I am in love with farm shops. Not only do they remind us of the sustenance of yesteryear (before the advent of Asda) but they almost always have that welcoming, small-town atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.
Sitting just outside Dumfries town, Kilnford Farm is composed of shop, restaurant and nature trail. It’s a huge business that employs locals, trains butchers and exports homegrown foodstuffs throughout the UK. We’re lucky enough to have Sunday lunch at Kilnford’s restaurant, which is renowned for its home-reared beef, pork and lamb.
The dilapidated steading which once stood on the site of the tearoom has been lovingly renovated; the beams and high ceilings retained for a farmhouse feel. We pick our meal from the signature grill: salads and sides incorporating the best of the farm’s reared meat.
I’m not usually a meat fan, but when I can see the field the animal’s been raised on from the corner of my eye, I can’t say no. I plump for the pork, which lies on top of apple slaw and crispy neep scratchings.
The meat has that beautiful grilled flavour; the texture of the crunchy coleslaw contrasting with the warmth of the pork; the balsamic dressing cutting through the creamy slaw. Around me, diners munch on steak burgers, macaroni cheese and lamb.
Once our stomachs are happy, we’re treated to a tour of the fridge to see how the animals are prepared for our plates. Squeamish me is not too satisfied with seeing the corpses, but it’s interesting to hear how Kilnford remain true to their farming heritage. This meat is prepared, packaged and sold by the farm’s expert butchers.
The shop itself is full of Scottish produce, from local cheese and chocolate to gifts and greens — it’s a haven for food hoarders. Plus, there’s also a nature trail to explore that will help burn off those extra calories from that delicious slaw… Have a look at Kilford’s website for more information and opening hours.