Worton Organic Cafe, near Cassington, Oxfordshire
Worton Organic Cafe is hidden away in the Oxfordshire countryside. Seek out this tiny but inspiring place and your taste buds will be richly rewarded.
Table setting and flowers at Worton Organic Cafe
Psst… This place is one of Oxfordshire’s best kept secrets. They like it that way too, having quietly built up a dedicated following of loyal customers through the best form of advertising: word-of-mouth recommendation. Worton Organic Café is a real gem that’s been crafted through the passion, hard graft and sheer dedication of its artistic owners. It’s a little refuge from the blandness and conformity of the High Street. A place to appreciate good food, conviviality and beauty in your surroundings.
- Buy organic provisions in the small Farm Shop
- Eat lunch in the café
- Come for tea and cake
The Art of Eating Well at Worton Organic Cafe
Walk up the gravel path to Worton Organic Cafe and you know instantly that there’s something different going on here. Tall sunflowers greet you with a smile and long grasses gently sway in the breeze. The farm shop is an elegant wooden building painted just the right shade of dark grey and there’s gold lettering above the door. It says ‘L’Arte de Mangiar Bene’, Italian for ‘The Art of Eating Well’ which is exactly what its loyal customers come to do. Sarah Raven has visited and written about the garden in The Telegraph and other regulars include Emma Bridgewater, Oxford’s pottery queen.
Have Lunch in The Garden
The seven-acre market garden, farm shop and café has been a labour of love for its knowledgeable owners, David and Anneke Blake. Wandering around the garden, you will appreciate not only the art of eating well but also the art of working very hard. The small holding is a hive of productivity where everything except the potatoes, is harvested by hand. Sit at one of the rustic café tables in the garden or in winter, inside next to the cosy woodburner, and enjoy tasting the garden’s bounty. Anneke and her small team cook rustic, hearty dishes in an open kitchen where the delicious smell of comforting soups and spicy tagines waft all around. Australian chef, Skye Gyngell, formerly at Petersham Nurseries café, is a friend. She regularly visits to spend time with Anneke experimenting with new ingredients.
Pick Up Provisions in the Farm Shop
Vegetables and flowers are displayed like works of art in the Farm Shop. In spring there are buckets of homegrown tulips and in late summer, glorious arrays of brightly-coloured dahlias. Large wicker baskets hold heirloom tomatoes, there are eggs from their white leghorn hens and generous bunches of fresh herbs. Bottles of olive oil, jars of pickles, jams and chutneys adorn the shelves. Don’t go home without buying a jar of their pickled walnuts.
- Worton Organic café is open all year round on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
- Booking is essential
- The café hosts concerts and events for those on its mailing list
When making a beef and ale pie, add pickled walnuts to the filling to enrich the flavour.
Where to Stay in Oxford
Old Bank Hotel
Situated in the heart of historical Oxford, The Old Bank offers luxury rooms and a buzzy brasserie.
Rooms from £189 a night.
They tell me that dogs are welcome if they are kept on a lead.
How to Find Worton Organic Garden
Worton Organic Garden, Café and Farm Shop, near Cassington, OX29 4SU
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.