Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Probably the most exquisite farm shop in the world

Daylesford Organic near Chipping Norton in Gloucestershire offers the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.  It is primarily a farm shop selling produce from the surrounding farmland, in addition there is a fashion boutique, a florist, an interiors section and a restaurant.  It is conceived as you might imagine Marie Antoinette would desire had she lived today and included Vera Wang, Preston Bailey, David Collins and a touch of Martha Stewart in her inner circle of advisers.

 The surrounding countryside is beautiful, all of the Daylesford estate houses, cottages and farm buildings are marked by their signature celadon paint on the doors and window frames.  Daylesford is the whimsy of Lady Bamford, the beautiful consort of the chap behind the multibillion dollar JCB empire.

I spent at leat 2 hours browsing around the different parts of the farm and then met a friend for lunch.  The people watching was fascinating; and the crowd broadly broke into two tribes;
1. Stick thin city types doing 1000 watt country glamour, ie Liz Hurley style spray on jeans, fur gilets and spike heels
2. Robust, rosey cheeks country girls wearing thick Aran knits, oversized shearlings, riding boots (real rather than fashion!) and some serious jewellery.  If you are local it seems you dress for warmth and dazzle with heirloom diamonds.

The folly extrordinaire, Hameau de la Reine,  that Marie Antoinette created at Versailles, isn't it beautiful? I am hoping to visit in March.

I got my oufit (Joseph skirt and Valentino knit) completely wrong for Daylesford, too cold and nowhere near enough dazzle!


  1. I would secretly quite like to work in one of those organically glam farm shops. The ones up here are just too farmy for me.

    1. I agree, I nearly left my CV, the staff were a great mix; a Hungarian body builder, retired restaurant owner, ex-model,local ladies who just want to speak to someone for a few hours each day. All very grown-up and very kind.

  2. I've been to their cafe in London and use their kitchen cleaning products but I've never been to their farm. This is simple stunning. So beautiful.


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