My Herefordshire mini-break also included a visit to Laddins Farm to meet the beautiful Herefordshire cows who produce the excellent beef served at Verzon House. (Just so you know that I know – they don’t knit it or anything, they have to die for my dinner.)
Just as at the Chase Distillery, the road leading up to the farm had that same bright and lovely feel of the South of France. Delightful old buildings, a lovely farmhouse, and an oast house that had been beautifully converted and extended into a practical and modern family home.
Although I was there to see the cows I did spend rather a lot of time with the dogs. As soon as I drove into the yard they wee’d up my wheels and welcomed me!
I was dead chuffed to have two of them escort me around the grounds. As a kid I was always walking other people’s dogs – Shandy, Sally, Bob. It’s not that weird to be so excited to have the pleasure of the company of furry farm guides.
I could easily move to Herefordshire. The countryside is idyllic. Rolling hills, great big trees, and still plenty of sky. I still think my enthusiasm was helped by the magnificent weather I’ve experienced on every visit.
The cows were so funny. They are allowed to roam around the farm and traipse through the orchards on hot days so that they can choose to enjoy the sun or shade.
I climbed the gate into the field so as to avoid muddying my shoes near the latch. I was slow and cumbersome. My usual self.
I walked halfway into the field and the cows all turned to look at me. At first I thought it was funny, but when they got a proper jog on I was quick to leap back over the gate. High jump at school could have been so much more successful if only there’d been a couple of chunky ol’ heifers to chase me!
The girls weren’t after trouble, I soon found out. They were inquisitive and came over to look at me, and look, and look.
There was one who just stood there, separate from the rest, edging her way closer to me. Like a naughty child I jumped up, startling them all, they backed up and turned away. I had no need to fear them in any way!
The cows are so incredibly well cared for and respected. They live lovely lives with long days in the sun, and cheeky trips through the orchards. When they do go to be turned into dinners it’s done in the kindest way, for the benefit of the beef and the animal.
I loved everything about Laddins Farm and it’s owner Kate Chase, who was the most lovely lady, funny and charming.
Having visited the Chase Distillery, Verzon House and Laddins Farm, it’s just so blatantly clear and obvious that the Chase family have a great passion for quality and good living, and I think that’s marvellous!
On my way home I got stuck in traffic on the M6. I managed to travel about 2 miles in 2 hours. People got out of their cars and stood around. Two men leant on a van chatting about how claustrophobic they’d feel in my car. One man opened his door, put out his leg, swivelled his ankle, put his leg back in and closed the door.
As the sun went down behind me I sat in my car busying myself. I wrote up lots of notes and even made Adam a birthday card.