A Daylesford Day

Today things came full circle.

Almost three years ago to the day, Jeff and I stepped off the plane at Heathrow and started looking for a place to live in London.  On our first day on the hunt, our estate agent took us to lunch at a quaint little shop in Notting Hill called Daylesford Organic.  The shop is beautiful with its purposefully clean aesthetic highlighted by colorful organic produce, scrumptious bakery treats, rich dark chocolates, farm fresh cheeses, and packaged organic soups.  In the back are tables where you can order simple but delicious farm-to-table meals.

farm shop

Today, I visited the “mothership” as our cooking instructor called it, the Daylesford Farm outpost in the countryside a few hours from London.  Here we participated in a relaxing yoga class in the Hay Barn, followed by a holistic cooking lesson and lunch in the kitchen, and finished off with a relaxing massage in the spa.  In a word, heaven.

farm

Daylesford Farm is a slice of heaven.  The property encompasses over 2,000 acres of pastoral countryside committed to organic farming and soil preservation.  On site, all the ingredients are fresh from the farm:  The milk was collected from the cows at 5:00 am, the herbs were picked in the garden still covered in dew, and the produce was recently plucked from the earth.  We gathered around the impressive kitchen table for our cooking instruction.

IMG_2858Here we made simple but delicious dishes that had few ingredients but tons of flavor.  Our menu consisted of a fennel and apple salad with fresh goat cheese, poached fish and vegetables in a flavorful homemade fish and herb broth, and rhubarb “jelly” topped with crème fraîche and chopped pistachios.

You know you are in a serious kitchen when the various spices and seasonings are displayed reverently against a back lit shelf, not unlike the precious bottles of expensive booze at a fancy bar.

IMG_2856Animals are treated with respect on the farm.  Not only the resident chickens, pigs, and cows, but apparently the visiting dogs too!

IMG_2862During our cooking demonstration, our instructor explained that the best dishes are made of fine fresh ingredients combined with a healthy dash of love.  His passion was contagious and extended beyond the art of cooking to the science of maintaining organic materials.  At Daylesford, you are surrounded by this love for food and the environment; it is literally all around you…just look down at the floors!

IMG_2854The day was good for the mind, body, and soul. 

Coming full circle, the same could be said for our London experience. 

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