Pick Your Own Fruit, Farm Shop and Traditional English Tea Room
Royal Oak Farm is a stunning example of a quintessentially English tea room, a traditional pick-your-own fruit farm and a gorgeous farm shop packed to the brim with produce grown and meat reared within just a few miles.
Nestling among Devon's stunning Blackdown Hills, yet just a few minutes from the A303 - the main artery into Devon and Cornwall - Royal Oak Farm offers a true taste of the West Country.
The family-run business started when David and Julia Williams moved to the farm with their young family and put an abundance of daffodils to good use by selling them on the roadside. Twenty-five years on and Royal Oak Farm is something of an institution in the area, loved by the locals but also attracting a loyal customer base from far further afield, as illustrated in the guest-book which bulges with praise from happy customers. It was even featured on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage series cited as one of his favourite places in the area.
The fabulous cream teas served daily throughout the summer are made all the more delicious for being presented in fine bone china tea sets. All scones are freshly baked each morning and served alongside local clotted cream and home-made jam produced from the strawberries raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants grown on-site. Light lunches including home-made quiche, home-grown jacket potatoes and freshly prepared toasted sandwiches are served in the idyllic garden during the summer months.
Open year-round Royal Oak Farm takes on a new magical charm in the winter. Locals buy their Christmas trees and many essential elements of the all-important dinner, while the summer menu is replaced with hearty dishes such as casserole or shepherds pie, and delicious mince pies. All this is served in the 17th century tea room, complete with original exposed beams and warmth from the inglenook fireplace.
Once you've had your fill in the tea room, a trip to the farm shop will have you dreaming about dinner. Talented local cooks contribute to the wide variety of cakes, biscuits and treats on offer, along with frozen 'ready meals' made with local produce and incredibly succulent meat reared on the surrounding farms. An array of fresh fruit and vegetables, locally made bread and other essentials such as milk and eggs ensures the farm is a true community hub.
When you've seen all this you probably won't want to leave. And you don't have to, not straight away anyway, because David and Julia let out a charming mobile home for holiday-makers. Priced from £260 per week, it's perfectly situated to enjoy the beautiful countryside and rugged coastline of East Devon and West Dorset.