When news broke that chef Tom Adams of Pitt Cue Co, the meat-centic Soho restaurant for the sneaker-clad cool kids of London, was opening a, green-thinking, farm-to-fork restaurant and guesthouse in Cornwall with Michelin-star chef April Bloomfield of New York’s Spotted Pig, you could practically hear the whirring of tyres as clued-in Londoners hit the road for a culinary mini-break.
Perennially booked months in advance since its opening in 2016, Coombeshead Farm, a five-bedroom guesthouse, bakery and restaurant, is the antidote to city life. Traveling down from Gloucestershire, we took the BMW i3 on a smooth three-hour drive to the rural town of Launceston, before joining the single-track roads that lead to the farm’s beautiful setting amongst rolling meadows, woodland and oak-lined streams.
On a cold morning, ECO Pro mode is the key, to ensuring that The i3 is traveling at its most efficient whilst still providing a cosy environment for the road, with heated seats covered in natural wool, giving them an ‘active-climate’ quality that retains warmth and reduces the consumption of the car’s heating and air conditioning. With that in mind, we decided to plan one stop in Taunton services so that we could load up on charge with their superchargers.
Arriving to the 66-acre property in the heart of Cornwall's countryside feels like you’re visiting your friend’s country estate with crackling fires, comfy sofas and communal living spaces. Everything feels perfectly higgledy-piggledy with mismatched reclaimed furniture, nubby linens and simple but deeply comfortable bedrooms.
We were lucky enough to spend the afternoon with Head Chef, Oscar Holgado, who took the time to give us the tour of the farm, explaining their mission for the farm’s future and he even introduced us to their boisterous broods of Mangolitsa pigs. A breed which Tom Adams has championed ever since his Pitt Cue days, due to their superb flavouring but also their ability to flourish in almost any environment.
Inspired by nature and the seasons, the working farm is practically self-sufficient, whilst championing the pig, they also rear chickens and with a poly-tunnel greenhouse for fruit and veggies. Everything from the menu to the home-made soap (from the lard from the farm’s pigs) is hyper-local and the kitchen is a delight of all things curing, pickling and preserving techniques. There are also active bee colonies for homegrown honey. If it can’t be grown or reared on the farm, the team works closely with a small network of farmers and growers to source it locally. She lives just down the road from the farm and supplies the team with their fantastically smooth clotted cream butter.
Dinner here is a convivial, communal affair and takes place in the stone-wall bakery with large wood-fired oven, exposed beams and hanging dried hops. It begins at 6.45pm sharp with a series of snacks followed by a five-course set menu and includes a vegetarian set option. Each of the courses is essentially a love letter to local, seasonal produce based upon what is available and everything sings with just-picked flavour. Overnight guests should wash down the meal with Cornish cider or excellent wine-on-tap. Breakfast is a similar delight with kombucha, fresh-baked bread, warm sticky buns and bacon and sausage sarnies, all of which can be packed in a brown paper bag for those who need to hit the road early.
For those who can’t get a hard-to-book dinner reservation and overnight stay, try for a long, leisurely lunch instead. The Sunday £35 three-course lunch is wildly delicious rustic country cooking – think partridge and pork en croute, roast chicken and creamy potato gratin.
“On a cold morning, ECO Pro mode is the key, to ensuring that the car is travelling at its most efficient whilst still providing a cosy environment for the road, with heated seats covered in natural wool, giving them an ‘active-climate’ quality that retains warmth and reduces the consumption of the car’s heating and air conditioning.”
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Fuel economy and CO2 results for the BMW i3 range: Mpg (l/100km) not applicable. CO2 emissions: 0 g/km. Electric energy consumption (combined) 3.8 - 4.1 miles/kWh. Electric range 173.4 -190.8 miles. These figures were obtained after the battery had been fully charged. The BMW i3 and i3s 120Ah is a battery electric vehicle requiring mains electricity for charging. These figures were achieved using the WLTP test procedure. Figures shown are for comparability purposes. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2, electric energy consumption and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load.