M11, Junction 8; 16 minutes
Fri 8.30am-6pm (Sat 5pm)
Once just a shed in a field selling the family’s vegetables, the Pearce’s farm shop is now an abundant food emporium and café. Browse the shelves for Hertfordshire honey, fresh fruit and vegetables, smoked meats, artisan cheeses, Granny Pearce’s marmalade and fresh cut flowers. Most of the products are from the farm or one of 50 other local suppliers. Stock up on sensational car snacks at the deli counter then settle at a table in the roomy, oak-beamed café. It’s been built with the environment in mind and you can watch the family’s cows grazing in the fields beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows. When the weather’s fine spill out onto the patio terrace and picnic area.
Start the day with a proper farmhouse breakfast, or lunch on chicken, apricot and pistachio terrine. Book ahead for three terrific tiers of afternoon tea. Compostable cups and boxes are available if you want food and drink to go, and if you have time to linger in the summer, sample the raspberries and strawberries in the PYO fields