Willow Brook Farm Shop
‘True as the church clock hand the hour pursues’ – the opening line of ‘The Cottager’ by John Clare, the much-cherished ‘peasant’s poet’. And it’s here in rural north-west Cambridgeshire near Helpston – the village where Clare was born – that you will find Willow Brook Farm.
This is a family-run business that has operated a farm shop since 2004, offering home produce and locally sourced meats through its excellent butchery. It also specialises in its own traditionally reared and grass-finished beef, which can be seen grazing in the surrounding fields, together with superior rare-breed pork, which is reared slowly to provide maximum taste.
The team here make their own hand-raised pork pies, sausage rolls and haslet on-site, together with fresh and frozen ready meals using all their own ingredients. Also on sale are fresh local vegetables, eggs, artisan cheeses, breads, jams and chutneys.
Being perfectly situated between Castor Hanglands and Southey Woods makes this a fabulous location for the popular Granary Tea Rooms, serving farmhouse breakfasts, hot lunches and more. Expect to see a flow of walkers and cyclists stopping off for refreshments.
If you’re looking for a caterer, Willow Brook Farm puts on hog and ox roasts for private parties and weddings.
By Philip Seaman, Cambridgeshire editor