Glamping, cafe and events space at former Northampton dairy farm as owners embrace their hospitable nature
'It will have a nice, community vibe going on'
The owners of a farm near Northampton are embracing their hospitable nature by providing a space for the community, a cafe and a glamping site.
Sarah Elliott-Hart started offering refreshments to walkers from a restored caravan during the first coronavirus lockdown, which went so well she wanted to expand the venture.
So she came up with Elliotts' Rectory Farm, converting one of its barns into an events space and building a selection of pods and a shepherd's hut for campers.
Her partner Hannah Lumley told the Chronicle & Echo: "We really hope it will be a place for the community, for people to run courses and have different events - it will have a nice, community vibe going on.
"We hope to have open mic nights and local bands and artists - we want to support local talent."
Sarah has farming in her blood - one side of her family is several generations on from tenants that farmed what is now Abington Park and the other were farmers in Edale, Derbyshire.
Despite being a Liverpool boy, Sarah's father Gary came to Moulton College and never left, starting the Grindsbrook Dairy herd from scratch in 1973 with his wife Clodagh.
After 45 years, the herd was sold as the couple retired but to keep them occupied, and to satisfy Sarah's self-confessed mid-life crisis, a vintage caravan was rescued from obscurity.
Those niche farming skills were put to use converting ‘Betty’ and Brew Café was born, providing a welcome pit-stop to walkers using the footpaths that ran through their farm.
Brew’s popularity combined with their own love of camping and a desire to welcome people, led to Glamp, a place where people can enjoy the slower pace of life that comes with camping without sacrificing the luxuries.
Sarah said her family are renowned for putting on a good party and so they converted one of the barns to be hired for all sorts of groups and events, called Brew Barn.
The first will be an outdoor comedy night in partnership with regional comedy club Castle Comedy on August 14.
Sarah also aims to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, recycling, upcycling and repurposing whenever they can.
While half of the farmland now grows wild bird seed and nectar flowers to encourage biodiversity and the other half continues to be pasture for their neighbour’s sheep and cattle.
"We hope that everyone who comes along to Elliotts’ Rectory Farm feels that they belong, whether they are sitting alone reading a book, whilst enjoying a coffee, or getting involved with one of our events.
"As well as welcoming visitors to Glamp, we hope to be a force for good in the local community providing space for people to come and relax, connect, and experience new things in rural surroundings."