@Bizzy_Fizzy said this morning - after his toast and lemon curd - that we ought to go to Harker's today as we don't have very much meat left. It generally works out that we go around every four weeks but it depends on how many meat dinners we've had. Apologies here if you are vegetarian as this post will have some meat content - we only end up eating meat 2-3 times a week, so shopping every four weeks or so is just right. Harker's is near Nottingham, about 45 minutes from Oakham where we live, so it does have to be a decision to specially go there but it never disappoints.
As I have said before it is a proper Farm Shop. Not a shop on a farm. There are no greetings cards, books, toys, farm related or otherwise, no selection of silk flowers, dried flowers, wicker baskets ( except to put your shopping in ) . . . and no coffee shop with over priced drinks and mass produced cakes masquerading as 'home-made'. Sorry, I slipped into bitterness there for a moment. They do have a coffee machine if you absolutely cannot undertake any activity without a hot drink and they have a delightful farm walk where you can take little ones to see the various animals.
The entrance to the farm with a welcome sign and the entrance to the farm shop
Very generous opening times and help-yourself-to-herbs from the herb garden to go with your casserole
There are all sorts of cuts of meat you rarely see these days, you can ask for things that maybe isn't on display and they will most likely have it, or prepare it. The butchers there ( and there seem to be about seven or eight) are very kind and don't snigger when I ask for things with their Southern names ( I'm from Hampshire ) and when you have finished your shopping you receive a hand written receipt which has been added up using that mysterious skill - mental arithmetic. It's not even called arithmetic any more but part of the charm of shopping at Harker's is the tradition, the politeness, the desire to serve. Yes, there I've said it. Serve. What is wrong with service? Why is it so frowned upon nowadays? Why do people think that it demeans them to provide a service? Apart from basic politeness, I think it is a demonstration of their skill, their knowledge, and gives job satisfaction which can't be a bad thing.
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Lovely fresh veg, much of it local
Seasonal fruit and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . local cheeses
Eggs from the farm and some of Trev's purchases - asparagus and locally made Raspberry Crumble . . . . . . . and now the meat
Good, clear displays with weights and prices in new and old 'money'
Details of where each type of meat has been reared. They have free range chicken and all kinds of game in season
Footnote: We had the treat we always have on 'Harker's Day' - a rib eye steak for dinner and very delicious it was too.
Nottinghamshire, NG12 5PB
0115 989 2260