With just a 45-minute drive from East London. We arrived at Barleyland Farm in Billericay, Essex, owned by the Philpot family. The farm has 10 acres of arable land, and share the land with a village, Tiptree tearoom, attractions, The Magic Mushroom restaurant and you can even do camping. Passing the village, you get a glimpse of the 50 small businesses running their shops through the windows. There are arts and photography, beauty, craft supplies, pottery classes, music, pets grooming, wedding shops in the village.
Before we entered Barleyland Farm attraction we stopped by Tiptree Tearoom for a spot of lunch. The café and shop next door offer a more casual menu with self-service. There are 12 locations of Tiptree tearooms scattered in Essex and Suffolk. Staff is very welcoming and you can see the stacks of Wilkins and Sons produce placed throughout the tearoom. I never really noticed the label on Wilkins and Sons spreads but it has the place where it’s made Tiptree, Essex. Such a well-known brand that is sold nationwide in supermarkets is produced locally.
Inside Tiptree Barleyland tearoom
We had a table reserved and was shown to our seats, the room was filled with families and big groups having lunch. The décor is filled with empty Wilkins and Sons empty juice glass bottles used to hold flowers. A corner with a box filled with books for children to read, you see people having afternoon tea with the stands out on the table. Dark mahogany wooden round and square tables and chairs complemented the cream walls and natural wood furnishings.
The menu consists of the traditional Tiptree menu, which has sandwiches, jacket potatoes, salads, cooked lunches and baked pastries made daily. We choose two appetizers from the special menu to share. Deep-fried brie sticks and toasts with pâté along with our choice of mains. Every dish is freshly cooked on order in the kitchen. The juices are also from the Wilkin and Son’s brand, I ordered one of the apple & rhubarb flavours.
Block size brie cheese deep fried in a golden crust delighted us, served with a cute mini onion chutney conserve jar and a side salad. Crunchy on the outside, biting into a hot soft cheese leaving strings hanging out the mouth.
A wooden board with slices of freshly cooked toasts, a ramekin of brightly coloured meat pâté, onion relish conserve and a dollop of jam. A melody of sweet and savoury flavours were all present.
I had a lighter lunch option opting for the seasonal smoked salmon and prawn cocktail salad. You can taste the difference from shop brought leaves as the ingredients are all fresh produce.
The girls went for quiche of the day, one meat and the other vegetable version. It comes piping hot from the oven, a good bite on the thick crust tart base, a good creamy filling. Rustic new potatoes with the skin still on.
For more information visit Tiptree website.
Winter: Mon – Fri: 9.30 – 16.00
Sat – Sun: 9.30 – 16.30
Summer: Mon – Sun: 9.00 – 17.00
Barleyland Farm entrance
Once we finished our lunch, we made our way to the entrance of Barleyland Farm. Big bags of animal feed are available for £1 each. Currently, there is 50% off the farm entry with this special link. The very first animals we encountered were the goats in the shed. There’s a daily timetable for what’s on at Barleyland Farm. We missed a majority of the timetable and waited eagerly in the animal barn for lamb feeding, but nothing happened.
In the animal barn tons of animals are separated in sections. Pigs Polly and Flossy jumped to the top of the fence to say hi. Hornbeam and walnut the alpacas were fluffier and cleaner than the ones I saw in New Zealand. In the animal, the barn has donkey’s, rabbits, sheep, etc and you’re close enough to pet and feed them.
Take a moment and inhale the fresh air before heading to the birdhouse. Tiny birds tweeting under the winter sun setting down makes the moment for tranquil. You find two highland cattle’s roaming by the birdhouse; they are the gentlest creatures.
We made our way to the brand new nocturnal and exotic house inside the farm. Navigate through the darkroom, and see fruit bats, skunks, hedgehogs and more.
Making it on time for the birds of prey show we watched owls take flight before leaving Barleyland farm and making our way back to the Tiptree shop for goodies. The ingredients on the back of jars are made from all things you know and can read.
Barleyland farm is more than a farm, it’s fun for ages and families with plenty of extra activities to take part, from the farm, pottery, pizza parties, to camping. Lambing week is happening in February, you may even see new lambs been born.
Tickets and more information
As mention, there is 50% off until 31st January with this link.
Open every day from 10am*
March to October: Close at 5pm
25th & 26th October: Close at 3pm in advance of Spooky Nights
November to February: Close at 4pm
24th December: Close at 1pm
Closed – 25th December, 26th December and 1st January
I received complimentary lunch and entry to the farm in exchange for my honest opinion and experience.