Tag Archives: Townings Farm shop

Newick and Middle Farm Shop

4 Dec

The run

Not a good start to the day, being punched awake by the husband who was attempting to do ‘pinch, punch first of the month’ on my shoulder but got my face instead.

Dear daughter was very slow in getting herself up and ready this morning, how someone can spend 20 minutes staring at their breakfast before eating it is beyond me.

I had found a route on Walk, Jog, Run, a circular route of about 5 miles near Chailey, near to Townings Farm Shop that I needed to go to in order to collect my Christmas cake (un-iced). The route began at Newick and went to Fletchling before circling back. I discovered I could export the file from Walk, Jog, Run as a gpx file and load it into Great Britain Outdoors thus saving myself the work of plotting it all over again. This kind of worked although the loop did appear twice, I am not sure if this was because Dave (user 745381 at Walk, Jog, Run) had done the route twice or because of some other anomaly. Anyway it seemed good enough and off I went.

First impressions of Newick; I parked outside the Post Office and walked down to the fine village green, which had two pubs on it and a row of shops comprising general store, estate agents, butchers and pharmacy with a bakers across the road.

The Bull, Newick IMG_6175

There was also an Indian restaurant and a chiropodist; so bigger than I had imagined and with quite a busy road running through it. Also a beautiful village pump, which according to villagepumps.org.uk was donated by a local plumber in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee – and it still works!

IMG_6173 IMG_6174

Just working with the app today, no written directions like I normally have, and it was surprisingly difficult to get on the right route, although the cycle lane through the housing estates seemed like something a runner would want to utilise.

IMG_6171

It passed by some allotments and up into a modern housing estate.

IMG_6158

From here it was unclear which way to go next and I ended up circling around a bit and ending up where I started! Tried again, with variations, but most alternatives seemed to involve going on private land which I was not keen to do. I must have spent at least 40 minutes in this manner before finding a signed track beside farmland which also followed the route on the app.

IMG_6161

There was a bit of a commotion going on in the field with a flock of birds – squawking and fighting, the occasional one jumping a foot into the air, and the whole flock moving at speed across the field. I couldn’t really see what type of birds they were but assumed they must be some type of fowl.

IMG_6160

I continued on and the route seemed possible, a very cold, grey day, I was glad of the gloves, hat and scarf I had brought. I passed the water treatment plant and headed off across a field on which a clear muddy track was marked. This seemed to be going okay until the track forked off in two different directions, neither of which seemed to tally with my app. It was getting on for 11 o’clock and my blue dot was still hovering around near the starting point so I decided to sit down and have my coffee and pumpkin energy ball while I considered what to do.

IMG_6165

After my refreshments I decided to head back to the car: sometimes things do not work out and it was bitterly cold. I had had a walk and seen a bit of Newark – that would have to do for today. I have decided in future it is best to have written instructions and use the app as back-up.

IMG_6168

The farm

Headed for Townings Farm Shop to collect my Christmas cake and buy a few vegetables.

IMG_6182

Afterwards I drove to Middle Farm which is the largest and (probably) best farm shop in the area.

IMG_6178

They have several shops on site; a gift shop (traditional toys and homewares), a cider and Perry shop, plants and Christmas trees and wreaths, a cafe and an excellent farm shop with a butchers, cheese shop, bakery and large selection of dried goods, vegetables, confectionary and drinks. They also have lots of Christmas goods such as iced and un-iced Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, chutneys and hampers – ready-made or to make yourself. I bought a few things which I can’t post here or Santa’s elves will have a fit!

IMG_6179

The lunch

IMG_6180

Asparagus, beetroot and feta salad with some salmon on the side, eaten in the salubrious comfort of my car!

Advertisements

Forest Row and The Seasons Health Food Shop

27 Nov

Forest Row

The walk

Bright and cold this morning. A welcome break from a day of rain yesterday.

Had decided on a circular walk near Forest Row and utilise the shops there afterwards. A long-ish drive from the college at over 30 minutes but without lunch to factor in, I reckoned I had time. Lovely drive through Chailey Common and Ashdown Forest, a low sun, and autumnal colours on the trees. My Tom Tom took me most of the way there with a slight hiccup at the end when it wanted me to go down a private road: we fell out about that. Found one of the two car parks in Forest Row (23 hours free parking – that’s as rare as hen’s teeth! And a lovely on-site toilet – who could ask for more?)

Forest Row

Started off badly with the instructions – I don’t think it helped to start from the wrong car park! But Great Britain Outdoors soon had me back on track. Set off by walking through the town and heading off down by a stream, from here the instructions were very simple to follow and I didn’t have much trouble finding the route. In contrast to last week it felt very busy and industrious round here (of course, the weather was far better) but I was never without the hum of some farm machinery, or a dog walker, bike rider or pony trekker. A mixture of streams, fields, tracks, bridle ways, disused railway lines and roads, I enjoyed this one more than usual. I don’t know whether it was the variety or the sunshine but everyone I met was in a good mood. I am also enjoying walking rather than running because you can see more and converse more with people you meet.

