Food is never too far from our minds (and bellies) at this time of year. Warming, hearty comfort food and festive treats are top of the list. Thankfully, the Island is home to an array of artisan producers, makers, farmers and fishermen, all stocking our farm shops to the rafters with their goods. Read our festive guide to the best farm shops and what to buy for a truly local Christmas…
The Griffin family at Briddlesford have been producing dairy products on the farm since the first 15 Guernsey cows arrived in 1923 – and you’ll find that all Wightlink’s Wight Taste cafes use Briddlesford milk. At their farm shop you can pick up their very own range of cheeses, including Cheddar, Gouda, Caerphilly, Halloumi-style and Feta-style – phew!
They also stock the award-winning IW Cheese Company’s range, including the legendary Isle of Wight Blue, a multiple medal winner at the world, British and International Cheese Awards, most notably winning Best English Cheese at The World Cheese Awards.
Renowned for its quality meat, produced on the farm by owners Paul and Sue Brownrigg. They began their venture 20 years ago with a flock of free-range turkeys and geese. This has extended to include traditional Ruby Red Devon cattle, a flock of over 1,000 sheep and free-range hens that produce over 3,000 eggs a day.
They now run the Isle of Wight Bacon Company, producing their own free-range pork including a range of sausages, traditional pork joints, hams and their own dry-cured bacon, everything you could need for the festive season. You’ll find their farm shop on the main road between Shanklin and Newport, with easy access and ample parking.
The clue is in the name here, if you like garlic then no visit to the Island is complete without a venture round this impressive farm shop in Newchurch. From the hugely pungent to just a hint, you will find a garlic product worthy of your Christmas spread. Try tasty chutneys, splendid sauces and for cooking, the oak smoked garlic butter has been sent from heaven. For something a bit quirky to toast the season with, pick up a Black Garlic Beer or have a stiff Black Garlic Vodka.
Tucked away in Brading (right next door to Oasis) Delysia Farm Shop is a gift to the eyes as much as the belly!
Beautifully constructed by owner John Day, the wooden hut looks like it’s straight out of Lapland, although rather than tinsel and toys, it is bursting with colours, flavours and smells. On display, you will find freshly laid duck, goose and chicken eggs including rare Araucana eggs, a hybrid of two South American breeds, resulting in a beautiful blue hue to its shell; hand-picked fruit and vegetables; seasonal meats and game with wild boar and venison from the Forest of Dean. There is the added bonus of an onsite smoker where John smokes wild game such as pheasant and partridge.
At the heart of the community, Brighstone Village Shop is everything you would expect from a picturesque village store. The Hollis family have managed the shop since 1976 and stock a wide range of local produce, providing the perfect one-stop shop for all your festive food needs. Fresh and fragrant fruit and vegetables are displayed outside, with pumpkins and squashes taking centre stage in the colder months. People flock from the West Wight
for the fresh bread and cakes that are delivered Monday to Saturday, including the legendary artisan sourdough from The Island Bakers.
Don’t forget that you can stock up on a range of local produce at our Wight Taste outlets on board and at ferry ports too!