The phrase ‘farm-to-table’ often gets bandied around by restaurants that frankly, have little right to use it. These are seven of the best foodie farm stays in the UK.
We’ve done the hard work for you, and found the food-focussed farm stays around the UK that truly embody an estate-to-plate ethos. From quirky countryside boltholes to working vineyards and farms, we’re sharing seven of the best farmhouse hotels, where the emphasis is first and foremost on the food.
A sprawling vineyard with rooms to sleep over, Tillingham is easily one of East Sussex’s finest wine producers. Aside from boundless grape vines, the 70-acre estate encompasses ancient woodland, fruit trees of all sorts, and plenty of free-roaming chickens, with guests invited to take part in daily vineyard tours and wine tastings. A thriving, outdoor pizza barn never fails to draw a crowd, while the indoor restaurant serves everything from feasting dishes served family-style to fancy tasting menus showcasing produce grown in the walled gardens and surrounding farms. Kip over in one of the stylish, tripped back bedrooms, each complete with Haeckels toiletries, and soothing colour palettes. For the more adventurous, two fully kitted bell tents will make for an adventurous staycation.
Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall
Any self-proclaimed foodie will have heard of Cornwall’s Coombeshead Farm, a 66-acre working farm nestled on the cusp of Devon. Nine bedrooms are spread across the 18th-century farmhouse and converted grain store, with guests bedding down just metres away from the cows, pigs, and chickens that roam the nearby fields. Wake up to the coo of the dawn chorus before following the waft of freshly baked bread downstairs, where you’ll find the breakfast table groaning with homemade james, cheeses, hams, and pastries – all of which are bottled, baked, and cured on site. Before you leave, make sure to swing by the farm shop for some edible souvenirs – along with a visit to the bakery, which supplies sourdough loaves to an impressive slew of cafés and restaurants across the country.
Updown Farmhouse, Kent
A stone’s throw from quaint Deal, Updown Farmhouse is a revived Kentish farmstead dating back to the 17th century, surrounded by lush woodland and offering sweet gardens to ramble through. Four pistachio-panelled bedrooms in the main house are decked out with vintage furniture, bold artworks and welcome streaks of colour – or for the ultimate sleepover, hide away in one of the two eclectic cottages nestled within the grounds. Guests are encouraged to make themselves at home from the outset: pour yourself a cocktail from the honesty bar, and strew yourself across the library with the morning papers. Come evening, you’ll dine under the grape vines and watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen, with hyper-seasonal menus championing local produce and offering dishes cooked on the grill.
Glebe House, Devon
Head west to Devon, where you’ll find Glebe House, a colourful guest house and restaurant sitting amidst 15 acres of verdant greenery. Each of the bedrooms have been carefully considered: think hand-blocked wallpapers, patterned headboards in every shade of the rainbow, and jewel-coloured bathtubs, with guests waking up to picture-postcard views, and generous breakfast spreads. Food is at the heart of Glebe House: inspired by the agriturismi of Italy, a firmly farm-to-table approach governs the kitchen. Alongside feasting on seasonal and hearty meals, guests can try their hand at making fresh pasta and shaping sourdough loaves with head chef Sam.
The Pig, Somerset
Across its ever-growing litter of hotels, The Pig applies its signature, winning formula: handsome country piles are lovingly restored to offer homely bedrooms centred around buzzy restaurants and rambling kitchen gardens. A happy belly is a guarantee when visiting any of The Pig properties, but it’s their Somerset location that is a firm favourite, offering beehives and wildflower orchards to explore, along with sweeping views from your bedroom window. Tuck into comforting suppers in the greenhouse-like orangery, with dishes utilising the freshest of produce – all grown just metres away in the gardens, or sourced from within a 25 mile radius.
The Wild Rabbit, Oxfordshire
Part of the ever-growing Daylesford collective, this Cotswolds mainstay is a firm foodie favourite with the locals – and for good reason too. Don’t be fooled by The Wild Rabbit‘s self-proclaimed ‘pub’: the restaurant is more ‘fine dining’ than pub grub, with a seasonally changing menu and an exciting calendar of supper clubs helmed by award-winning chefs. Stay the night in one of the cosy, earth-toned bedrooms – or spread yourself out among the clutch of surrounding cottages. From here, you’ll be just a short hop away from the sprawling Daylesford Farm, expect a clutch of cosy bedrooms and cottages for larger groups cocooned around the hotel’s renowned restaurant. Head over the road to peruse Daylesford’s deli, farm shop and restaurants, along with spa treatments and workout classes and everything from warming soups to homemade jams.
Head up to the Highlands to experience a stylish blend of Scandinavian-meets-Scottish solace at Killiehuntly Farmhouse, a 19th-century farmstead nestled deep in the Cairngorms National Park. Lovingly transformed into an elegant guesthouse with four muted bedrooms, guests are invited to make themselves at home from the outset and splay out among the generous living spaces, where plenty of shaggy textures provide a cocooning comfort from the wilderness outside. With the expansive Cairngorms acting as the hotel’s kitchen gardens, expect to be well fed here: room rates include seasonally-led three-course dinners (often featuring vegetables and herbs foraged that morning), homemade scones at teatime, and a hearty fry up the following morning. Spend your days slowing down and soaking up the awe-inspiring landscape with plenty of wild swimming and rambling over the hills.
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Lead image: Glebe House, Devon