Welcome to Liverpool Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Liverpool ConfidentialFood & Drink.

This little piggie

Samantha Grimes takes the big and little boys down on the farm at Arley Hall

Published on May 6th 2010.

This little piggie

On a balmy April day, the husband, Ginger Prince (GP) and I embarked on the latter's first-ever Big Day Out (don't feel too sorry for him – he's only seven months old, it's not like he's been locked in a coal bunker for 18 years).

GP cooed at the lambs, dribbled at the pile of sleeping piglets, and looked aghast at the very large Highland cow, scratching her back with some seriously long horns.

Armed with enough baby supplies to stock a medium-sized branch of Mothercare, our destination was Stockley Farm on the Arley Hall estate – a 750- acre organic farm located deep in Cheshire, a 10-minute drive from Knutsford.

They offer the usual selection of baby animals to goggle at – lambs, goats, piglets, calves, rabbits and some spectacularly recumbent Kune Kune pigs which the Ginger Prince never displayed any interest in because he couldn't tell what they were.

Stockley also stages birds of prey demonstrations, has a delightful tea room and plenty of opportunities for older kids to let off steam in the large play area and on the nature trails.

On arrival at the free car park/large arable field – the first time the Audi has ever knowingly been off-road – we were directed towards a large tractor and covered trailer, which was to be our transport to the farm, a few minutes' ride away.

Needless to say, the GP was immune to the charms of our rustic transport, and spent the short journey staring open-mouthed at an admittedly peculiarly-adorned lady in front of us.

Descending from our charabanc, we headed straight for the barbeque stall, where we swiftly polished off two handsome freshly-cooked organic cheeseburgers and mooched over to the Riverford Organic area where the nice lady chef was rustling up a delicious spicy parsnip soup. Made with entirely organic ingredients grown on farms working in partnership with Riverford, the pungent bowlful even inspired Husband to praise its taste, and this from a man who's never wittingly eaten a vegetable in his life unless it's been smothered in cheese sauce or ketchup.

The Riverford stall also provided us with information on their home delivery service, which they are now rolling out across Manchester city centre, as well as Cheshire. Selling everything organic from the ubiquitous veg and fruit to meats, fish, dairy, and even alcohol, delivery is free and weekly, if required.

The boxes on display looked like fruit and veg porn, so round and healthy were the potatoes, and glossy the tomatoes – they flouted my one experience of organic box veg many years ago, which was an expensive disaster, and saw me frantically scrubbing at an unidentifiable muddy object from the box in an effort to determine what it what was. Once cleaned, I still didn't know what it was. Turns out to be an artichoke.

We rounded things off with an ice cream each (GP excluded from this on grounds of my sanity) and a visit to the cute baby farm animals who were kindly grouped together in easy-to-view pens in a barn.

GP cooed at the lambs, dribbled at the pile of sleeping piglets, and looked aghast at the very large Highland cow, scratching her back with some seriously long horns. GP was more transfixed by the beautiful barn owl which was taking part in a demonstration on the lawn in front of the barns, swooping obligingly onto the outstretched forearm of a suitably-gloved little girl and then somewhat more randomly, onto the fence, where it sat and watched the display for a few minutes.

A trip around the stables elicited less of a response from our target audience, who had to be forcibly encouraged to poke Duncan the pony in the ear, and who fell asleep in front of the 18-hand Shire horse. We've since crossed 'jockey' off the list of future occupations for him.

What with the mini diggers kids can try, the sheep racing, the bottle-feeding lambs, and the various special seasonal events that the farm stages ('Cowboys & Indians' weekend in August sounds particularly fun), Stockley is actually a brilliant day out for kids of all ages, especially if the sun chooses to grace you with her fickle presence.

Our journey back to the car in the trailer was noticeably quieter than the outward trip, accompanied by a fair few nodding heads and sunburnt cheeks: as every parent knows, the value of a sleepy child cannot be over-applauded, especially towards the end of the school holidays.

Difficult to say what the GP thought of his Grand Day Out really, but if he turns out to be a vet, we'll know where that came from. As for me, I'm off to get myself a veg box, now I've witnessed Husband eating healthy food with my own eyes...

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


I'm browsing away perusing your web journal from my lap! Simply needed to say I adore perusing your…

 Read more
John Decock

it's truly cool meaningful blog. www.digitalhikes.com/…/pitampura.html… Connecting is…

 Read more
Prof. Chucklebutty

This sounds like it will be a very popular event. Although personally, I would prefer my dinner…

 Read more

Please refer to the sentence up the top about one or two glaring omissions...

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2022

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code