Food lovers in for a treat at Botley fayre

Food lovers will indulge in delights from across the city when a lavish food event makes its inaugural appearance.

Organisers of the Botley Food Fayre are in the midst of putting their finishing touches to the festival set to hit the area on Saturday. It is the first time churchgoers have united to transform West Way’s St Peter and St Paul Church into a culinary paradise.

Coordinator Judith Bowden said the organising team have been busy preparing for the festivities, which will be opened by Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood, for the past 15 months.

The grandmother-of-five, who lives in Eynsham but grew up in Botley, added: “I’m excited about it. We hope it will go swimmingly.”

More than 20 stalls boasting top-notch local produce are set to adorn the inside of the church and nearby grassy areas between 10am and 4pm.

Visitors will be encouraged to take a bite of food tickling their fancy while sitting in the church hall, where books featuring stories and recipes from the county’s best eateries will be on offer.

Mrs Bowden said churchgoers set about organising the fayre after hearing multi-million pound plans to transform the West Way Shopping Centre were given the go-ahead in June.

The 72-year-old said the congregation wants to show residents in the area the church will remain strong, despite nearby businesses closing.

She added: “Life has to go on in the midst of a redevelopment. We have got a very good hall and big church that the community can make use of while all the development is going on.

“We want this to be a community event so people can see what we have got on offer for them.”


Guests are also set to be enticed into a tent outside of the church, where horticultural and baking shows will be staged by Botley Women’s Institute and North Hinksey Horticultural Society.

Youngsters will have the chance to enjoy a bouncy castle and face painting, as well as a host of other entertainment.

Music and entertainment within the church will also keep the festival spirit alive, along with performances from a choir, pianist, organist, ukelele players and buskers.

A collage of resident’s memories of Elms Parade will be gathered from guests during their time at the food fayre.

Cash raised during the festivities will support Christian charity Tearfund’s One Big Mountain project, which aims to provide accessible water to people in need across the globe.

Father-of-three Graham Shelton, of Northmoor Lamb based at Church Farm, said he was excited to be flaunting his best local produce at the Botley event.

The 66-year-old added: “Events like this are great for bringing people together and getting them to talk to each other. I love getting to do things like this just because of that.”


Church Farm’s new web site

March 2017
Welcome to our website and blog. We are very excited to be able to offer Northmoor Lamb® to a wider audience, and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

For those new to Church Farm, Northmoor, we are a small West Oxfordshire family enterprise specializing in lamb (always available) from our flock of Romney sheep and pedigree Aberdeen Angus beef from our suckler herd (occasionally available).

We decided a few years ago to invest in our own microbutchery on the farm, so that we could control the quality of the meat bearing our label through every stage of production.
To bring you right up to date with our news, we were very excited to hear just last month that Northmoor Lamb® is now approved as a registered trademark in the UK. Only lamb bearing that mark carries our assurance of quality, value and provenance. Accept no other!

Also last month, I am pleased to report that our butchery again received the top hygiene rating of five stars for food hygiene and safety, structural compliance and confidence in management following an on the spot visit from our local Environmental Health Inspector

We have some lovely old season lamb coming through at the moment, so no need to buy meat that has come all the way from New Zealand (over 18,000 food miles) when ours is so much closer to hand (approximately 10 miles from farm to abattoir), top quality and competitively priced. Just let us know in good time if you’d like some for Easter. We sell individual joints and chops as well as whole and half lambs butchered and vacuum packed for your convenience.

Already the new season’s lambs are being born, and it was a pleasure on Sunday to welcome the congregation of St Denys’ Church Northmoor for our annual Family Lambing Service in the barn with the ewes and their new lambs.
Let me know what you’d like to hear about on the blog and we’ll do our best to respond next time.

More soon.
All the best Graham