Best breakfast south of the river, food meets farm meets canary wharf :) where else can you see a goat and canary wharf at the same time? Nowhere apart from here :)
New to London and taking a walk along the Thames Path, I saw a sign for Surrey Docks Farm and Cafe Frizzante. What is this, I wondered. I happily approached and saw the "free entrance" sign, so I thought, why not?
Sure, it smells like a farm, but breathe through your mouth and get exploring! I'm glad I did :) I found pigs, chickens, rabbits, cows, donkeys, and goats to feed. There's an herb garden, dye garden, and orchard, to name but a few of the flora.
The cafe looked quaint and neat, and the menu was enticing, but being not hungry, I settled for picking up a packet of newly picked lettuce for .75p. They also sell fresh eggs, housemade sausages and meats in a cold case, and ice cream at the cafe.
What a cute little place! The Thames Path is lovely, and this is a fantastic stop. (Also, there are bathrooms, if you are looking to relieve yourself!)
Most definitely worth a visit. I'll be back for lunch.
I stumbled upon this gem whilst rambling along the Thames Path east towards Greenwich. It was a lovely afternoon and the placards along the path mention a cafe with ice cream. The entrance via the path is completely unassuming. There is only a vegetable garden and compost, nothing to entice you to enter (except for the ice cream). However, make it past the compost piles and you'll be instantly enchanted.
There's a large area for petting goats, separately there are also pigs, chickens, geese, cows, donkeys, and a pony. I'm sure we didn't see everything during our quick turn around the farm because we were so excited by all the shiny objects (plethora of farm animals) that we wound up moving too quickly, even forgetting about the ice cream. I think I was so surprised and overwhelmed by the awesomeness of this place that we had to continue on our way or stay forever.
The onsite cafe has an outdoor eating area. The kitchen sells food for £1 a bag to feed the goats. Hand washing stations are set up throughout. There is even Yoga at the Farm (yogaatthefarm.com) available. If this place was a religion I would shave my head, give away all my worldly possessions and move right in.
The Surrey Docks Farm is a little drop of hidden London. The Rotherhithe peninsula isn't maybe the best known part of the capital, with poor transport links and some deeply unlovely squatting estates, but there's a little gem here if you do make the trek. The farm is quirky loveliness in itself; cows, pigs and goats wander around gently mugging inner city kids and parents for grain before they get turned over by the aggressive and streetwise chickens who really rule the roost.
The whole thing is run on a shoestring for the benefit of the local community by a team of volunteers who sell the fresh produce on site to bring in some funds. Piles of eggs from the strutting hens in the yard and depending on the season there's goat, lamb and pork available too. It's a working farm after all and regardless how cute the little porkers are, they taste better than they look.
Amounts of this meaty provender end up in the excellent little on site cafe, Frizzante, along with veggies one presumes are also grown here. It's a basic operation with a snug open plan kitchen and mismatching furniture. There's not a huge list on the daily chalk boards, brunches and light lunches mainly, but rewarding enough after a wander round the farm.
Breakfasts and brunches looked superb; thick tubes of sausage, golden eggs and suspiciously homemade looking toasts. A jovial notice announces they are now, once more, serving baked beans - a must for any decent fry. Very local eggs are served scrambled with bacon or thick ham slices.
Controversially, and correctly as it turned out, I went for a roasted butternut squash quiche. Real men might not eat them, but I know all of the words to Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked so felt adequately qualified. Melting roast veggies in a soft eggy duvet came snuggled into a fresh, thin homemade pastry bed. A thick slice of being tucked in at a country farmhouse B&B.
Think twice if you don't like kids. The outdoor space starved ankle biters are prone to run amuck. If you can cope (or you have rug rats of your own), it's well worth the trip.
What a lovely way to spend a morning at the City farm! Took me back a good few years to when I visited with my primary school and saw an ewe give birth right before my very eyes!
My recent return was primarily to visit the cafe. All home-made fare and reasonably priced too. I had the tuscan sausage risotto at less than 9GBP, whilst my b/f had the fish pie which came with a healthy portion of salad.
We were tempted by the 1/2 organic roast chicken with roast potatoes and vegetables at 16GBP for two people, but decided to come back another time to try it.
Overall a nice place to visit, particularly when the weather is cool and dry.
A fantastic community resource which is well-run and great for kids and adults alike. Surely the only place in London where you can see cows, sheep and horses walking past the backdrop of the Canary Wharf skyscrapers...very surreal. The idea is that local kids (who may never have been to the countryside) can learn about food production so they know that pork comes from a pig, NOT from Tesco's.
Would be 5 stars except that the excellent cafe has recently closed down, which is a travesty. However, there is talk that a new farm manager has recently been employed who has set the re-opening of the cafe as their No.1 priority.
Open every day except Mondays. Strange!
I thoroughly enjoyed a recent visit here. It's not somewhere that is easy to get to from where I live but I was wandering past one afternoon and decided to have a good look around. I'd read a lot about the farm in the Wharf newspaper regarding vandalism and a row with the Post Office and Council, so it was good to see the farm for myself.
I would thoroughly recommend a visit. It has your usual city farm animals including; goats, chickens, sheep and has a friendly community feel to the place. It also offers excellent views of Canary Wharf just over the water. There was a bit of a pong in the air which put me off sitting in the cafe on the day I was there but it is a farm, after all.
Nice free farm, food in the cafe was superb although service was a bit iffy, but will still be visiting again. Brilliant alternative for people staying at the nearby hilton as its just a short river walk away. Breakfast is £7 and served all day. Tea is £1
Best city farm I have been to so far:
1) pretty gardens
2) A garden full of flowers that help to make dye 'a dye garden' so something different from other gardens
4)quiet wildlife garden
5) amusing live turkeys
6) cosy cafe fresh mint tea with proper leaves in, nice gooey cakes, cosy sofa
7) £1 a bag to feed the goats
8) £3.00 voluntary donation
9) free range animals
10) nice variety of animals
11) nicely designed
12) goats, pigs, pony, donkey
13) ducks though the pond was out of use at the moment
14) picnic areas
15) plant sale areas
16) second hand bookshop
17) Child friendly, but not dumbed down with with childish signs so nice for adults and couples to visit
18) Nice for artists to draw the animals, quiet spots to read
When you come along bring some:
egg cartoons, books and DVDs, crafts to sell so help keep the place going.
It is a lovely quiet place and it has stunning views of Canary Wharf, and recommend walking to it along the Thames Path on a Sunday and it is a lovely walk too.
There is a country pong but that's normal if you're on a farm.
What a truely fantastic place to spend a few hours. Close encounters with goats, sheep and chickens available in the farm yard. Donkeys, cows, pigs and a lovely miniture shetland pony all ready to make friends with. The animals are delightful but don't miss the lovely plant sections lovingly cared for by people with learning difficulties.
Staff and volunteers are helpful and chatty.
The cafe is a treat.
It's free to get in! Donate big time!! This place is well worth supporting with donations... I was told the cafe is a seperate operation so don't think eating in the cafe directly support the farm.
Viti the farm... You'll be amazed that such a place exists in the Capital.
fantastic for the kids. this farm has all the regular animals and a petting farm where the kids can get right in with the sheet and goats (beware if you have food, they charge!). there are the cows and larger animals at the back of the farm, and chicken and ducks running aorund all over the place.
there is a small coffee shop which is reasonably priced. thehot chocolate is great, espeically on a cold day!
its not always open, from memory its closed on a monday so best to phone first.
a great valiue, fun day out which kids will love and never tire of.
close to the bus route too, but parking around and about if you are driving. quieter than city farm in the east end and i'd favour it anyday
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