Dacorum residents can enjoy teatime treats again on Northchurch Common
Hill Farm Barn café is now five years old
Weekend walkers, cyclists, and horse riders on Northchurch Common can once again add to the pleasure of their country outings with some refreshments at the ‘walk-in’ café in the old barn at the National Trust’s Hill Farm.
Within some of the most beautiful countryside in the Chilterns, and opened with the full encouragement and approval of the National Trust, the café is open every weekend throughout the summer from 10am-4pm.
Hill Farm café, on the edge of the Ashridge estate, is easy to spot on open days, thanks to the lovely giant china tea cup placed on the grass verge at the side of the B4506.
Now five years old, the Hill Farm Barn café was unable to open for its scheduled summer season at the beginning of April because of lockdown – but now it is in full swing.
It offers tea, coffee, cold drinks and ice creams as well as bacon baps and toasties, home-made cakes, and other teatime treats.
Visitors can enjoy their refreshments at the outside tables in the company of some of Hill Farm’s regular inhabitants – among them ponies, miniature goats, rabbits, and Mabel the amazing kunekune pig.
The Hill Farm Barn walk-in café was the idea of the farmer Steve Herod and his wife Leigh, who wanted to find a new role for a large eighteenth-century barn on the farm that was no longer in use.
Hill Farm is a working arable farm and, in a year of problem weather veering from near-floods to drought, the café must be providing a helpful contribution to farm income.
Leigh said: "With a nice grassy garden in front of it, the charming old barn seemed just ideal for visitors to this part of the estate – indoors when it’s cold and wet, and outdoors when it’s fine."
The barn is also selling a variety of local produce, including honey from the beehives on the farm, local soaps, jams, and candles, and farm-grown fruit and vegetables.