There was a time not so very long ago when anyone pulling into a roadside farm shop would expect to come away with some fresh local fruit 'n veg - maybe a sack of King Edwards and a box of Cox's Pippins. Well, if Devon's famous Darts Farm food and drink outlet is anything to go by, those who visit in 2011 can expect to find a whole lot more. Some have even compared the blossoming establishment to Selfridges in a field.
Sitting conveniently just a mile or so from Junction 30 of the M5, the award winning shop has been lovingly built up by two generations of the Dart family. Darts Farm contains everything you might expect from a modern outlet catering for discerning town and country folk. The shop offers a deli possessing every manner of locally sourced goodies, a butcher's section stocking the sort of quality meat you would expect from the pick of Devon's farmers and a fish counter where you can buy and eat the freshest of catches from nearby Exmouth and Brixham.
Although the Dart family like to maintain their own unique stamp on the outlet, which they have created over the years, they are not averse to allowing a select few to operate concessions on the site. Very sensibly, these are precisely the sort of complementary names you would expect when appealing to country dwellers - Aga, Fired Earth and Cotswold Outdoors were some of the early arrivals to Darts Farm.
The latest initiative designed to enhance the overall Darts experience is to stage a number of regular demonstrations put on for the public, by a variety of experts in specialising in areas such as flower arrangement (Sarah Pepper) and cooking with chocolate (Willie Harcourt - Cooze) through to wine (Susy Atkins) and port (Johnny Graham) tasting.
Experience a range of master classes to help you wow your guests over the festive season; from choosing the finest wines for your Christmas celebrations, creating crafted and tasty cupcakes for your guests to flower arranging and creating your own centre pieces for the occasion. These classes also make for the perfect and unique gift.