This hidden gem of a farm shop is one of the best in the Cotswolds

Bruern Farms Shop & Café sits on the Bruern Estate near Chipping Norton in the north-east corner of the old Norman hunting grounds that has been providing food for the community for over 1,000 years.

Garden at Bruern Farms Shop

Nowadays, with the help of 22 passionate and talented staff, the Bruern Estate owners, Henry Astor and wife Leslie are continuing the ancient tradition of providing food for the community and visitors through home-grown produce sold in their farm shop and café.

Leslie, Henry and Jane

Henry is a third-generation farmer who became custodian of the 1,250 acres at the Bruern Estate from his father in 2017. With Brexit causing uncertainty in the farming community and changes in the Cotswolds turning a previously agricultural environment into a tourist destination, Henry realised that diversity was paramount to his future farming success.

So, Henry started taking orders from locals for fresh venison and then set up a farm shop primarily to serve locals with freshly baked bread, locally bottled milk and eggs from their own free-range chickens.

Over time, the shop grew and, in 2022, Wildflower Magazine included the business in their list of best farm shops in the Cotswolds.

The café opened in December 2022 and an official opening was held exactly seven months later in July 2023. Around 100 guests turned out to celebrate the opening of the café and hear Henry talk about his vision for the business and the community.

Guests celebrating the grand opening

Clare James, who has lived in Bruern village nearly all her life, is a regular customer to the café and farm shop. She said: “I love the farm shop and walk to it from my home. I bring along my empty egg boxes and milk bottles to re-fill and feel very smug that there’s zero carbon footprint and that I’m helping the environment.”

“Our farm shop and café encompass our biodiversity values,” explained Henry. “We grow over 300 varieties of grain including heritage wheats and barley, have our own mill and deliver fresh flour to many local outlets including Mor’s Bakery. We can even show bakers the field where their flour has been grown – and we think that’s pretty unique!”

At Bruern Farms Shop & Café, customers can buy home-pressed sunflower and rape seed oil, sourdough, pastured eggs and seasonal veg, saddleback pork, wild venison and slow-grown pasture-fed English long-horn beef and lamb as well as a variety of Bruern beers – Bruern Heritage Bitter, Bruern Gold and Bruern Lager – brewed by Chadlington Brewery from the Bruern Estate’s own heritage barley.

“This is as local, fresh and healthy as you can find, and we can’t wait to welcome you to the shop and café and share it with you!”

Fresh local produce

Currently, Bruern Farms needs more help in the café and on the farm – especially over the summer, so if anyone is interested in joining this happy band at Bruerns, please email info@bruernfarms.co.uk for a chat.

Bruern Farms Shop & Café at Bruern, OX7 6QE is open Monday-Saturday from 9am-4pm and on Sunday from 9.30am-4pm. For more information, visit www.bruernfarms.co.uk.


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