Photos Andy Leese
Lobbs Farm Shop slap bang opposite the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall is a foodie oasis, a mecca to local and to the best possible ingredients. If you care about the provenance of the food on your plate then you have come to the right place.
Let’s start with the meat, which you can sometimes see ambling across the neighbouring fields. Beef and lamb comes from the Lobbs' own farm, pork from one a couple of miles away.
When the three Lobbs brothers who own 850 acres around Heligan decided to set up a farm shop they became pioneers of the local food movement in Cornwall. Their mission statement was local first, then Cornish, then West Country, then British and – only as a last resort – imported.
The veg deserves just as much of a fanfare as the meat, enticingly displayed in its wicker baskets, verdantly green cabbages nestling up to the finest looking wands of sprouts I’ve seen anywhere this Christmas.
The shop, housed in a converted barn, majors on beautiful displays, tempting and artistic stacks of chocolate or pickles or cider or biscuits - you won’t leave empty handed.
All the best farm shop staples are here – those wonderful, flakey croissants which you leave to rise overnight, frozen berries, good bottled Cornish ciders and ales.
There’s also a freezer section stocking home-cooked meals – treat yourself to the lasagne made in house by talented cooks Helen & Nic which, believe me, is better than Mama used to make.
Cornish Sea Salt, Burt’s Potato Chips, wonderful cheeses such as the tangy Cornish Nettle Yarg and Cornish Olde Smokey, oh and what a pleasure to stumble across Julian Temperley’s Kingston Black, an apple-based brandy aperitif which is so moreish you have to finish the bottle in one sitting.
And the best news of all? Lobbs Farm Shop now sells online so you don’t have to be a local or visiting Heligan Gardens to stock up. Go on treat yourself.