I would rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world – George Washington.
Sometimes, the best things in life come completely unexpectedly, like a glimpse of goodness after a dark spell, or a delicious meal after losing your appetite for a little while. Surprises at home entwined with that little bit of goodness is a recipe for greatness with the feeling of warmth and the knowledge that you will enjoy it over and over again until you can’t possibly love it anymore. That is how it felt to sit at Claremont Farm Café as the sun poured in and I ate a delicious, mouth-watering, honest-to-god incredible brunch with a large cup of hot chocolate covered in marshmallows to wash it down with. I already know I’ll be going back, but I wanted to share why exactly Claremont Farm has gone straight to the top of my list for local cafés on The Wirral.
When I followed my mum up the stairs, the combination of white-wash walls, wooden features and old-school chalkboard promised a countryfied place with a modern twist. I wasn’t disappointed as we entered the top floor – a magnitude of space filled with rustic tables and chairs in the centre with foliage dotted around to brighten the decor. The brightness of the space doesn’t only come from the beautiful white walls, but the large windows that let the daylight shine on in and with views overlooking the balcony, you can’t help but want to spend hours in that calm space, watching the day go by. Adorning the ceiling is a huge collection of balloons in all the colours of the rainbow, perhaps for Pride, perhaps for something else, or simply to brighten the room. As for the prime feature – the bar – it has shelves and shelves of liquors and spirits, all of which tie into the cultural modern celebration that social drinking has become: glamorous, swanky, and very pink.
Aka The Main Event. I, of course, opted for the millennial classic of avocado on rye bread, complete with poached egg, mint, chopped peppers and onions with a slice of bacon as an extra. I refused to look at the glorious farm pig out of the window as I tucked in. Sorry Mr. Pig. It might be because I haven’t tasted avocado from a café in a little while, but oh my goodness was that brunch so incredible. The avocado was faultlessly smashed, and the bacon was crisp and salted just how I like it; the egg was poached to perfection and the added spice of mint leaves made it the most delicious kind of meal. I can still taste the gorgeous hints of flavours as they rolled around, mixing together to create something completely divine and yet so simple. That is the beauty of avocado on toast. Not only is it a new-born classic, all the flavours and textures make it a true favourite and undeniably delicious. I am certain that the rest of the meals are just as marvellous as mine was and I want to say that I would love to try the rest of the menu, but I know that when I return, I’ll be ordering the same again.
Ever since my trip to the local delicatessen in my new home of Shipston-on-Stour, I have become more intrigued by free range, shopping locally, farm goods and eating perhaps more organically. As the world goes down this spiral of mass-production, preservatives and the need to buy more to save more, I feel like in turn, we are forgetting the “little people”, those with their own farms and their own companies, the original bakers and butchers and fishmongers, the vegetable man from down the road. At least, that is what it sounds like when I hear my mum and dad’s generation talking about their childhood. The produce in Claremont Farm shop is incredible: fresh fruit and vegetables, mouth-watering sweets and treats, oils and vinegars, local wines and spirits, jams and chutneys, and handmade cards by local artists. The fact that the produce is homegrown, especially the likes of their strawberries and asparagus, is almost patriotic and filled with a pride for the local farmers and their customers too. Plus, the bakery, the butcher and even the milk is from locally sourced produce right here on The Wirral. There is so much variety for the everyday kitchen, an afternoon treat, as well as gorgeous gifts for friends and family.
The best thing about this place is that it is tucked behind a set of trees, down a lane and another. I had no idea that it was there, but then I don’t venture to Clatterbridge too much, if ever. It’s a good thing that people inspire others to head to different places through word of mouth. The car park and parts of the farm itself might not be much to look at; at the end of the day, it is a working farm and not made to look pretty, rather a functional space for gorgeous produce and its farmers to make a living. Nevertheless, when you look beyond the café, towards the south (I could be completely wrong in terms of direction), all you can see are fields and fields underneath the bright, blue sky. It is a beautiful, phenomenal and mesmerising view, and sometimes you would never think that you could get a view like that in the place that you have called home for the majority of your life… as if it’s too good to be true.
Have you got a local café or farm shop that you adore?
Love, Faye xo