Last night a farm shop saved my life, not for the first time

How did you spend your weekend? Gardening? Loafing? Looking after the kids?

I spent most of mine sitting in a field or haring around Gloucestershire.

How does this relate to food? Well here’s the nub. Yesterday very little happened in the case that I couldn’t do from home. I spent the morning poking around Marlborough (nice place) but resisted buying stuff for dinner last night because I had no way to keep it cool.

My girlfriend was working also, so she couldn’t get to the shops. My plan was therefore to stop at a supermarket on the way home around 3.30pm. The trouble was, at 3.30pm I was looking at a crime scene.

Once I’d filed my words it was gone 4pm and the one supermarket I knew the location of in Swindon would be closed by the time I passed.

I was driving back towards Swindon and resigning myself to a takeaway when I viewed my salvation: a sign saying “Farm Shop”. I was almost late to make the turn but went for it anyway.

Open for business

I screeched into the yard in front of Red Down Farm Shop, near Highworth, which is north of Lechlade in Oxfordshire. or maybe Gloucestershire. To be honest I spent most of the weekend confused about what county I was in.

In any case, my relief when I saw the sign saying “Open” was palpable. Inside the quiet shop there was a great quantity of fresh veg on display, and lots of duck and chicken eggs. I was considering a massive Spanish omlette until I saw that Lord be praised there was some home-cured bacon in a chiller cabinet.

So I made a plan. Into my basket for the princely sum of £3.60 went eight spuds, 12 mushrooms and a pack of bacon rashers (later found to contain six rashers). Chuffed, as I only had a fiver in my wallet, I got back into the car and began my weary drive home.

Back in Bristol, these ingredients were transformed into a breakfast-influenced supper, grilled bacon and fried mushrooms, with a large potato pancake served liberally doused with hot chilli sauce of course.

As we both cleared our plates last night, we were both glad that I’d found somewhere open on a Sunday and managed to avoid the chip shop.

Bon appetite.

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One Comment on “Last night a farm shop saved my life, not for the first time”

  1. Lorraine Berry Says:

    I’m glad you bought food and took it home to cook. The shop itself did look good with fantastic produce, but I don’t recommend the tearooms. My family ate there today. It was the worst place we have eaten due to the young girl serving. The food arrived separately so none of us could eat together. I had the cheese toastie sandwich which was £4 and appeared as one thin slice of toast on the plate and arrived first (I was surprised to be able to prise it apart and find cheese in there). The hot drinks arrived after the second meal had been finished but we had to wait a further 10 minutes before the second two meals, so we didn’t have a hot drink with hot food. We should have walked out at the arrival of the first plate but we thought we’d give the young girl a chance to redeem herself. This was a mistake. Her service became worse and when we suggested she should have timed the food to arrive together when we paid, she rudely said – “I did my job”. Maybe – but not very well. Our comment to her was to help prevent other customers from disappointment, not to be further insulted. She needs to learn some manners before she puts off any chance of repeat custom. Put a different serving girl in there who makes an effort and this could be a nice place.


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