Higher Lank Farm is an allergy friendly farmstay in Cornwall, England. As well as enjoying an idyllic stay, feeding the animals each morning, you can also be confident you are in safe hands. We talk to the owner, Lucy Finnemore, and one of her loyal customers about what makes it so special:
“I am more paranoid than the most paranoid parent,” explains Lucy, owner and head chef at Higher Lank Farm. “I treat every dietary restriction as a life threatening allergy. You can’t get complacent if you have a life in your hands.”
Lucy started catering for families with allergies over 10 years ago after a mum contacted her to ask if she could help and her passion and knowledge developed from there. She takes clear and meticulous steps to keep all her meals safe and free from cross contamination. She outlines them all clearly on her website so people can be reassured before their stay.
Come into the kitchen
“I look at our practices constantly and always try to find better ways of doing things. I say to parents ‘Come into the kitchen and watch me.’ I do everything I can but someone can think of a way to improve it I am always open.”
Now she has at least one family staying who needs a special diet most weeks. She makes sure all families and children are catered for and many have never enjoyed such an inclusive experience.
“We didn’t start this to attract business but allergy families are loyal customers. I have lots of repeat business and it’s nice to get to know the parents and see the children grow up.”
One of those parents is Alexa Baracaia, whose son Sidney has multiple food allergies. She first visited Higher Lank Farm when he was two and has been back every year since!
“It was the first catered holiday we had ever been on and it was a revelation. At the time, Sidney was allergic to wheat along with everything else and we arrived to a tractor ride followed by a high tea full of safe sandwiches, cakes, scones, sausages – the works. It was astonishing.”
Relaxed and reassured
She says her family trust Lucy so much now they can just enjoy their holiday and not worry about asking questions before every meal.
“I don’t think you realise how keyed up you are by food all the time, until you don’t need to be. We are now completely relaxed in Lucy’s care, which is just brilliant. We know she gets it – she understands cross contamination and ‘may contains’, and is immensely reassuring in her manner.
“We’ve told so many people about Higher Lank Farm.” says Alex. “We’ll be going back until the kids are geriatric and Lucy won’t allow them on the ponies any more!”
Do you have a favourite allergy friendly place to stay? Or are you a travel provider who caters for allergies? We’d love to hear about it.