A TRIP for lunch at the Cafe in The Organic Farm Shop on Abbey Home Farm just outside Cirencester can mean so much more than just good food in relaxed surroundings.

Before the business of choosing what to eat in this award-winning cafe, you should make time to look around the farm shop, which stocks food from the farm, store cupboard basics, drink and ice cream - all organic of course. There is also a chance to cut down on plastic by refilling the eco cleaning products or stocking up on the farm’s milk in your own re-useable containers.

And if shopping doesn’t appeal (or suit your budget - organic food comes at a premium), you could sign up for one of the many classes on offer.

But we are here to sample the food. I have been before to enjoy a slice of their cake in the afternoon but this is the first time lunch has been suggested.

The cafe is set in a series of light-filled rooms with a positive rustic charm. There is nothing stuffy about the The Organic Farm Shop cafe. I like the no nonsense system of ordering and paying at the counter with food being delivered to your table.

Lunch (served Tuesday-Sunday from 12-2.30pm) is vegetarian (meat from the farm on Sunday as part of a roast) and there is at least one vegan option.

We are determined to try the cafe salads (£8.50 for a small), which are so loved by regulars that the farm now offers courses showing people how to prepare them. We opt for a side of houmous (£1.95), and main dishes of lentil and vegetable bakes topped with garden savoy cabbage and miso and a side cafe salad (mains are £11.50).

These colourful plates of food are a rainbow mix of delicious fresh leaves, pulses and root vegetables, each one vying for top billing on the pate as the star of the show.

The cafe doesn’t claim to grow all of the vegetables used, but a large proportion come from their own farm gardens and is, of course, all organic.

One benefit of this is that there will always be something new on offer, a new dish as vegetables come into season.

Despite the sign up saying that very little salt is used and customers should be free to add more, there is no need. Everything is dressed and seasoned beautifully.

Lunch is tasty, and so healthy (the two don’t always go together!) but main meals are not cheap and portion sizes mean that you may want to order one or two extras..

The lunch would also benefit from the addition of a freshly baked roll or crusty bread on the side. We were teased when the server brought us a delicious looking savoury scone that would be perfect, and then apologetically whisked it away as it was meant for another table!

We leave vowing to return to learn how to prepare the salads for ourselves.

The Organic Farm Shop is at Abbey Home Farm, Burford Road, Cirencester, GL7 5HF.