However, this is Hopetoun House, one of Scotland’s finest stately homes with over 6,500 acres at hand. You can check it out a bit more at http://www.hopetoun.co.uk/ but it is really a post in and of itself (if not more than one), but for now let’s just say that it is massive and is quite a bit more than your average ”farm” supplying its own farm shop.
The shop itself was not the easiest place to find and I was less than bowled over by the simple appearance. My heart sank even lower upon entering the shop as I was hoping for a Balducci-type abundance but was greeted with a sparse “jam as art” decor. However, the fates were shining on this venture as I happily sampled and bagged a serious haul of Scottish yumminess….check it out!
There is a great comment in the oh, so Scottish crime drama “Taggart” (“There’s bin a muhr-duhrrrr…”), that decries someone being “as Scottish as salami”. Well…..
here you have it – venison salami! Super yum but mild in taste, so don’t overdo it with a strongly flavoured accompaniment. Best stick to a mild chutney or smoked cheese and oatcakes but ooooooooo it is good!
This was another treat that couldn’t help but illicit an involuntary moan of pleasure – a blue cheese and pear pate – phwarrrr! Instead of serving a big ole cheese board at the end of your meal just bring out this baby, some biscuits/crackers and seal the deal with candied or spiced nuts and fresh fruit, mmmmmmmm.
If you are feeling terribly posh and simply must have a grilled asparagus starter with poached quails eggs topped with shavings of parmesan and cracked black pepper (which is quite yummy), look no further for a reliable source for your fouffy ingredients!
And if it is something heartier that is calling to you, get your hands on one of these. For the uninitiated, a Bridie is usually a parcel of sturdy but flaky pastry to be eaten with the hands, filled with intensely flavoured beef stew at nuclear hot temperatures. A slightly acquired taste for the average North American (well, for breakfast anyway) but an a cold rainy Sunday morning, a Steak Bridie with a strong cup of sweet tea is nirvana.
There is also a great selection of Scottish cookbooks with this one catching my eye…Christmas prezzie anyone?
This farm shop does not have a dining space as there is one next door in the Hopetoun Garden Centre. This is a garden centre not for the faint of heart and should only be entered if one has been properly inoculated for floral cloth and Hunter wellies. Below is a shot of the tea room there…
which I couldn’t appreciate in full as it was closing time and I had grumpy children with me but I simply had to include a bit about the Tea Room as,
in order to get there you have to wander around a quite lengthy, twisting trail to survey the various sculptures of nymphs and lion’s head that your estate may need. I love the lion on the right as he looks like he is mid sneeze, surely not the most noble moment to be cast in stone!
Well, being very happy with our discoveries and with the Gooseberry ice cream in danger of melting, we hightailed it home back across the Firth of Forth to the safety of the Kingdom of Fife (say that ten times). Another spot for local deliciousness on the map for future visits!