Coffee break

I stopped for my coffee break on the bridge over a lively stream – everything was wet from yesterday’s rain so there were no convenient sitting places. Passed a farm with chickens wandering freely in the fields and then on past the spectacular ruins of Brambletye House. This was the home of Sir Henry Compton, built in 1631. It fell into ruin by 1683 said to have happened when the family fled to Spain after Sir James Richards (described as being ‘of Brambletye House’) was accused of treason. Novelist, Horace Smith romanticised the ruin in his book ‘Brambletye House or Cavaliers and Roundheads’ which has confused the history somewhat. The full article is here

Brambletye House

The shop

My shopping today was mainly centred around The Seasons a health food shop in two parts, one near the car park on Lower Road selling mainly fruit and vegetables, cosmetics and toiletries. From there I bought avocados, blueberries and some letterpress Christmas cards and tags.

Letterpress Christmas cards and tags

Then, the main shop is across the road and through the back entrance up some stairs or from Hartfield Road. This is well-stocked with all kinds of grains, nuts, dried fruit, teas, honey and spreads, as well as fresh bread, cheese and tofu. From here I bought brown arborio rice (for a chicken and asparagus risotto I intend to make tomorrow), some Greek yoghurt (which I am having tonight with some roast pears, and some nutritional yeast flakes (which is a substitute for Parmesan apparently).

 The Seasons Health Food Shop

The lunch

Had my lunch – haloumi salad with pomegranate seeds in the car, a woman rapped on my window – I thought she was after my space but she just wanted to express her disbelief and incredulity at the free parking!

Haloumi salad

The farm

Was about to head back to the college when a text came through from Dear Daughter’s TA saying they would be late back from the recycling centre (their trip today) so I took the opportunity to visit Townings Farm shop and bought some chicken and enquired about Christmas cakes. She is taking orders for 5 and 6″ iced ones and 8″ un-iced. I ordered an un-iced one, I usually make my own but I am going to be busy with work from now until Christmas. As I left the large rooster and his hens were pecking about the yard.

Townings Farm Shop

Chailey Common and Townings Farm Shop

11 Nov

The run

A terrific thunderstorm in the evening and through the night with lots of heavy rain, so I was not sure what to expect in the morning. There were still showers and so I packed the usual stuff, plus a book, plus Wellington boots as I thought it would still be very muddy on my planned route. I was determined to do the walk/run I had researched for last week that got rained off. I had found a nice walk on Chailey Nature Reserve, and had further prepared by trying an app that my husband is keen on: OutDoors GB. It does need a bit more preparation and you have to purchase the OS maps for the area you want which are quite expensive (East Sussex 1:25k cost £16!). You plot the route ahead of time and then when you are out on your walk/run you can see where you are from the blue dot and where you are supposed to be from the red line.

Outdoors Great Britain app

Outdoors Great Britain app

This was a big help and meant I didn’t get as lost as usual! The walk instructions were quite good, though I did go wrong quite near the beginning. Because of this I did get to St Georges early on instead of towards the end of the walk, but I turned around and retraced my steps until my blue dot was back on my red line!

IMG_5766

As I had suspected the walk was very wet and muddy and I was glad I had put my wellies on and walked rather than run. Some parts were deep puddles or more like walking through streams.

IMG_5769

At the top of the hill I stopped to admire the view and drink some of my coffee and eat my pumpkin protein bar.

Pumpkin protein bar

Pumpkin protein bar

From there the route plunged down into woodland with streams and bridges.

IMG_5794

I didn’t see many people during this part of the walk except when I came to the Philip Ridley Memorial Pond where a man was poking around the pond with a stick. He didn’t talk, in fact he looked away like he really didn’t want to pass the time of day or explain what he was doing. It was a bit creepy actually and I hurried away up the hill to St George’s.

IMG_5796

I was rather intrigued about St George’s – it looks like a little community in its own right. Apparently it used to be a residential school, built in 1932, then used as army accommodation during the war. Now it is used as residences. There is also a windmill on site which you can just see in the photo below:

St George's, Chailey

There is a windmill in here somewhere!

I tried to get a photograph of the windmill but it was quite difficult. I crossed the road and saw my car in the car park – the temptation to cut the walk short was strong but I continued on, around to the memorial stone and met a very sparky group of older people walking dogs – they were very friendly and cheerful and seemed to be having a great time! I was intrigued by the memorial stone which reads:

“You who walk these commons remember with gratitude Gareth Christian and Charles Constant whose loving imagination and unsparing labour led to the establishment of the Chailey Common nature reserve.

