For the past 3 years, I have had milk delivered to my door. The twice weekly ritual is not so much because of the mere convenience of the delivery, although I will admit it is a happy state of affairs. No, the delivery has more to do with using and reusing glass bottles instead of plastic containers, which just get chucked away. Now, my cottage guests, when checking in, always find a full glass carafe of fresh milk in their fridge ready for the welcome cuppa and together with a slice (or two!) of homemade lemon drizzle cake and a platter of freshly cut fruit. So the scene is truly set for a real Primrose Farm welcome and legendary Devon experience. Not surprising that 80% of our annual guests are returns.
But I digress. At full bookings, I often have to buy extra milk and the prospect of having to buy the stuff from supermarkets in plastic containers absolutely sickens me. So imagine my delight to discover that the Grazing Cow in Offwell, just outside Honiton, have the perfect answer. Pay £2 deposit for your glass bottle and then fill it up as and when, with a choice of full cream or semi-skimmed from a local farmer less than 2 miles away. Not only does this make huge environmental sense, it also is a brilliant marketing strategy on the part of the managers of the Grazing Cow. I go in for my milk and of course am immediately side tracked in their fantastic deli. I invariably end up walking out with a bulging shopping bag and a lighter wallet. And I say power to the Grazing Cow, may many shoppers grace their doors.
But why can’t all supermarkets do the same? And what about all the hospitality outlets serving hot drinks? Surely they too can source their milk locally and in recyclable glass? Perhaps we all should start asking about how these venues source their milk before we order our tea? Imagine that, in an upmarket tearoom or National Trust garden? “Plastic milk containers? No thanks, no hot drinks for us today, thank you.” Holy cow! I think it could just work.