I have a vague memory of fruit picking as a kid, strolling along picking blackberries in the sunshine. I think most lucky kids have a similar memory and I hope my two will look back with the same feelings of fuzzy happiness.
My lovely friend mentioned she wanted to take her little boy strawberry picking at the beginning of the month and in the same week Facebook was awash with suggestions of places nearby to go. Not wanting to miss a piece of the action, I forced another of my favourite mummy mates to join me and the gruesome twosome with her little boy, and Coco’s BFF, to test out Cammas Hall Fruit Farm.
Based in Needham Green just past Harlow, it is a little bit of a trek to get there in the car, but man it is worth it. Coco, who normally isn’t that big a fan of strawberries, was chomping at the bite to get to our destination and get picking. Once you arrive, you’ll find the car park in a field just in front of the entrance, no change needed. Once inside the building you have the very delicious tea rooms and walk way through to the outside seating area and playground to the left, and the shop where you can buy a host of yummy goodies and most importantly your picking baskets to the right. My pal and I bought a small punnet each for the kids for just under a fiver and we were then kindly shown to the fruit tunnels.
My main concern when deciding whether to go fruit picking was whether I would have any problems with the buggy, but I’m pleased to report there were none. The tunnels were just wide enough to get Raffy through whilst the kids pegged it off to pick the biggest, juiciest bits of fruit and eat most of them on the spot. Surely the best bit about fruit picking!
Once we were satisfied we could fit no more strawberries in our punnets, we headed off to test out the playground and have a spot of lunch. Even without the fun of the fruit, I would still make the drive for the play area and tea barn alone. The play area is filled with a variety of different diggers for the kids to play on (which would have kept Raf happy for hours!), climbing frames and two sandpits filled with toys. There is also a gated area for younger children to play safely. We managed to nab a table under the large sun shade and gorged on our favourites from a variety of fresh sandwiches from the menu. Also on offer were jacket spuds, a soup of the day, plus a yummy separate kids menu. I was attempting to diet that day, but as soon as I caught sight of the cakes it was straight out the window as they looked absolutely amazing, and they tasted it too! Another nice and simple touch was colouring crayons and paper which Coco made good use of whilst the boys went mad on the diggers.
The biggest testament to how great Cammas Hall Fruit Farm is, is the fact that Coco peed her pants three times whilst we were there when she previously hadn’t had an accident for days. She was clearly just having too much fun to waste time on the toilet *searches for silver lining of failing potty training!* What was also lovely was how proud the kids were of their fruit, and Coco couldn’t wait to share it with Daddy when we got home with lashings of delicious cream also from the farm shop. In short, Cammas Hall Fruit Farm was a big hit with the Capoccis!
In fact, we liked it so much we’re heading back this Wednesday (22nd July) as part of our Summer Survival Plan to have a go at picking some of the strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blackcurrants now on offer. We would love you to join us!
Here are some of my top tips:
- There is free parking outside the fruit farm so save your money for cake!
- The loos are situated just outside the playground and there are baby changing facilities available
- The small punnets were just under £5 each but these give you a LOT of fruit. Enough to feed two greedy parents and a hungry toddler with some left over
- The farm is buggy friendly so don’t feel you have to lug the baby around in a carrier unless you’d liked to
- Don’t come thinking your going to deprive yourself, the cakes and coffee are just too good!
Hope to see you there on Wednesday!