A new farm shop, distillery, wedding venue and more are being created just outside Leicester

A number of exciting additions are underway to the rural center of Stoughton Grange.

A farm shop, gin distillery and woodland wedding venue are being set up in the picturesque setting near Oadby, a stone’s throw from town.

And farm animals are reintroduced to the site, which once housed an agricultural park.

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As part of the changes, The Cow and Plow pub is also due for a major refurbishment.

Development of the site is led by Billy Allingham, who is part of a group of investors who came together in October last year to form the new company SBGF.

The group purchased Stoughton Grange from the Co-operative Society, which had owned the land since 1919.

Billy is the owner of the Steamin’ Billy pub group, which operates nine pubs in Leicestershire and neighboring counties, and includes The Cow and Plow pub in Stoughton Grange.

The Cow and Plow pub.

Steamin’ Billy is leasing part of the land in Stoughton from SBGF, and work to create the new areas is now well advanced.

Billy told LeicestershireLive: “I’ve been involved here for 20 years in the pub and always wanted to re-enter the animals. With the addition of the new houses opposite and the current trend towards a slower pace of life and products locals, we think a farm shop will be well received.

“We also think a wedding venue in the woods will be a welcome addition as we have a lot of requests.”

The farm shop and distillery are currently under construction in a large former milking parlor at the back of the pub.

According to Billy, the farm shop will include a butcher’s counter selling native Leicestershire breed meat as well as lamb that has been raised on the farm itself.

Work has begun on the farm shop and distillery
Work has begun on the farm shop and distillery

Customers will be able to purchase honey made by the bees on site as well as on-site grown vegetables and herbs, which will be grown in the recently restored two-acre vegetable garden. A total of 25 fruit trees have also been planted by Stoughton Grange’s new full-time gardener.

The shop will sell various jams, pickles and chutneys made on site as well as locally baked bread and cakes.

Another item that is sure to interest buyers will be the gin made at the new distillery. The team will make small batches of artisanal gins using locally sourced medicinal plants and plants grown on site in the vegetable garden.

As well as being sold by the bottle in the farm shop, the gins will also be available for customers to enjoy in The Cow and Plow.

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Farm animals return to Stoughton Grange – including Kunekune pigs

Young visitors will no doubt be particularly delighted to see some of Stoughton Grange’s new residents, which already include 25 hens (which will provide fresh eggs for the farm store) as well as Burt and Winston the Kunekune pigs, three Shetland ponies, Barry and Victor the dwarf goats, as well as many sheep.

Farm manager Kipp Allingham told LeicestershireLive the idea was to recreate the once popular farm park that stood on the site. It closed in 2001, following the foot-and-mouth disease crisis that hit the UK, and never returned

According to Kipp, smaller “pet” animals, including rabbits and guinea pigs, are expected to move in soon, along with larger additions to the farm, including Highland cows.

Farm manager Kipp Allingham on the farm trail.
Farm manager Kipp Allingham on the farm trail.

Nestled in the wooded area of ​​the site, a new wedding reception venue is being created to provide couples with a beautiful setting for their celebrations, surrounded by English cedars and overlooking the lake.

A marquee will soon be erected and wooden benches will be added to the area, which is expected to accommodate around 150-200 guests.

The wooded area will also be available for other events, and in the formal gardens, which are created where the mansion once stood (built in the 15th century and demolished in 1926), visitors can enjoy the afternoon tea.

There is a lake, forest walks and space for outdoor celebrations.
There is a lake, forest walks and space for outdoor celebrations.

There are plans to add yurts to the wooded area, so people can spend the night in the scenic surroundings.

The cow and plow will also be getting an overhaul as part of the series of changes at Stoughton Grange.

It is expected to have an “upscale brasserie vibe”, with fixed seating, a larger bar and a new private dining room.

The pub kitchen will close on March 28, with the pub closing completely from April 11. It should reopen, with a new look, in early May. During the closure, an outdoor pizzeria and bar will be in operation.

The farm shop and distillery are also set to open in May, while the farm grounds and wedding/event venue are set to launch in June.

Around 40 jobs are being created at Stoughton Grange, with staff needed to work in the pub and farm shop, as well as a part-time distillery assistant and service managers who are passionate about local produce and the approach to farm to fork. If you would like to apply, you can email: [email protected]

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