Newest Review: ... to go outside to see the animals. When we came out of the restaurant, the cider and perry store was shut due to bring short staffed so... more
Cold day out on the farm
Middle Farm (Lewes)
Member Name: helen190390
Middle Farm (Lewes)
Advantages: great day out
Disadvantages: weather disturbed out trip
January 2013 me and Hollie took our first trip down to Lancing, West Sussex as that is where my partner's family live. We went for a week and the family had planned some days out for us when we arrived. It was awful weather when we arrived as the snow had been settling very well across the country and it had been freezing over over night.
One of our first day trips was to Middle Farm in Lewes as his family keep chickens and needed to go get some supplies. It was only a 25 minute drive and we were excited to go see all the lovely animals. When we arrived it was parking at the front and a shop at the entrance selling all sorts of animal feed, bedding and even runs/cages for smaller animals. As it was early, we were all frozen and desperate to have a coffee in their café.
****Middle Farm Plough Monday Restaurant****
The day we went to the restaurant, it was short staffed and the owners daughter was working and she couldn't make a hot chocolate which most of us wanted so poor freezing cold 4 year old Hollie had to have a bottle of milkshake as they had nothing else for children. We didn't mind as we could still have tea and coffee and they had an amazing selection of cakes. I ended up with a scone that was bigger than my hand. The coffee I had was horrible though and I think there was a bit too much coffee put into the machine as it was very strong to the point of not being able to drink it.
It wasn't very warm in the restaurant which was a bit disappointing as we had gone in there to seek warmth and something to drink. It was possibly because it was early and we had arrived only 30 minutes after they opened for the day. The seating was lovely and the room had a lovely inviting vibe. The walls were covered in some lovely photography of places around the area or around England taken by independent artists and they were for sale too which was nice. All in all, the food was nice and although my coffee was rancid, I went back for tea which was very nice and warmed me up ready to go outside to see the animals.
When we came out of the restaurant, the cider and perry store was shut due to bring short staffed so we didn't get the chance to have a look in. Outside the shop was a lovely pop up store with some flowers and veggie plants for your garden, but I chose not to bother buying anything as the weather was so bad that month I knew everything would die and not survive the snow.
****Entering the Farm to meet the animals****
We paid £4 each to enter the farm and look around at all the animals. When we entered, Hollie ran off in the direction of a tractor which children could sit on and feel like a real farmer. It was cold and icy but she still enjoyed sitting on it and having her photo taken. She got a very soggy bottom but children don't seem to care whether they are cold or not when they are having fun.
There was also a child's climbing frame area which Hollie wanted to play on so we had to shovel the snow off the slide so she could enjoy herself. The best part of the play area was the see-saw. I had to have a go but I also managed to freeze my bum off so quickly jumped off.
We then went over to where the chickens and hens were and saw some amazing species of poultry. There wasn't as many as there would be in the warmer months when the hens would roost but we saw lots of different ones with beautiful feathers. In the same area there were rabbits and some guinea pigs too. Who knew they could all live together in the same place!
The weather was a big issue with our day here as the whole site was icy. We all wore wellies but it was terrifying. Walking around the farm was difficult as we had an excited little girl trying to run off into the different barns and sections of the farm, and a very wobbly me trying very hard not to fall right on my bum. I would suggest if you are thinking of visiting this farm, to do it when it isn't snowing or icy as it was just too cold to enjoy it well as it was so cold.
We saw an amazing array of different farm animals. We saw some beautiful horses, big huge pigs, Llamas, donkeys, ducks, swans and geese and all the gorgeous chickens that we saw at the start. We saw a few sheep but I think the weather had meant they were moved to a different barn and the same with cows.
Nearer the the end of our walk round, we spotted some photo boards for us to put our heads through and take some photos. They are all farm themed and we had some good fun playing with those.
****Skies and Scarecrows****
Hollie had thoroughly enjoyed herself and so had we all. We were all very desperate to get into some warmth though so we checked out the skies and scarecrows gift shop which we soon exited as it was heavy filled with expensive toys which Hollie was desperate to have so I abruptly left so I wasn't made to feel guitly for not buying her something. The toys had just few associations with farms or animals so I felt like it was more just a toy shop rather than a gift shop. It also sold some handmade soaps and posh toiletries that I had to look away from too.
The shop itself was beautiful and looked very shabby chic and the typical farm style you would expect. The front was very sweet with cute windows and a farm style door. Mostly decorated with wooden panelling and a few farm cats drinking from a milk saucer.
****The Farm Shop****
We popped in here to check out their cheese selection as we had planned to have a cheese board and crackers for lunch so we chose a few different ones. We had, nettle coated cheese, Wensleydale with cranberries and some lovely others which have slipped my mind for time being.
I also picked up some nice home made biscuits which were chocolate orange flavoured. These were beautifully flavoured and tasted excellent.
They do have an amazing selection of different food, home made or bought in. They sell fresh breads, fresh cheeses and milk, vegetables and fruits and every type of preserve I've ever thought of. I did think it was very pricey and we didn't take much cash with us which I was glad of otherwise most of the shop would have come home with us. I did however come away really inspired to make my own jams and preserves as everything looks so yummy. I have since been searching the internet for recipes and have strawberries and blackcurrants blooming in the garden ready for some jams.
I was very disappointed we didn't get to go to the cider and perry shop as I really wanted to try some of their real ales and possibly buy some as a present for my dad but it just means we have an excuse to go back next time we are down visiting. We are also looking forward to seeing a few more animals next time and hopefully some baby animals. We are going down again at the beginning of June so we will try to plan it so we can feed the animals or even give them cuddles.
Even though the weather was so awful, we still had a brilliant time. We will definitely be visiting again and would recommend it to anyone. It isn't just a place to take the kids, it's also a great place for adults to visit and try all their amazing handmade alcohols and foods sold in the farm shops. We all had a brilliant time and took lots of photos and plan to take even more when we go back again in warmer weather. I will still make sure to wear wellies as there are a lot of animals that just walk around freely and wouldn't want to step in any mess!
I've never visited such a lovely farm before and hadn't ever stepped into such a well stocked farm shop before. It was a lovely day out and we all enjoyed the food, the farm and the animals. Don't forget they also sell all the feeds and things for your own animals if you look after chickens or other animals in your gardens. There were sacks upon sacks piled up with feed and beddings in the front stores.
I give middle farm 5/5 stars for being a brilliant day and the staff were lovely and helpful to us.
Thankyou for reading my review!
Summary: excellent farm