A Place Beyond the Copse

 

39 years. That’s how long I’ve been tripping over non-existent objects for. 39, years. To mark such a momentous age, on the 19th, Harry took me to a delicious haven. Found just a frisbee toss over from the Devonshire county line, nestled amongst the lush Cornish grass, flanked by rabbits, patrolled by a duck on a power-trip, grunting fuzzy mangalitsa pigs (so cute, so very delicious – ahhh my brain!), swooping squadrons of swallows and a soulful cat (David👊🏻). Here you’ll find the culinary oasis, Coombeshead Farm.

It all started by stalking the place on Instagram (lurking & liking – you know you do it too) and hearing word on the hedgerows about what chefs April Bloomfield and Tom Adams had created on this 60+ acre farm. I can honestly say that I was completely blown away.

Their hospitality and openness made me feel immediately at home. In fact I was probably a bit to familiar (Sorry. Though, at least I resisted poor taste jokes, my usual awkward ice breaker). They create an atmosphere that you could just pop downstairs, make a coffee and raid the fridge.

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This place is seriously delicious. It’s inspiring.

The cynic might say, “well they are in hospitality, the key is in the title”. This is very true. They have a business to run and guests are the business. Bipedal bags of skin and cash, hoovering up food, happiest if an extension of the arm bringing beverage to mouth is the main exertion. Yelping gleeful at the sight of bathrobe and slippers. Fumbling mini toiletries into suitcases like drunken scallywags, groping feverishly at shiny doubloons. That’s not how I felt at here.

Greeted at the car by a ‘fresh from an accountancy meeting’ Tom Adams during one of the sunniest days of the year and given a whistle stop tour of the farmhouse, while chatting to another guest, it felt more like arriving at a mates house than one of the top places to eat and stay in the country. I challenge the most hardened hospitality cynic not to feel enamoured by this place. This isn’t just a skill, it’s a quiet confidence in the environment he, April Bloomfield and the rest of the team have created.

The food of course, is nothing short of absolutely fucking delicious. We’re talking food-meters, not miles. Delicate touches with classical techniques that will satisfy the most serious eater. All while you can enjoy it wearing you favourite shorts and t-shirt. Because why the hell not? Oh and the gnocchi fritto with pork belly? I want to be buried in a casket full of them. Or indeed placed inside a giant one. They are a beautiful taste revelation.

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There’s nothing like waking in a farmhouse room, with a sunny haze buzzing beyond the window. Swallows darting back and forth from their homes under the eaves. A mug of tea with a mangaliseta pig. Freshly baked rye and sourdough, meeting steel and salted butter. Black coffee with the tang of apricot paired with rhubarb compote. The prospect of a devilishly meaty sausage, deep flavoured crisp smoked bacon, bright buttery scrambled eggs and fruity brown sauce. A morning at Coombeshead Farm is worth the trip alone.

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