Park Farm – Ramsbottom
For anyone slightly further North of the city, Park Farm Shop & Garden Centre is the one.
A longstanding family run business, Park Farm, home to the Lees family, has been a working dairy farm, garden centre, fresh produce shop and cafe since before I can remember.
Probably the most traditional of the four, the shop offers up local fruit and veg with eggs from the hens just across the road with hand baked cakes, pies and treats from the ladies in the cafe upstairs.
Their lunchtime food offering comes in the form of afternoon tea, including a selection of sandwiches, incredible homemade sausage rolls and pasties and again, those sweet treats. They also offer a buffet menu with an array of traditional English home cooking including Cottage Pie and Lamb Hot Pot.
The crowning glory at Park Farm and a must mention is their Whinberry Pie. A proper taste of my childhood – this was always homemade by Grandma Lees and I’m sure it still is.
Park Farm Tearoom, Bury BL9 5NP
The Lambing Shed – Cheshire
For those based south of the city it doesn’t get much better than The Lambing Shed. A great space in the lovely Cheshire countryside this is the largest of the Farm Shop / Cafe’s we visited and also boasts some top summer music festivals.
The indoor / outdoor covered terrace sets you up for a nice afternoon watching the world go by whilst tucking into a variety of menu options. The Lambing Shed offers up a wide scope of choices within a well considered menu.
You can get your brunch classics of course and done very well, Poached Eggs never tasted so fresh, but how about Butcher’s Homemade Black Pudding & Apple Fritters with Mustard Alioli or The Lambing Shed Bone Marrow Burger?
A great place for some local produce, access to the Cheshire countryside and of course those above mentioned fritters.
The Lambing Shed Farm Shop & Cafe, Moseley Hall Farm, Chelford Rd, Knutsford WA16 8RB
The Albion – Saddleworth
For those based more on the east side of Manchester we’ve picked out The Albion.
A great spot for some classic farm shop cafe food, I can recommend the Roast Beef Sandwich though I wished to God I’d had the Rag Pudding – it looked amazing as I saw the chap on the next table tuck right in.
Farm-fresh savoury aside, Albion is also known for it’s adventurous cake choices – slice of TWIX Cake anyone, or maybe LOTUS Biscuit Cake is more your thing?
The shop and produce itself is of course brilliant and if you’re of a mind to make even more of your afternoon I can suggest the Roman Fort / Reservoir walk that begins just 4 minutes down the road.
Albion Farm Shop & Cafe, Oldham Rd, Delph, Saddleworth OL3 5RQ
The Kitchen at The Hollies – Lower Stretton
With 2 venues to choose from we opted for Lower Stretton Warrington covering off the westerly side of Manchester, though if you want picturesque – a further 20 mins will get you to the south Cheshire option.
The menu has a clean & lean collaboration with Emma Wilson Fitness which offers up a less-carb alternative but still with a little bit of naughty – like melted cheese with the lean burger which is pretty damn good, mainly on account of the burgers being their speciality.
The staff are lovely, the space is small but nicely finished and if you fancy afternoon tea which did look great then book in advance.
The Hollies Farm Shop – Lower Stretton, Northwich Rd, Warrington WA4 4PG