Farm Shop Survey – Hopetoun House

Prompted by the autumn newsletter from this next Farm Shop, I thought it was about time to introduce you to my secret mecca of Scottish gourmet treats.  And what, you may ask would that entail?  Well, come with me for a wee shopping trip to the newly opened Farm Shop of Hopetoun House.  Now, before we go any further, farm shops are by and large a venue for a single farm or a collective of farms to sell their goods directly to the customer.  The picture below is the modest and unassuming “shop” that is attached to the very rear end of the Hopetoun House lands which supply the vegetables, beef, lamb and game (grouse is in season – woo hoo) for said shop.

Hopetoun Farm Shop

 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.

Hopetoun House in all its glory

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!

Hopetoun Farm Shop Interior 2011

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…..

How greedy am I? I couldn't even wait for the picture before sneaking a taste!

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.

Really, who doesn't need a reliable source of quail's eggs?!

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!

Said to have originated in Forfar in 1850, these are now a staple in every Scottish bakers.

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.

And lest you think that Elderflower exists only in a Monty Python punchline, feast on this creamy if slightly bizarre concoction of local ice cream.

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…

Tea room of the Hopetoun Garden Centre at closing time.

Tea room of the Hopetoun Garden Centre at closing time.

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!

View from South Queensferry back to Fife

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!

 

Happy Friday…

 

 

Comments (3)

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  1. Nicole says:

    Hi Jean!!! How was your holiday? I hope you had a fab time.
    I enjoyed reading about Hopeton house, particular the gourmet deli. I hope I can get there someday soon.
    Hope to see you again soon.
    Ciao!!

  2. Gigi Murphy says:

    Jean, there is no way to contact you on this website – or not easily findable (is it RIGHT in front of me?) I can’t get you on Facebook – dunno why. Maybe try me?

    Anyway, do send me your email darlin. LOVE the website!!! TOTALLY inspires me. Jean, I can just FEEL the greatness to come from all this!! It’s a WOW!!!

    Love Geeg

  3. tea says:

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this topic here on your site.

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