This morning OH wanted to be up early as he had made his mind up that we were going to pay a visit to Johnson's Farm Shop at Old Hurst, Cambridgeshire. Telephone 01487 824658 website:
My step-son and his fiancée had been and had taken some produce in for OH to try. He was impressed and so decided that today was the day for a recce.
We headed off down the A1 from Peterborough until we hit the signpost for Abbots Ripton. We suddenly hit the Fen Alps these villages being much elevated compared to the flat Fenland surrounding Peterborough. I cannot recall ever having been this way at all but they were proper old fashioned villages Abbots Ripton in particular being very picturesque with lots of Thatched cottages. I hadn't realised that there were such pretty villages off to the side of the A1.
We eventually got to our destination and headed for the café for something to drink as I was gasping. The coffee smelt good and I decided to try one - coffee being off my menu as a rule as it upsets my IBS. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thus far I have been okay. I also had a toasted Hot cross bun which was lovely. Very spicy. OH had a full breakfast with produce from the farm and it was delicious. He slipped me some bacon and a chipolata. Very impressed with the café and the friendly service and the delightful tea room/restaurant.
We then hit the shop. Outside of the Farm Shop they had a big section of fresh veggies I picked up a load of forced rhubarb for making some puddings for OH and also making some rhubarb jam, (I intend to make this tomorrow in my Jam Pan), as well as some big field mushrooms, some squash, carrots, cabbage, walnuts.
Johnson's Farm is a proper Farm shop with quality produce most of which they have produced themselves. There is a drinks section of soft and alcohol related drinks, seasonings, spices, frozen fruit salad, pain au chocolat, croissants, blackberries, onion rings, stir fry, Tuscan roasting vegetables etc etc.
I picked up a 3kg bag of white stone ground flour produced from Wicken Fen Windmill a proper wind powered windmill and also a Wholemeal stone ground flour to make some bread.
The Butchery section is absolutely magnificent really large. I have never seen so many varieties of sausages in one go. They also sell game (and indeed some of the cured skins are available for sale in the gift shop I fell in love with a quad sheepskin).
They also sell pork pies and at long last we have found a pork pie that we actually like. The pastry and the meat are delicious. You have the option of buying mini pies, 1lb pies or 2lb pies. This time round we went for 2 x 1lb pies. I also bought a haslet and some ham. Both were delicious. The ham is hand cut in front of you and you are actively involved by the Assistant throughout the whole process of cutting and preparing making sure that you are getting exactly what you want in the Butchery and the Delicatessen. I am not a great fan of fat but I know you need the fat for the flavour and for the meat to cook properly. The fat on the ham melted when you ate it. Really delicious.
Please see the links here for a look at the butchery department and also on how they make their pork pies. This only shows part of the shop. Envisage a square block and take off one of the smaller sides and that is the size of the shop. The video below was taken about five years ago.
There is then a big cheese and pie section as well as a bakery and delicatessen. We bought some buns OH had crusty ones I bought a couple of mini cottage loaves. The bread was lovely and flavoursome and soft in the middle. And they had different seed and flavoured loaves small big medium, some sliced The bread is made by Woods Bakery Tel 91767 313025.
I bought a Cherry pie but they also had Cornish Pasties and other lovely bits and bobs available. They also sell different flavoured vinegars from carboys by the bottle.
We bought quite a lot of stuff and I shall pop up a note as and when we try it. We shall be going back and next time I will try a large game pie.
So today has been a foodie day and the food so far as been really really good.
We did have a walk around the farm and saw the livestock. There was also a big Easter Egg Hunt on for the kiddies. Its been a lovely sunny day quite mild one that leads you to believe that Spring has sprung.
This is not an advertisement for Johnsons of Old Hurst near Huntingdon. But is my own express view. If you are in the area pay them a visit especially if you like real proper food. They are not open on Sundays or Mondays.
We got back into Peterborough for about 1:00pm and I have been pottering about quite a bit since.
Catch you later.