Their ashes are scattered on the land they loved 1971″
Memorial Stone Chailey Nature Reserve

Memorial Stone Chailey Nature Reserve

From there it was just a matter of circling around the Heath back to the start.

The farm

Townings Farm Shop

Townings Farm Shop

I had decided to visit one of my favourite farm shops: Townings which I knew was open on a Monday. I bought some apples (dear daughter is making apple crumble tomorrow in food tech), a pheasant – it’s on the approved food list of my clean-eating plan and I’ve never had one before so I decided to go for it! Also bought some ham (rather expensive but I’d rather buy quality) and I couldn’t resist Auntie Val’s English Breakfast Marmalade – I have an Auntie Val! And my husband is rather partial to marmalade.

Townings Farm Shop

Today’s haul

The lunch

Lunch was a healthy salad eaten in the car and a few chapters of Anne Frank which I am reading at the moment.

Lunch on the go

Lunch on the go

Tales from the Secret Annexe, Anne Frank

Ringmer and The Plough at Plumpton Green

22 Sep

The run

My friend, Joey (also a keen runner) had said she had seen some good running routes on the internet, which were near Ringmer. So rather than going further and further afield I decided to explore this possibility today. I used the Walk Jog Run app to find suitable loops and settled on a 5.5 mile one. Parked up in a suburban close and went to get my running shoes out of the boot…only… somewhere between brushing my daughter’s hair and struggling out of the house I had left them behind. Decided to fast walk the route instead in my unsuitable shoes. It was all on the road anyway so not too bad. Although sunny there was a definite nip in the air. The first part was through the village of Ringmer – nice, largish houses and I was almost immediately overtaken by an old gent in an invalid carriage shouting good morning and passing comment on the weather over his shoulder.

IMG_5546

Conservation Corner, Ringmer

Conservation Corner, Ringmer

Conservation Corner, Ringmer

The second part of the route was on a main road which had a shop selling basket chairs and rustic household items, a few yards further on was the Green Man pub.

The Green Man Pub, Ringmer

The Green Man Pub, Ringmer

This wind turbine became a good landmark to navigate with.

Wind turbine, Ringmer

Wind turbine, Ringmer

IMG_5551 IMG_5552

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting to feel like autumn with the first blackberries appearing in the hedgerows, conkers on the ground and hay bales in the fields. Lovely and warm by mid-morning though. Navigating was fairly straightforward as I was following roads and using the Walk Jog Run app.

Glyndebourne House

Glyndebourne House

I was surprised to pass by Glyndebourne House and Opera on my way round the route. This has featured on an earlier run here.

Wind turbine Ringmer

Wind turbine Ringmer

I was glad to get back to the car after the walk as I was beginning to feel light-headed and hungry – luckily I had packed a peanut butter, banana muffin – the recipe is here.

Peanut butter and banana muffin

Life saver!

 

The farm

I decided to revisit a farm shop I haven’t been to for a while – many farm shops are closed on Mondays so this aspect is becoming more challenging. I headed back to Townings Farm Shop at Chailey as it is almost a year since I have visited and they seemed keen to expand their business so I thought I’d see what they had been up to. It is a little off the beaten track – a single track road in fact, but once there they have animals to see nearby (chickens, rare breed sheep) and I noticed new signs to the pigs and vintage farm machinery. Inside was still and excellent selection of produce including their own sausages (sausage and bacon, lamb, Old Sussex and Black Pig Apple – for pigs raised in the apple orchard and with added apple juice for sweetness). They have added a small cafe which they spoke of last time, just a couple of tables and serving filter coffee and loose leaf tea but they hope to develop it further over time. I would have stayed for lunch if they had had more on offer.

The lunch

I considered going back to The Green Man at Ringmer but thought I would keep my eyes open on the way back and see what came up. As it happened I passed The Plough at Plumpton Green which had a lovely garden and tables in the sunshine so I stopped there and entered the deserted bar. After an urgent comfort break I ordered some food from the friendly bar maid and sat outside where I was greeted by an equally friendly black labrador called Zena who lay at my feet and looked at my adoringly. Shortly afterwards another dog, called Bob arrived with his owners – he wanted me to play with his lead but I declined. The food was also-ran (bit too much sauce on the fish) – the salad was really nice though and if you have dogs or children I expect you will get a relaxing lunch here.

Cod in Mediterranean sauce

Cod in Mediterranean sauce

South Chailey and Townings Farm Shop

26 Oct

The run

That coffee idea from last week? Definitely a good idea – coming back to the car after a wild and windy run and knowing that was waiting for me – motivation, people, motivation. The peanut butter sandwich helped too.

