Agritourism is not a new concept. It’s an old one that makes complete sense — restaurants and inns on farms have much of what they need to accommodate guests right outside the front door. So of course they’re able to give travelers the freshest and most authentic experience, whether it’s working as a temporary farmhand in exchange for room and board or simply making a dinner reservation to sample on-site ingredients. It is safe to say that, while farm stays and restaurants are well-established, there has been a steady increase in ones that rack up prestigious awards and critical acclaim.
In the U.S., mention dining on a farm and someone will mention Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York. It enjoys a consistent stream of high praise from tastemakers like the New York Times, Town and Country, and Condé Nast Traveler. Agritourism is very much a well-oiled, government-supported machine in Italy now, with private villa rentals, restaurants, markets, and small inns on farms across the country. Places like Le Garzette in Venice and Masseria Barbera in Puglia sit in romantic settings and offer guests unmatched farm-to-table experiences with the option of taking home farm-produced foods like olives, olive oils, honey, and salumi.
The English are no strangers to the concept of farm-to-table dining, nor are they new to the excitement of learning about organic, natural foods. Hackney City Farm is not 30 minutes outside of central London, but the full working farm is complete with a much-loved café and on-site educational events. The Lake District, too, in northern England, plays host to L’Enclume, a Michelin-starred restaurant where ingredients are plucked from the farm just hours before they’re consumed, and new techniques are formed in their research kitchen.
Farm restaurants and inns are sustainable in more than one sense — they’re eco-friendly as can be, but are also well-sustained by the ever-increasing fascination with and love of fresh, farm-to-table fare. They’re not wanting for guests, which in turn, always leaves the guests wanting more.