CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Editor’s comment May 2016

PUBLISHED: 10:15 21 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:15 21 April 2016

Who is Farmer Giles anyway?

Who is Farmer Giles anyway?

Archant

Editor Mike Lowe on the tricks of the supermarket trade and essential pub etiquette.

As it’s Open Farm Sunday next month, I thought I’d line up a couple of places to visit. How about Nightingale Farm, a name I saw at my local supermarket? Sounds like a nice place. Farmer Giles pouring the cider while his rosy-cheeked wife serves up home-made bread and cheese. Horses to stroke and pigs to pet. So I fire up Google and have a look for it. That’s odd. No sign of it anywhere despite its name being plastered all over the entrance to my local supermarket.

Never mind – there’s always Willow Farm, a name I’m sure I’ve seen on a packet of pork steaks in the same establishment. Nope, no sign of that anywhere. OK, let’s try Woodside Farm, Rosedene Farm, Boswell Farm and Redmere Farm. How peculiar. None of those appear on my map either. Hmm... either the Cotswolds has become some kind of mysterious graveyard of invisible farms (call the X-Files team) or someone’s taking the mickey.

It is, of course, the latter – a marketing ploy dreamt up by some hipster-bearded clowns who obviously think it funny to pull the collective plonker of we simple country folk. Nightingale Farm and the rest only exist in the fertile imagination of an advertising agency, who’ve convinced their clients that attaching romanticised names to their mass-produced meat will help with sales. In reality, Farmer Giles and his rosy-cheeked wife are actually cashing in their chips in the casino of a Mediterranean cruise ship while a team of poorly-paid Eastern European labourers ‘farm’ his pigs for him in a gigantic industrial unit in Suffolk.

Should we be bothered about this deception? Well yes, I think we should, because it is deception after all. At a time when we’re all far more interested in where our food actually comes from, the issue of trust between supplier and consumer is critical. I don’t want some joker trying to convince me that my Finest rump steak has come from a farm just down the road when it’s part of the same mass-produced process as the packet of Value mince next to it, because that’s the impression they’re trying to create.

This is shabby, misleading and unfair to both the customer and to the real British farms whose reputation is at stake here. It needs to stop, now.

*********************************************************************************************************

The summer drinking season is now upon us and while it might provide some relief for struggling publicans, it can be more problematic for tap room regulars. It’s the occasional drinkers, you see; those who don’t understand essential pub etiquette. So, to help avoid this alcoholic angst, I’ve come up with a few tips for people who rarely trouble the top shelf.

• Try to decide what you want to drink before you actually reach the bar. Try to order something alcoholic and easy to pour. Ordering four coffees at 9pm won’t endear you to anyone.

• Put your phone away before engaging the bar staff in conversation. Always order the Guinness first. Do buy in rounds and don’t you dare try to pay with a credit or debit card.

• Don’t ask for a pint of ‘the usual’. You haven’t been on the premises since Christmas and Katerina, the Polish barmaid, only arrived in the UK last month. Don’t ask for a pint of ‘lager’. There are many different kinds all clearly displayed along the bar. Choose one, because if you leave it up to the staff you’ll be paying £6.99 a pint for some weird Ukrainian pond water.

• Anything that involves blenders, sieves, cherries or paper umbrellas is a cocktail. There is a very nice cocktail bar just down the road. Go there. The ‘menu’ is crisps or nuts or, if you’re lucky, a day-old cheese roll from a glass cabinet. If you want dinner, go to the chippy.

• Once you’ve been served, take your drinks and make way for someone else. Do not stand around chatting to your mates, the staff or your mother on your phone. There are people behind you whose need is now greater than yours.

Follow Mike on Twitter! @cotslifeeditor

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Yesterday, 15:25

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search