Nikki and Dean and our lovely dedicated team welcome you to Downhouse Farm.
We took on Downhouse Farm, which forms part of the Golden Cap Estate, in 1991, as life term National Trust tenants when it was just 100 acres (now 380 acres running from Eype beach to Seatown beach!). Back in 1993 when farming hit an all time low and diversification was being encouraged, the idea of opening a café was hatched and so we started, with 4 picnic benches and brollies available, should it rain! We have quietly built (mainly by word of mouth) our family run garden café over the last 16 years.
We wanted to run the farm in a way that worked with nature and so started farming organically in 1995. The farm is also managed under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. The Scheme shows farmers how best to protect plants and wildlife alongside farming the land.
We would like to encourage you to walk some of the many meandering footpaths that criss-cross the farm and to soak up the endless stunning views encountered en route, notably from Thorncombe Beacon, the highest point on the farm at 155 metres above sea level. In May the scent of bluebells carpeting Eype Down, behind the café, lies heavily in the air - bliss!
Both within the garden and whilst out walking you can expect to see an enormous range of wild flowers, grasses, butterflies, birds and bees, all encouraged by our approach to farming, the diverse habitat surrounding us and the sympathetic planting within the garden. Imagine being able to enjoy all of this safe in the knowledge that, whatever time of day you tire and your tummy needs filling, you can drop into our little garden oasis and allow us to fulfil your culinary requirements and water your dog at the same time!