One of my favourite places to visit in the Cotswolds, to relax, enjoy and be inspired by, is Daylesford Organic Farm. To call it a farm shop is to paint an entirely false picture for it is so much more. Daylesford is a way of life, a Cotswold gem, nestled just outside Stow-on-the-Wold. The creation of Lady Carole Bamford (Her husband Sir Anthony Bamford being the B in JCB), the farm is the product of their passionate commitment to all things organic, sustainable responsible farming and a deep respect for the land.
Daylesford Farm is a celebration of the landscape, food, and above all, our connection with the natural world. A principle that drives and underpins my work as a Landscape Architect, and is one of the reasons I enjoy visiting the farm on a weekend or one of their seasonal open days. I totally buy into their ethos.
The farm itself is beautiful, designed by Architect Spencer Fung, his respect for nature, attention to detail and keen design, have formed a beautiful marvel in the heart of the Cotswold landscape. It was a pleasure to meet him at the farm back in November and discuss his design philosophy and background.
The landscape and natural world are brought into his buildings creating beautiful, sensitively designed spaces. His working relationship with Lady Bamford seems to me to be a perfect combination of shared values and aesthetic vision.
The beating heart of the Daylesford brand is the farm, a collection of buildings including the foodie-paradise farm shop, wellness retreat, cookery school, Bamford barn (Daylesford’s sister brand) and the fabulous scent-filled home and garden room.
I visited on Saturday to see the brand new home and garden room and was not disappointed. The room is a beautiful light-filled space, that really lets the flowers and plants take centre stage. Ahead of Valentines day, the florists were busy at work, but stopped to talk to me about the plants and the farm. A lovely addition is the fragrance room selling a range of candles and diffusers situated among the very flowers that inspire their gorgeous scents. It is a lovely addition to the shop, and adds to what is already a thoroughly enjoyable shopping experience.
I finished my visit with a visit to the restaurant for a slice of cake, and fragrant earl grey tea. For me, a visit to Daylesford is an indulgence in the passions that have inspired this blog – a love for landscape, nature and food, and our relationship with all three. Looking out across the courtyard, as flakes of snow gently dusted the low courtyard hedge, I felt the reassuring warm glow of hazy, peace-filled contentment.