Last time I visited the homelands, my bestie took me for lunch at Applegarth Farmshop and Restaurant in Grayshott, Hampshire with a promise of an amazing deli spread.
This family run farm has been growing, selling and producing quality foods for over thirty years and is a hive of activity with a busy restaurant and thriving farm shop. The fruit and vegetables are sourced nostalgically from Covent Garden Market, the bread is sourced locally or baked on the premises and the shelves are adorned with speciality, artisan goods.
As promised the deli counter makes your eyes widen and your mouth water with an array of cooked and cured meats, delicious salads, antipasti and all kinds of delicious pastries.
While you peruse the menu that is packed with home grown produce and cooked from scratch on site, the children can run wild in the play area and chat to the guinea pigs, chickens and rabbits, or venture into the nearby field to say hello to the shetland ponies and pygmy goats.
Wander into the garden area and you will find three nordic cabins housing independent companies selling artisan homeware and gifts. Or just kick back with a glass of wine or two and take it all in.
This place might scream home counties but it really does deliver. With a unique and picturesque location, exceptionally good food both in the restaurant and the farm shop, artisan makers in the garden and a relaxed and family friendly vibe, Applegarth definitely stands out from the crowd.
This fiercely independent business, with big plans for the future, is shunning the mass market and celebrating individuality and collaboration with great success.
Applegarth I salute you.