Head Chef James Butterfield at Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm

Tell us a bit about Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm Cafe, Bar and Restaurant

We cater for all, from kids food, to an everchanging adults menu. In the afternoon we offer light bites that people can enjoy in our sunny garden. The menu changes seasonally and wherever possible we use local produce including our very own sausages. You can enjoy our food on our beautiful grounds with a glass of our very own English Sparkling Wine, grown onsite in the Bluestone Vineyards, or with a bottle of local ale.

Tell us a little bit about your story and how you came to be the chef Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm Cafe, Bar and Restaurant

Growing up I loved cooking, when I was 15 and at school, I was washing up in the local hotel and I was offered the opportunity one evening to help cook some dishes and the Head Chef saw it came quite naturally to me. From there I went on to work in various local high end catering establishments including The Grassmere Hotel (now Riverside). After working at luxury care homes and running the kitchen of a specialist gym, I saw a fantastic opportunity to come and join the farm, recognising it had so much potential for me to progress in my career and with all the different aspects of the site, from weddings, private functions, special events, large group catering, gourmet accompaniments to sit alongside the wine brand, I could really make a name for the Farm and its food offerings. 

Tell us what visitors can expect when they choose to eat at Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm Cafe, Bar and Restaurant?

You can always expect freshly prepared delicious food. With it being a family farm, we aim to have something on the menu that everyone will enjoy. We are investing in expanding our range of cooking methods including wood fired pizza ovens, and live fire cooking. We work closely with our groundskeeping team to see what produce that we grow here on the Farm be can used in our dishes. In the next few weeks we’ll be updating our menu again ready for summer, and we can’t wait to showcase all the great value, but memorable meals that help make a day at the farm, one to remember.

What do you like best about your role as Head Chef at Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm Cafe, Bar and Restaurant?

I have complete freedom to develop and create new dishes and recipes and along with my brilliant team of chefs, we are constantly pushing ourselves for new ideas. I thrive on all the varied challenges the site brings me. No day is the same. There’s a strong family feel to the whole farm, which makes for a very pleasant working experience. 

Where are your favourite places to visit in Wiltshire and why?

For me, I love getting outdoors and exploring, usually somewhere like Grovely Woods, or if I'm in town, Elizabeth Gardens and the Cathedral grounds. When I get a chance, I get on my bike and head for a ride around Salisbury Plain.

Salisbury Cathedral Close Summer

Do you have any hidden Wiltshire gems that you’d like to share with our readers?

If you like meat, you definitely should go and see Charles and Mark at Pitchetts Butchers, they’ve just move out to Churchfields in Salisbury. If you enjoy good quality meat, they’re definitely worth a visit. Becoming less hidden these days, but our very own English Sparkling wine, Bluestone is certainly a gem. I’m working with them to host regular Supper Clubs where I serve a locally sourced three course meals in an intimate event.




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