The Garlic Farm is a foodie must
As frequent visitors to the Garlic Farm in Newchurch, we can highly recommend a visit. Perfect for Vampire slayers, garlic lovers or families looking for a few hours of relaxed fun and good food.
Entry is free to the farm, shop, education centre and there is no pressure to join in with any of the paid extras. However, you can learn so much more from indulging in a few of the events on the farm that incur a fee.
We took a tractor ride around the farm and were lucky enough on the day we attended to have the owner 'stepping in' to take the tour. A fascinating half hour where myself and Rosie sat enthralled, loving the history and many facts on offer. It is a small fee for the tractor ride, but if you don't fancy a bumpy ride around the farm, you can take the tour on foot. Grab a map or children's trail from the shop.
We attended the education centre this visit and joined in with the Garlic Bread Workshop. Lashings of butter and garlic later, the 6 year old left with her very own homemade bread. Eaten with macaroni cheese later that day, she declared it the best garlic bread ever (I have to say, it was pretty yummy!).
If you don't fancy carrying around some garlic bread (or are on holiday without an oven to cook it in!), how about making a garlic bulb person? Most school holidays and peak times have plenty of making and learning bits going on in the education centre. Outside of the holidays, there is still plenty to learn about garlic; how it came to the Isle of Wight, the history of the farm and the many health benefits.
Shopping and Eating
The Shop. Tasting and trying, followed by a visit to the larger shop to purchase. It's not easy leaving without something. This time we left with Apple and Fig chutney and my regular dose of mayonnaise. Currently working my way through the many mayo varieties. I think I am actually addicted to the Black garlic and Lemon Mayonnaise.
If you are only visiting once, I recommend you stop for lunch. The food is amazing. If it's a nice day, we always grab a seat near the Red Squirrel Play Zone in the hope we spot a furry friend.
On the subject of play zones, do not think the Farm is simply for grown ups. Even your anti garlic eating children will love the farm. There is a large open space at the back of the restaurant with a small children's playground and chicken runs. Free Range chickens and children can play happily together while you grab a coffee on the terrace.
If you haven't quite had enough of garlic and you are visiting the island in mid August, make sure you try out the Garlic Festival.
Music, games, dancing, food, rides, crafts and plenty of garlic obviously.
Last year our highlights were; dancing with Trolls, hanging out with Titan the Robot, watching the Vander Superheroes Quad Wheel (bunch of crazy guys on a big wheel with not much safety gear, trying to kill themselves!) and listening to an array of live music.
The food choices are endless; crepes, cakes, sausages, pizza, dumplings, ice cream, fudge - all with a side offering of garlic. Believe it of not, garlic ice cream is pretty damn nice. Think chocolate, meets liquorice and coffee.
2019 sees the event taking place on 18th and 19th August.
The Best Bits: The smell, the festival vibe, the relaxed and free entry to the farm without any pressure to purchase extras (although you will struggle not to!). The amazing restaurant.
The Bad Bits: My addiction to garlic mayonnaise is quite bad now, I probably smell a bit. It maybe be technically a free day out, but I have never actually managed to get out of the shop without a purchase!
Top Tip: Buy a Garlic Peeler. It's a roller and a 'gadget' that actually works. I'm not sure how I survived without one - it's child friendly too.
The Garlic Farm and Festival - Overall Verdict: 8.5/10