Gastronomic Farm Holidays on the Jurassic Coast
Bottle Farm offers two luxury barns for self-catering accommodation on the edge of our small working farm. Completed in 2020 by us – Hugo, a charcutier and caterer at Kit & Kee and Alice, a winemaker at Furleigh Estate, our aim was to offer comfortable places to stay while sampling the best local food and drink in this particularly gastronomic corner of England.
Local Restaurant Advice
We pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse of the local food, wine and restaurant scene and can offer advice on the best places to go, walking trips visiting local producers, and we sell the best of our own produce as well as a carefully selected range of food and drink from friends and neighbours.
Our offering varies according to what has been productive in the last year but you might find honey from our bees, culatello and salmi from our pigs, merguez sausages from our lambs or some goat chops for the barbeque. We will have local charcoal to cook over and cider from Nick at Axminster cider or a beer from Jon at Gyle59, and a bottle or two of Rob’s Castlewood or Alice’s Furleigh Estate sparkling wine.
History: A 17th Century Farm
Bottle Farm was built in the late 1600s and farm buildings were added, removed and rearranged throughout the 18th and 19th Century. It kept a small dairy herd, the cows milked in pairs in the parlour, until Farmer Johnson passed away in the 1970s. Mrs Johnson used to serve passing walkers cream teas in the curved, mud and straw-built open barn known locally as a cobb linhay. Today the linhay, with its lime-washed cobb walls and flint cobble floor still has its hay stalls and tethering chains, though it houses a pony rather than cattle. A cider press leans against the wall ready for the autumn harvest, just as it would have three hundred years ago.
Botany and Ecology
Much of the surrounding land is now looked after by our neighbour, a passionate ecologist who manages many acres of SSSI land (Site of Special Scientific Interest). His commitment over the years to low intervention farming means that we live in a part of the countryside which is still rich in wildlife. Housemartens and swallows nest around the farm, five different species of bats inhabit the outbuildings, buzzards circle the valley and hedgehogs, foxes, roe deer, badgers and even polecats roam the farm and its surrounding fields. Rare orchids and meadow flowers are abundant in the pastures.
Our 5 acres of land are farmed gently, the emphasis on growing the best food possible, with the emphasis on quality rather than quantity. We raise traditional breeds of pigs, sheep and chickens, breeding Maran hens for eggs and the famous Bresse Gauloise for meat. In the orchard we have planted local apple varieties for cider and for eating, as well as nut trees, plums and pears. Some of these trees will take decades to mature but we’re not in a rush.