GUYROPE Gourmet Josh Sutton selects the pick of Yorkshire sites for simultaneous summer camping and good eating.
Champ is a 37-year-old Welsh mountain pony and he doesn’t mind giving up his field to friendly campers, in fact he moves across the farm track to the ‘luxury paddock’ as the campers pitch up.
Champs Field at Home Farm is one of those marvellous discoveries that tick so many boxes.
Set on a working farm in the tiny village of Colton near Tadcaster, this is a little gem of a place to stay. The Kay family have been farming at Home Farm since 1948 and Champs field campsite is a new venture for Angela and Andrew Kay.
They have recently gained accreditation as a Camping and Caravanning Club site and are as enthusiastic about the campsite as they are about their 90 acre farm.
The half acre field is flat and has space for 12 tents. There is a fire pit at the top end of the field, with logs for seats and lanterns around. A campsite that allows fires – there’s a refreshing change.
As Home Farm is a working farm, this makes Champs Field a great place to stay with children.
Angela or Andrew are happy to arrange a tour with ample opportunities to feed the cows and chickens. You can even have a go at mucking out if you like.
There’s a wonderful laid back atmosphere you are ideally placed for a couple of lazy days doing nothing much, or for the more intrepid, makes for a great base for discovering nearby York with all of its famous attractions.
For the Guyrope Gourmet though, the star attraction of this campsite is the cornucopia of home-grown produce that is the ‘Food from the Farm’ shop.
The Kays opened the shop to diversify the business following the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001.
It provides mixed vegetable box scheme for customers as well as a valuable community focal point for the village.
Home Farm beef is hung for a minimum of three weeks. There’s a range of rare breed lamb and pork sourced from local producers and fruit and vegetables grown on the Kay’s own market garden farm in nearby Bishopthorpe.
You really can stay on this campsite and buy all of your food without having to leave the site. The ‘Burpless’ money-back guarantee cucumbers are a bargain at 40p each.
Rearing beef is clearly a passion for Andrew, his herd of Hereford cows graze grass on the ancient pasturelands surrounding the farm, taking two years before they are ready for market.
Home Farm has been supplying Waitrose supermarkets with Hereford beef for eight years. The animals are slaughtered and butchered within a radius of 15 miles, keeping food miles to a minimum.
The meat, sold frozen in the shop, is beautifully marbled and the colour of red wine. “If we’re in, we’re open,” says Angela who runs the shop. Campers can order individual cuts of meat or a barbeque pack and Angela will have it defrosted and ready for your arrival.
Here’s a simple dish that will really do the Kays’ farm reared beef justice. You can buy all of the ingredients on site, so there’s no need to shop before you arrive.
A simple beef and ale stew
This is a really easy camping dish. The secret is to cook it slowly. A good tip, though it pushes the price up, is to use a tender lean cut, such as Topside, as you can cut down a little on the cooking time and save gas. This stew works best in a heavy deep saucepan with a tight fitting lid. A cast iron pan and lid would be perfect.
Ingredients: 500g stewing steak (cubed); 1 large onion (roughly chopped); 1 clove garlic (peeled and chopped); A handful of small new potatoes; Salt & ground black pepper; 1 desert spoon of flour; 1 500ml bottle of ale of your choice; 1/2 pint of water; Sprig of thyme; 1 bay leaf; olive oil
Simmer the onions in olive oil over a medium heat for five minutes.
Add the chopped garlic and stir. Cook until the onion begins to take on a little colour.
Throw in the cubed beef and stir, making sure the meat seals on all sides. Add a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir, ensuring the flour coats the meat well.
Cook for a further three or four minutes, stirring occasionally.
The flour will start to stick to the bottom of the pan but don’t worry.
Pour in the ale and the water and add the new potatoes, the thyme and the bay leaf.
Give the whole thing a good stir, making sure you scrape the bottom of the pan well.
Place the lid on the pan and turn to a very gentle simmer. Cook for one hour.
The stew will thicken nicely as it cooks. Enjoy with hunks of crusty bread and steamed greens.
Josh Sutton is the creator of the website guyropegourmet.com. His first book is out next year.
CHAMPS FIELD CAMPSITE FACTFILE
The campsite is open all year round, 50 per cent booking deposit.
Rates: Low season (all dates except July/August) £10 per tent including four people. Extra people £2 each. Shower tokens £1 each from the farm shop.
High season: £15 per tent per night including four people. Extra people £2 each. Shower tokens £1 each from the farm shop. Tents larger than 6x6m may incur an additional charge.
Food from the Farm shop, open most days. Tel: 01904 744371. Directions: As you enter Colton from the A64, look for signs at the first house on the left.