Sometimes you stumble over a gem of a place whether it’s a village, country house or, in this case, a shop. But it isn’t just any old shop for in it you can buy anything from a saddle and rugs for your horse, gifts for non-horsey friends, lunch or … a sofa (well, I very nearly did until common sense got in the way). Actually, I’d rather have bought the rather nifty looking quad bike but I wasn’t even allowed to consider that.
Harley Equestrian’s Lifestyle Shop can be found down winding Northamptonshire country lanes providing you have map, compass or a sat nav. Fortunately, the latter takes you to the door. Now anything with the name ‘lifestyle’ in the title tends to make me want to drive in the opposite direction but, fortunately, my wishes were overridden. I was bowled away by the treasure trove I found within. There is more than enough to delight both the rider as well as those with no love of things horse.
The way to a man’s heart is via his stomach and the lunch I ate at the café was delicious: the lightest of pastries with incredibly tasty savoury fillings were freshly prepared while we waited. The pudding was – as so often is the case – quite unnecessary and finished the meal perfectly. We were interested to discover that the café holds regular Friday night dinners, catered for by Eydon’s Pantry, a small local enterprise which also create meals for home eating.
Although it’s a bit of a trek from the Cotswolds I shall certainly be visiting again if only for Christmas gift ideas. Somehow ‘though, I feel that I’ll be back a lot sooner – probably on a Friday night.
Harley Equestrian Country Lifestyle, Woodford Halse