A Country Concept Store

The terrace and champagne bar We call The Old Dairy a Concept Store.  There’s a coffee shop, champagne bar, AGA kitchen and parlour, where we serve pop-up suppers, and our carefully chosen dealers sell antiques, vintage and interiors.  It was born out of more than twenty years of dealing in architectural reclamation.  But our jobs as travel writers and radio journalists working for the BBC also played a part, taking us to various corners of Europe, and beyond, so when we began serving food and drink  the remarkable hotels and restaurants we had visited over the years held us in good stead when it came to creating our own little place.

But what, you may ask, is a concept store?  Well, we didn’t really know until we went to Antwerp, the home of concept stores, and discovered the diverse and intriguing mix of stock under one roof. along with a quirkiness that everybody seemed to be talking about.

So we brought a little bit of Antwerp to Ford, a pretty Victorian village with its castle and church, and set about turning the dairy’s higgledy-piggledy buildings into our own take on a concept store.  Much of our stock is re-found and reclaimed.  And it ranges from the very large to quite tiny.

As for our coffee shop it has blossomed into a haven for the best coffee for miles around not to mention our delicious cakes and scones and award winning jams and marmalades.  The AGA kitchen and parlour is at the heart of everything now and it’s from here that all our food is cooked and baked, not only for the coffee shop but for our pop-up suppers too.

We hope you will come and see us and enjoy it all.

Keith and Lynne Allan