Thursday, 6 August 2009

Packaged Perfection

THE boy and I would probably argue over who knew about Daylesford Organic first.
He claims to have pointed it out in an article in the Sunday Times Style magazine yonks ago; I say I knew about it way before then. Like before he was born (after all, I am two years older).
Whatever the case, I think it's a given that we both wanted to go.
So on our way to the Noel Arms hotel we took a minor detour to Daylesford, a tiny countryside hamlet just outside Stow-on-the-Wold.
Daylesford Organic is essentially a farm shop with knobs on; a super chic farm shop which has been exquisitely branded.
But was it going to be a case of style over substance?
Having recently purchased some Daylesford Organic strawberry jam in Harvey Nichols, and finding it distinctly average, I had began to wonder.
When we pulled up in the car park, I was relieved we'd travelled in the Big Boy car. My little silver car would not have fared well against all those ginormous 4x4s and plush Jaguars. How I wish I'd worn my wellies!
Packed to the rafters with posh people wot lunch, we had to wait half an hour for a table in the cafe which, at 2.30pm, was drawing to the end of its lunch service.
We managed to cram in a few tasters in the shop while we waited, namely some delicious organic cheeses, raspberry vodka (syrupy, but never good on an empty tum) and bread dipped in fruity olive oil.
Seated in the upstairs of the cafe, we ordered hastily, our tummies grumbling.
To quell our hunger we nibbled on a plate of fresh bread, dipped in more lucious green olive oil. I scorned the boy for allowing his bread to soak up more than his fair share - it really was that good.
He chose the pork loin on a bed of shaved fennel with aioli, and while it's £12.95 price tag seemed steep, he was not disappointed when the huge hunk of pork with crackling arrived.
It was stuffed with fresh herbs and beautifully soft, although the boy said it could have been even more tender.
I opted for the grilled nectarine, mozarrella and mint salad with vanilla oil, and was similarly delighted.
The cheese was soft and unctuous while the fruit rich and sweet. The vanilla seed-studded oil was surprisingly complimentary.
Afterwards we ventured downstairs where the boy couldn't resist a slice of freshly baked Earl Grey fruit cake from the bakery section for pud.
The slice was elegantly packaged in a cute individual box and we scoffed it in the car on the way to our hotel. It was a good, moist fruit cake, nothing more.
And if I could summerise our Daylesford Organic experience it would be that boxed fruit cake; elegantly packaged and all-round delightful, but with no real surprises.


Heavenly Housewife said...

Soooooooooo jealous! I have got to go there!!!! Happy that you got to go but... before me???? LOL :D

Gourmet Chick said...

I've always wondered what the original Daylesford Organic would be like since I live around the corner from the Notting Hill branch. Had to laugh about all the flash cars!

Phil Lowe said...

That's sounds a fab day out for you and the boy and made me quite starvin' Marvin even at 10.25 am on a Saturday morning! I am going to French Living in Nottingham today with my lovely neighbour Joanne as a treat for a month's worth of cat sitting.

Emily said...

Wonderful Phil. Enjoy your day! Did you make it to Taste of Birmingham?