Last weekend I had an unexpected few days in the UK. By complete happy coincidence, this just happened to match up with this years Daylesford Summer Festival at their organic farm in Kingham, the Cotswolds.
My friends and family know that I absolutely love the Cotswolds - I would move there in an instant and am always dragged home, reluctant to leave the beautiful countryside and gorgeous English villages.
Daylesford Farm is a firm favourite spot of mine. I blogged about their summer festival last year in this post and always jump at the chance to spend a day there, strolling round their farm shop and stopping for one of their salads in the cafe. In november I was lucky enough to spend a weekend there in one of their cottages called the Wood Store. I took a group of girlfriends there for 3 days in which we sat in our dressing gowns round the fire, drinking white wine, eating malteasers and waking up to beautifully crisp winter walks across the fields. When we arrived we were presented with a box full of Daylesford goodies and just trotted over to the shop every morning for one of their freshly bakes brioche loaves and Blue Legbar hen eggs. The cottages are beautifully decorated in a really rustic country kind of way but with all the modern touches you need. Each room has amazing wood fires and the bathrooms are stocked with products from Daylesford's own spa range, Bamford Body.
The cottages are the perfect idea for a romantic getaway, a girlie weekend, or somewhere to take the family over the holidays, with everything you need right on your doorstep. The cottages range from sleeping 2 people to the possibility of booking two together to sleep up to 8. You can find out more about them here - I'd definitely book up your holiday in advance as they are deservingly popular!!
The summer festival this year was based on celebrating organic farming and their "Eat to be Healthy" range. The day offered a behind-the-scenes look at their organic farming methods and a chance to sample all their incredible organic produce. After living in Madrid this year, I couldn't help but really enjoy the overly British-ness of the event! Morris dancing, a dog show and endless Pimms and their delicious Chateau Leoube Rose made for a very British summer festival! The team who are behind the creative and styling department at Daylesford always have it spot on - the event was beautifully presented and organised- I'm always won over by their branding and particularly love their shopping bags with fab photos of their farm animals on - I actually came across one in the design department in my office in Madrid the other day that the team had obviously found for inspiration!
The day featured tours around the farm and the market garden as well as talks and demonstrations from names such as Rose Prince and Madeleine Shaw and cookery demonstrations in their beautiful cookery school. There was also a live jazz band playing on a hay bail stage in the field and a small producers market with a whole array of different treats on offer, as well as Daylesford's own barbecue and beef brisket wrap stands.
Due to the dog show in the morning, it was also a dog lover's paradise - with endless cockerpoos, labradoodles, golden doodles and every possible poodle mix under the sun! We of course took Eddie with us (our 3 year old cockerpoo puppy) who couldn't hide his excitement on the way there!!
Their chocolate brioche/pain au chocolat loaf!
We strolled round the producers market, trying all the different samples on offer, including the most amazing artisan goats cheese, fruit wines, and gluten free treats and breakfast nut mixes.
The beautiful Bamford Haybarn spa
After some lunch of beef brisket wraps with slaw and lentil dahl, we headed into the cookery school
for the demonstration on "Eat to be healthy: cooking without dairy, sugar or gluten" in which head chef, Steve Brown, talked about the benefits of limiting refined sugars, gluten and dairy from our diets. One of the recipes he showed us were for crackers made from a whole range of seeds, nuts and spiralina, using water and chia seeds as a binding agent- something I definitely want to try at home.
However, it didn't stop us nipping into the terrace of the cafe afterwards for tea, scones and clotted cream!
The cafe and restaurant is open all day, Monday to Wednesday (9am-5pm), Thursday to Saturday (9am - 6pm) and Sunday (10am - 4pm.)
They are also open for supper on Friday and Saturday evenings, 7pm till late.
Their breakfast menu and seasonal salads are some of my favourites!
It's definitely worth checking out if you are in the area- I could spend hours just wondering around the deli shop and beautiful florist.
If you can't make it to the Costwolds, they also have branches in London: one in Notting Hill, one in Pimlico and they have just opened a new site in Marylebone. (You can also get hold of the produce from the Selfridges Food Hall.)
I spent the rest of the weekend in the kitchen, experimenting with recipes inspired by my travels to Marrakech (recipes will be up on the blog soon!) and catching up with my family and this trouble!