NEW Tea Room and Farm Shop NOW OPEN!


Yes that’s right – after years of planning and months of construction our new tea room and farm shop opened at Fordhall Farm this weekend.
We went for a soft opening, so no major publicity, but lots of signs at the end of the drive. We thought that we needed a little time to find our feet before we invite the masses… This would allow some time for staff training, remember everything we’ve forgotten, plan the menu etc. But a lack of publicity did not seem to matter, at lunch time every table in the tearoom was full!
The farm shop was bustling and everyone jumped in to help. The rustic tearoom and the clean lines of the oak canopy to the farm shop, make Fordhall a lovely space to sit and relax, and our visitors seemed to agree. With homemade soup, local cakes, sandwiches and organic teas, the tearoom vision we had is now a reality.
To be honest, it still feels like a blur. Arriving at Fordhall, with the new signs at the entrance, the gravel on the drive, and then the beautiful old dairy building, restored and revived. It is a sharp contrast to the run down buildings that greeted us only 9 months ago.
There are so many people to thank for this project, too many to list here. But they all know who they are. From the thousands of people who donated to our appeal last year which matched the generous funding from Advantage West Midlands, to our board members, our staff, and the many volunteers who tirelesly sanded tables and chairs, moved equipment and helped clean the space in preperation for today. Not to mention all the professionals who worked on the build including Shingler Construction, Seven Architecture and WCP Associates. And of course to Oliver Allan for his wonderful photos. Thank you all.
With the first day behind us, our focus now turns towards our AGM and Farmers’ Market next week. Our upstairs classroom and office space is still in construction, but it won’t be long until we can fully move in.
We hope to see you soon.


P.S. Lots more photos can be found on Oliver Allan’s Flikr page

Comments: 5

  1. Hi Charlotte, Ben,

    Well done both of you, you must be feeling over the moon after all the hard work you both put in. Its great to see the restoration and it will add to the great feeling about Fordhall. The farm has life and energy and gradually it’s vitality is being restored, this is a real milestone for you both I am sure.

    I don’t want to forget everyone else of course that must have put in thousands of hours to help and this.

    I look forward to coming up next weekend.

    Best wishes everyone,


  2. Can’t tell you how wonderful
    it is to see from the blog how it has all taken shape …everyone is a star!

  3. It is just plain BRILLIANT. A big ‘hip hooray’ to everyone that has made this possible.

    But don’t worry – I doubt veyr much you will be bored. So what next? Surely world domination is easy compared to this?! I can only imagine the excitment in the air at Fordhall.

    Big smiles to you all xx

  4. Hi Charlotte et al

    Hello from a warm/chilly/wet/sunny/cloudy/windy/still Kent. It’s weird weather, but at least we’ve finally had some rain after a couple of months of nothing.

    I just felt that I had to drop you a line to congratulate you, Ben and all the volunteers and workers who have clearly worked so incredibly hard to get the buildings finished and the tea room and shop opened on time. I’ve been reading the blog and what you’ve done is truly inspirational. Jason and I hope to make a visit some time this year en route to/from my parents in Lancs and will be able to check it out for ourselves. I can’t believe that everything has moved on so quickly!

    Anyway, good luck with taking the project forwards. We look forward to getting further involved in the future…although it would be handy if you were just around the corner and not 200 miles away!

    Best wishes
    Ruth (and Jason)

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