Sunday, 2 March 2008

Fanny's farm

At the time of writing this I am so tired I can barely co-ordinate my fingers on the keyboard. We joined the mountain bike group for a ride around the Reigate hills today. Sounds easy as you may ask 'what hills are there in Reigate?' but in fact there are plenty! I managed to keep up for a while but then as I got more tired the pace stayed the same and my legs and lungs just couldn't stand the pain! Still, I made it until lunchtime and then Ian and I went home shortly after (I think he was tired as well!). Lunch was in one of my favourite places. It is called Fanny's Farm and is not far from Reigate hill, just off the M25. Fanny is an impeccably dressed 'well built' lady of a certain age and class. The farm consists of a few ramshackle buildings, a couple of portable toilets and a kind of garden area. It has no mains power or sewerage so the till is an old fashioned manual one and Fanny adds up the bills on paper. It takes no cheques or credit cards. In the summer and warmer winter days you can sit under the trees in the various bits of the garden and have tea, cakes and light meals. We sat in the tree house garden which is a wonderful little garden with a large tree-house at one end.


(picture from http://www.merstham.co.uk/merstham/Gallery%20Pages/mw44.htm)

You can rent the tree-house for a couple of hours to have your own afternoon tea with friends. The tea is served from a teapot, in china cups and the cakes are homemade. It is served by a bevvy of teenage girls and as it is in Surrey they can at least string a sentence together coherently. You can buy cakes, chutneys, home made jams etc., plants grown on the farm, arts and crafts, teas to take home. The plants are grown in beds (literally; as the raised beds are made out of old bedsteads turned upside down and filled with soil). There are two enormous Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs who ignore all visitors, an inquisitive Jack-Russell terrier who doesn't, chickens (you can buy eggs for 20p each) and other various animals, plants and bric-a-brac. How Fanny manages to meet current health and safety regulations I don't know but in the summer and at many weekends in the winter the place is packed. It looks like it is on the verge of closure but has probably been going for years! (In fact I have just looked on their website and it has been going since 1979)

1 comment:

Michael House said...

This place looks fantastic, great that such a throw back and unique place can survive, and so near the M25!