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The best places for foodies to visit in Hertfordshire this autumn

Foxholes Farm Shop in Hertford CREDIT Foxholes Farm Shop
Foxholes Farm Shop in Hertford CREDIT Foxholes Farm Shop

From farm shops to farmers’ markets, here’s our pick of the county’s crop!

Foxholes Farm Shop​, Hertford

Having supported Love British Food Fortnight, celebrating their own and local produce with in-house tastings, Foxholes Farm Shop hails from a family of farmers.

Catherine Smith, from Foxholes Farm Shop, explains how the farm shop came about.

'It was in the late 1990's when we changed from a milking herd of cows to raising cattle for beef. We were loading 20 to 30 cattle onto a lorry and when the cheque for payment came back, we realised we were not making any money. So, we started selling direct to the consumer from the farmhouse two days a week. It worked well as at the time I had two very young children to look after. We also attended farmers’ markets to sell our grass fed beef, as they had just started in Hertfordshire.

'After ten years we had grown out of the farmhouse and expanded into a purpose-built farm shop with on-site butchery and farm house kitchen.'

So what's special about Foxholes?

Catherine adds 'We are a small family-run farm and in control of what animals we breed, raise and produce and can learn and change with the customer trends directly. Three generations of the family work tirelessly to produce sustainable food and we are keeping the small farm going for generations to come and are not afraid of change or hard work to make it thrive.'

Foxholes offers a full self-service and counter experience on the butchery department, selling their own grass-fed beef and lamb. A game counter with venison, pheasants and partridges is available through the winter and they also make their own sausages, burgers and cure their bacon and gammons.

'Our in-house farmhouse kitchen specialises in savoury pastries such as meat pies, sausage rolls, quiches, pork pies, scotch eggs and home cured and cooked meats. We also have a large selection of British cheeses to complement a dinner party, small event to a large wedding cheese cake, a real crowd pleaser.

'Ambient/frozen products, fresh fruit and veg, local salad to complement the whole shopping experience, focusing on items not in the supermarket.'

Catherine also explains why shopping locally is important.

'A true farm shop sells their own produce from the land and adds value to it. Local communities need to support their farm shops, as in doing so they are helping keep all types of agriculture alive in their area. When you go for a walk in the countryside, the views, the beautiful crops growing through the season and the fields of livestock, cows and sheep will not be there to enjoy if farmers are not supported on a local level. Using local farm shops keeps money in the area and helps the whole community in the long term. Please shop local.'

And it doesn’t need to cost more adds Catherine.

'The perception of farm shops is expensive, but consumers need to know what and how to cook and they will realise cooking from scratch is a lot cheaper than buying ready meals or takeaways. Cooking is great for the soul and mind and a perfect way to teach the next generation recipes to be handed down.'

The Spooky Halloween Barn returns this October half term with tickets now on sale.

Where: London Road, Hertford.

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Great British Life: Supporting local is great for the community CREDIT Getty ImagesSupporting local is great for the community CREDIT Getty Images

Pearce’s Farmshop and Café

Described as 'more than just a farm shop' the team are committed to bringing customers the best possible produce whether it be from the pick-your-own onsite to the tempting local food and drink choices it stocks. As well as gifts and homeware, there’s a café, too, with views over the meadow. The pumpkin patch returns this autumn!

Where: Hamels Mead, Buntingford.

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Bury Lane Farm Shop

From its fresh produce with fruit and vegetables mostly sold loose to suit customer needs, there’s also the food hall with delicious food and drink products, and cellar with specially selected wines, beers and ciders. Add in the in-house butchers, fishmongers, deli and bakery and it’s easy to see why this family-run business, established in 1983, continues to thrive.

Where: A10 Bypass, Melbourn, Royston.

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Church Farm

As a free-range farm, the box scheme (available in fruit, veg and meat) have proved popular with customers. Most veg boxes contain seasonal produce and the staples of potatoes, carrots and onions, with other items changing weekly and in sizes to suit everyone. It’s a great place to explore, with woodland play area and farm trail and camping is available.

Where: Ardeley, Stevenage.

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Great British Life: Harpenden farmers' market has a waiting list for stallholders CREDIT Steve CollinsHarpenden farmers' market has a waiting list for stallholders CREDIT Steve Collins

Working with local suppliers, Harpenden has a thriving market with a variety of stalls.

Managed by Harpenden Town Council, a spokesperson said: “Harpenden’s Farmers’ Market is going from strength-to-strength and we are really proud of the quality and range of produce on offer.

'Farmers markets are a great way to bring vibrancy to the high street and we find it encourages residents and visitors to Harpenden who shop at the market and also benefits the permanent retailers.

'Farmers’ markets represent value for money; local organic produce and a reasonable price which is needed now more than ever.

'With a waiting list of stall holders who would like to be part of Harpenden’s market, it proves consumers are really supportive of local producers.

'The popularity of products on the market is ever shifting so we endeavour to ensure we stay ahead of the curve, welcoming new stalls when space permits.'

Harpenden Town Council works with Sustainable St Albans and regularly hosts the Sustainability Market on Harpenden Common. This allows a focus on living sustainability and to promote the issues around this.

When: Every fourth Sunday, 10am to 2pm.

Where: Lower High Street.


Great British Life: Harvest at its best CREDIT Getty ImagesHarvest at its best CREDIT Getty Images


As a large market town, it’s no surprise markets are still an important fixture.

The craft and farmers market takes place on the last Saturday of the month while

Tuesdays and Saturdays are general market days and Friday’s it’s antiques/collectables.

Fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, street food and everything in between can be found right here.

When: Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Where: 1A Churchyard.

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New for 2023, a regular monthly farmers’ and produce market, with a twist, showcases small, local independent, original makers, bakers’, creatives and craftspeople, to bring a vibrant and eclectic mix of local retail options. Southern Maltings indoor markets are also a must and include a Christmas gift market and Christmas food and craft market.

When: October 15 and November 19.

Where: Tudor Square.

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Welwyn Garden City

In its new and improved area, the food and craft market see local and national traders come together and sell a wide range of produce such as cakes, plants, jewellery, gifts, crafts and more. Hot and cold food stalls from the regular traders along with guest food stalls.

When: First and third Saturday of the month with extra dates in December.

Where: Stonehills.

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With an array of independent businesses in the town, there’s also the craft and farmers market which showcases some of the local food producers and farm shops within the area. An important part of the town’s heritage, it’s popular both with traders and visitors.

When: Every third Saturday, 9am and 1pm.

Where: Leys Square.

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In its new location, stallholders are from the local areas and grow, make or produce much of what they sell. A reputation for being friendly, vibrant, local and an ethical shopping experience, there’s pretty much all you need, as well as many interesting artisans to discover, too.

When: Every second and fourth Saturday, 9am and 12.30pm.

Where: Church Square, High Street.

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