In this month’s blog, Michael get’s excited as festive spirit fills the Farm Shop!
Christmas; a time for joy, sharing, feasting and family… I may be biased, but nowhere does it quite like Darts Farm! Outside, the fairy lights are twinkling against the winter sky, Santa’s sleigh is on the roof and the farm team are busy in the fields
hand-picking our festive veg.
But for me, the real magic is inside. There is something really special about seeing the Food Hall brimming with produce that is only grown or crafted at this time of year. Whether that is the first of our sprout stalks piled up high, still damp with the morning’s dew or the festive red wrapping of a hand-baked Filippi Panettone.
INDULGENT TREATS FROM OUR ARTISAN PRODUCERS
Everywhere you look, Mark and the team are filling the shelves with the best festive treats from our local, world-class artisan producers; crafted using traditional, family recipes - the kind that are packed with nostalgic, Christmas flavours. From Mrs Gill’s hand-decorated Christmas cakes, crafted to a very special 200-year-old recipe; to Georgie Porgies traditional Christmas Puds; we have been working with George for over 25 years and it really wouldn’t be Christmas without one of his puddings!
UNIQUE & SUSTAINABLE GIFTING
When it comes to unique artisan gifts, Laura and the team have got you covered. From sustainably handcrafted Nkuku cheeseboards & Legnoart cheese knives to
re-claimed Whisky Barrel Frames; discover beautiful gifts that your loved ones will treasure. Whilst you’re shopping for gifts, you simply must visit our home, lifestyle & outdoor departments; Orange Tree, Fired Earth, AGA, Cotswold Outdoor & RSPB; there really is something for everyone.
If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll know that sometimes the best type of gift is edible… In Cow & Cacao, our expert chocolatier Louise is busy hand-crafting all things bean-to-bar chocolate; from festive sharing 'yule log' bars to beautiful boxes of truffles that make the perfect gift; especially when paired with a bottle of our Pebblebed Vineyards Sparkling Rose in a beautiful hamper!
BRITISH FARMHOUSE CHEESE
On our award-winning deli counter, Mia, Raissa & the team are on hand to help you create the best British farmhouse cheeseboards; the perfect gift for any cheese lover (including yourself). For me you can’t beat the combination of Billy Kevan’s Colston Bassett Stilton, Baron Bigod Brie & Quicke’s Mature Cheddar at Christmas time; it is not only the quality and flavour of the cheese that makes it so special, but the hard work and livelihoods that go into making it. If you’re after a perfectly paired tipple, head to our Drink Cellar where Nick, our in-house connoisseur, will be more than happy to share his expertise; Churchills Port, Sandford Orchards Ice Cider, Dartmoor Whisky… the list goes on!
HANDPICKED & FULL OF SEASONAL FLAVOUR
Back out on the farm, Jack and the farm team are busy handpicking an incredible variety of homegrown vegetables that are full of flavour. From our hardy winter brassicas including cauliflower, January King, red & white cabbage, celeriac & Romanesque, to leeks, potatoes & our iconic sprout stalks; all of which make the short journey to the food hall each morning and leave our veg cart looking simply amazing. You can’t walk through the farm shop without getting excited for your Christmas dinner!
LOCALLY REARED ON FAMILY FARMS
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a succulent & delicious Devon turkey; sustainably reared by local farmer Steven Slade on his family farm in Aylesbeare. With a passion for farming and traditional animal husbandry; these are not your typical, intensively mass produced, Christmas birds! We work with Steven to specially select our turkeys for a proper layer of fat under the skin to lock in the flavour and moisture when cooked; they really are something special!
GET INTO THE FESTIVE SPIRIT
If you are going to treat yourself and your loved ones this Christmas, what better way to do so than with locally crafted food and drink from family-run producers. Not only do you get to enjoy the best quality and flavour, you in turn support the livelihoods of the makers, our environment & our local economy.
Our team of in-house experts and local producers will be on hand to help you discover our foodie favourites with delicious tastings & demos at our famous Festive Indulgence Evening on Wednesday 30th November.
Christmas is also a time for making memories with loved ones and this year, our diary is full of festive events to help you get into the festive spirit; from Foodie Masterclasses & Floristry Workshops to our Outdoor Christmas Carol Service on Wednesday 14th December, supporting our chosen local charity Exeter Foodbank.
And just yesterday we had our first delivery of freshly cut, sustainably harvested Christmas Trees from the Dartmoor Christmas Tree Co; ready for you to take home and decorate with the family!
A super exciting announcement!
We love reducing, reusing and recycling!