Feels like a while since we’ve explored a new place due to COVID and the toddler, so a visit to the Cotswolds came at the perfect time this spring.
The Cotswolds is a well-known, very pretty part of the UK, noted for using local limestone in their towns and villages. I don’t remember ever visiting before, and the sheer number of beautiful villages, well-kept pubs and cute cottages made quite an impression on me.
We based ourselves in a lovely cottage in the Shipton-Under-Wychwood village. After a lovely meal in the Wychwood Inn the night before, we decided to visit Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘Diddly Squat Farm Shop, which was only 10 minutes or so down the road.
The shop was made famous by Clarkson’s surprisingly excellent Amazon TV show ‘Clarkson’s Farm’.
There was already a sizable queue upon arrival, and given that the shop is quite cosy, it understandably was moving at a snail’s pace.
As we did not need any groceries, we decided to have a peep at the back of the shop, where there is a coffee van and a barn which houses a bar, some goods from the shop and a local chap selling some wooden objects he has made.
The shop and ‘Big View Cafe’ in the barn next door are a work in progress, but there is potential for a great spot to grab a beer or coffee and sit outside. There is a great view, which I seem to lack a photo of. Sorry about that.
I picked up a few Hawkstone lagers and some ‘Diddly Squat’ shandy cans at the stall.
The lager was very good, and it seemed to be stocked on draft in several of the pubs nearby, with Clarkson being a one-man marketing campaign. Very well done bottle design. I wonder if it will make it into cans? Perhaps bottles have that premium feel for a lager; not sure why; maybe it does for some older lager drinkers who do not drink modern hoppy craft beers and prefer to drink straight from the bottle, but not a can.
The shandy was as refreshing as you’d expect, and I’d happily drink a load of them if it were a little cheaper. Great can design too. Well worth visiting, and served as a useful juxtaposition to a visit to the famously fancy, established farm shop Daylesford Organic.
I’m keen to see what crazy stuff happens next on Clarkson’s farm, and to see if a profit can be made. Let’s hope there is another series!