Planted in 1988 on the site of an old Roman vineyard and covering seven acres of perfect sandy loam-over-chalk soils, Wyken Vineyard produces around 12,000 bottles each year (accolades for its Wyken Bacchus include ‘East Anglian Wine of the Year’ and ‘English Wine of the Year’). It’s well worth booking the hour-long guided tour, which finishes just as it should with the chance to sample some of the wines. Try before you buy…
The Country Store
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” said William Morris, and he certainly wouldn’t be disappointed with what’s on offer at the Leaping Hare Country Store at Wyken. From Irish and Scottish woollens and design-led pottery to beautifully crafted log baskets and dog beds, the store also has a book room boasting a selection of titles from small specialist publishers. You’ll find it hard to leave empty handed.
The Leaping Hare Restaurant
Not content with winning awards for its wines, Wyken’s Leaping Hare Restaurant has been featured in The Good Food Guide for 26 consecutive years (no mean feat), as well as being a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide for 23 years. Food critic Jay Rayner said, “It doesn’t put a foot wrong,” and we agree. Modern and European dishes are the stars of the show, lovingly served in a stunning converted 400-year-old barn ¬– tasteful in every sense of the word. (Oh, and the Country Store stays open late on Friday and Saturdays, so if you’re having dinner here, you can pop out to browse in between courses!)
The Farmers Market
We all love a weekend lie-in but Saturday mornings at Wyken Vineyards are worth setting the alarm for. Each week the vineyard plays host to a farmer’s market that showcases the very best local produce – stalls include local butcheries, bakery, fishmongers, cured meat & cheese delicatessens, organic fruit and veg, handcrafted ales, and chocolatiers. Go with an empty stomach and a large shopping basket!
The Pizza Café
Wine tasting can build an appetite so, in the spring and summer months, visitors to Wyken get to indulge in a slice of pizza heaven. In a renovated old farm workshop, you’ll find the charming Moonshine Café serving woodfired organic sourdough pizzas topped with ingredients from Wyken’s kitchen garden. Classic Neapolitan pizza with a distinctly Suffolk twist! Woodfired and welcoming, this is perfect al fresco dining (with heaters to keep you toasty on those chilly spring days).
Top tip –
Book long in advance to get a table at The Leaping Hare.