheesecake with chocolate sauce. Both desserts were nicely presented and of good size and our favourite was the sticky toffee pudding. This came with a generous smothering of sticky toffee sauce. Mum had the fruit place as this was the vegan option and Dad went for rice pudding which he said was nice. Our meal was somewhat between a hearty gastropub grub and fine dining. The quality of the food was great, the portions were larger than what you’d find in a fine dining restaurant and the prices were cheaper too.

Beetroot and chickpea burger
Beetroot and chickpea burger

Brunch at Sky Park Farm

I’ve visited Sky Park Farm for breakfast twice now and each time I go for their homemade banana bread with South Downs salted butter and local honey. For £5 you get two medium-sized slices which are gently toasted and I think this is a great deal. The coffee here is huge, my latte lasted until I had finished my food. I also shared Carlos’s sausage bap with him which came in a nice brioche. The Cumberland sausages were of great quality and you can buy them in the farm shop next to the restaurant.

Banana bread
Banana bread

There are plenty of walking routes around Sky Park Farm so after our breakfast, we went on a 10km ramble before returning to the Grazing Rooms for lunch. Here we both had burgers from the a la carte menu which is also available Fri/Sat evenings. I had the veggie burger with a homemade beetroot and chickpea patty and Carlos had the venison burger. The highlight for us was the parmesan truffle fries which were bursting with flavour and perfectly cooked. We shared the hot chocolate chip cookie with ice cream which had been baked in a skillet and served just out the oven. The texture was subline.

Sky Park Farm Deer
Feeding the deer

Sky Park Farm Deer

I love the idea of visiting a deer farm, mainly because I love deer but also because I used to work on a deer (and dairy/sheep) farm in New Zealand and it’s not something you often encounter here in the UK. Anyone can visit the cafe, restaurant and farm shop but you have to pay  to visit and feed the deer. We donated our Christmas tree in exchange for entry into the farm which I thought was a wonderful, sustainable idea. There are plenty of offers throughout the year to make a family trip more affordable. At the moment, adults go free with the purchase of a hot drink. There are several types of deer on the farm and a large space to walk around. We purchased feed for £1 and happily fed the friendly deer. There’s also a children’s play area, picnic benches and a small gift shop with children’s toys.

Grazing Rooms Sky Park Farm
The bill

Next to the Grazing Rooms is the farm shop with a huge meat counter and one for cheese. The shelves are filled with lots of local products, and speciality ones too like the espresso cream-filled Italian cannoli we treated ourselves to. We had a wonderful day out (and evening meal) at Sky Park Farm and whether you’re a foodie like us or you have kids in tow, a visit is certainly worth the drive over from Portsmouth.

H x

Ambience 7
Quality 9
Value 9
Service 8
Overall 9
Return? Yes!

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