Okay, the intention today was to do a pretty circular route I found on Travel Log Lewes Walks, but as usual, as I set off and couldn’t work out which way ‘South’ was, and as there were two bus stops (one on either side if the road) the instruction about starting at the bus stop didn’t help either. So, after a false start and running up and down the road a few times, I saw a sign for a bridleway at the brick works (quite impressed they have a brickworks factory – hey at least this country is still making something eh?).

South Chailey brickworks

South Chailey brickworks

Started off as a very pretty run, seems like horsey country – lots of big fields with jumps in, large ranchy houses. Quickly led in to more wooded country, very muddy after last night’s storm, but clearly well-used by horses (if you know what I mean). It wound on. This is when I started getting proper psyched. Thinking about The Killing and Rachel Nickell, the woman who was stabbed on Wimbledom Common – go away scary thoughts! I picked up the pace haring through those woods (though you couldn’t tell from my average pace, lol).

Chailey-loop

Chailey-loop

Scaring myself silly

Scaring myself silly

Would it be better to meet someone, or not meet someone? Kept thinking about turning back, but a green field to my right and not wanting to admit defeat spurred me on. Much to my relief I finally came out onto a road, which I was going to complete my route on (thank god for GPS or I would have been completely lost by now) but…after only a few hundred yards I was tempted back onto a footpath by a sign. Lots of stiles to climb and more wondering if I was going the right way until I joined Markstakes Lane which did complete my route back past the brickworks. Plenty of countryside bounty on the route today: apples, blackberries, crab apples, hips and haws (not sure what you do with those?) a giant mushroom (but I don’t know my mushrooms so have no idea if it was edible – am certainly not up for experimenting with that!)

The farm shop

The good folks at Middleton Common Farm Shop suggested I come here, last week, so off I went. Up a single track road in the car (these give me the fear – imagine meeting something coming the other way!) to a fairly underwhelming exterior – I had been led to believe that this would be a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of a hallowe’en extravaganza. There were a few pumpkins outside which made a welcoming display.

pumpkins

On entering the shop (the only customer) I was met by a very friendly lady who obviously owned the farm with her family. She explained to me all about the meat on sale – their speciality – which was rare breed and sustainable. They also had locally sourced produce (jams, chutney, cheese) and some items that would make good Christmas presents (chocolates, knitted items and a book, I know someone would like). I spotted Auntie Val’s Date and Banana chutney which I was very tempted to buy in honour of my Auntie Val, but resisted as I have other priorities this week (and not much money, besides I have a cupboard full of homemade chutney, see Streat and Middle Farm). Eventually, I chose cheese, a gift for my son’s girlfriend – Brownie-making kit, and a Hebridean leg of lamb (which can be mistaken for beef apparently – I look forward to tasting its earthy flavours) along with some redcurrant gravy (as the husband and I are just rubbish at making gravy). Hopefully we can share this with our guests this week. After making my purchases I chatted to the lady a bit more about possible lunch stops (she is considering opening a cafe but hasn’t got that far yet), and the tearoom at Chailey Cross was recommended. Before I left I went to see the pumpkin barn, had a quick look at the ‘special care’ sheep in the field outside and tried to snap the handsome roosters who were strolling around the farmyard.

IMG_3155 IMG_3145 IMG_3147

The lunch

Lunch turned into a bit of a wild goose chase: the tearoom at Chailey I couldn’t find, I found the church and the cross, but didn’t see a tearoom but couldn’t be sure I had followed directions correctly, so turned around and headed back to the Five Bells Pub I had seen on the road. Very disappointed to find the kitchen was being renovated and there would be no food today. Decided to head back to my ‘fallback’ which was the Half Moon Pub at Plumpton, which I had heard lots of good things about from my friend Mustak, so parked up and headed inside. A popular place; quite a few clientele, though it was barely 12. Felt a little snooty on entering, all choral music and waitresses dressed far better than I was (not difficult if you enter in muddy running gear – quickly sorted that one, by heading for the toilets and having a quick change). Decided to choose from the lunchtime specials menu (2 courses for £11), as the main courses were £10 upwards (even a sandwich was £8 – you can tell it is end of the month eh?). I chose the chilli and pea risotto with leaves, (is there a pea thing going on? It was pea soup last week, see Ditchling Common Country Park and Middleton Common Farm Shop) which was lovely and delicate, not too spicy and perfectly moist – not too big a portion either, as risotto can be hard work after a while. For dessert I had vanilla and grappa pana cotta with a white peach coulis (get me!), it was delicious and beautifully presented – I would have like to take a photograph but felt a little self-conscious.

The freebie

Blackberries from the hedgerows! They got a little squished from being in my running jacket pocket (which is now a lovely shade of purple) but we made a fine apple and blackberry crumble in the evening which my guests very much enjoyed (it was secret crumble night, as the husband deplores cooked fruit we can only eat it once he goes out).

IMG_3136