Earlier this month, I went along to a pop-up shop at Perry Court Farm, near Wye, 10 minutes from the centre of Ashford. Two local women, Serena Hanbury and Nikki Holy, set up their H&H pop-up business three years’ ago, selling luxurious pre-loved clothes, in various locations around Ashford. Their philosophy is that excellent quality has a long life and, as this is a ‘heritage’ blog, that reasoning appealed to me!
As you can see from the photo, however, it’s not just clothes. This year they have introduced H&H Interiors: handblocked fabrics from India and other designs from women’s home-grown businesses. I especially loved the pottery by Claire Pradier. But, then, I have a ‘thing’ for pottery. Perhaps because that’s a heritage industry itself: I’m thinking of the Roman finds in Ashford that I’ve mentioned in earlier posts (like this one at King’s Wood, or this one nearer to Ashford Town centre Yet More Roman Remains …).
The weather was bright and sunny, which encouraged me to stay a bit longer with my friend, Pam (of King’s Wood-bluebell-photo-fame!) and have coffee and cake in Biscuit’s Tearoom (part of Perry Court Farm). Perry Court is a traditional farm shop: one drives between pear and apple orchards to get to the carpark. Indeed, the name Perry is a Middle English word, deriving from the Old French word ‘pere’, itself deriving from the Latin pirum, ie ‘pear’. Perry is also, of course, the pear equivalent of apple cider.
The farm is run by three generations of the Fermor family, and the attached shop sells their own home-grown or produced items, as well as those from local suppliers. They have daily fresh bread, baked by Davies bakery in Ashford and Wye bakery in Wye. Both bakers use traditional methods. A juicing press on the farm creates as many different juices as there are varieties of apple and pear. There is also an English cheese room, meat and flowers. Fish, caught off the Kent coast, is sold on a Friday and Saturday. All these products are continuing the local farming heritage that has existed in this part of Kent for centuries. But like all successful heritage businesses, they are also innovative. New varieties of cheese, for example, frequently appear in the Cheese Room. (Yes, you guessed it: I also have a ‘thing’ about cheese …).
*H&H photographs ©Serena Courage