brunch

Local Guide: Bakery + Barn Sale in Malvern

It's always satisfying to stumble upon places with character. That's the charm of supporting small businesses; Owner(s) standing there, arms outstretched, offering patrons their passion, tinged with heart, sweat and creativity, and hoping it is met with equally inspiring spirit. Last weekend's visit to Malvern presented just that; inspiring spaces. First I stopped into Malvern Buttery, a bakery/coffee shop/eatery, followed by a pop up barn sale at Life's Patina at Willowbrook Farm, an architectural beauty that holds seasonal pop up shops of new and restored home goods.

Malvern Buttery offers a casual experience of fresh baked breads and pastries, delicious coffee options, and an eatery that changes day to day, based on fresh ingredients. On this particular Sunday, the menu included sunnyside up eggs atop grains and asparagus, sweet potato and parsnip soup (pairs well with their fresh, crusty bread), and greens with beets, nuts and goat cheese, tossed in a delicious vinaigrette. In the multiple times I have been there, the baristas are friendly and attentive and the chefs in the open kitchen are passionate about their culinary creations. With tables, stools, and couches, this is the perfect spot for both meeting friends and cozying up solo to knock out some work on your laptop. 

With full bellies and caffeine in the bloodstream, I caught the last day of the Summer Sale at Life's Patina at Willowbrook Farm, just a few miles away. Life's Patina offers home decor, new, antique, and repurposed, all staged in an old stone barn. There is so much character in an old barn where beams meet stone under the spotlight of high rafters, and the timbers of the sides wear age that lets the light seep through in all the right spots. Add to this, unique accents for home and events, and creative inspiration is abound. (See Below, drawers made from vintage cream cheese boxes). Life's Patina has a pop up shop each season with special events and sales intermittently. Check the upcoming events here (next one is June 9). 

Brunch with a view at Wyebrook Farm

The lush, green, countryside rolled on for acres behind the landscape of stone barns and wooden farm tables. I've been meaning to stop into this 18th Century working farm/restaurant and Mother's Day was a beautiful time to immerse ourselves in their fresh brunch menu. Wyebrook Farm, in Chester County, PA, offers a variety of fresh, farm raised meats paired with locally sourced produce, and dairy (brunch orders at our table included: beef hash, roasted mushroom and ricotta omelette, grass fed burgers). There is plenty of seating outdoors under their pavilion adorned with wooden beams, fresh flower-set farm tables, and baskets of blankets for the still chilly spring mornings/evenings. Inside the classic stone barn, you can find more seating, next to the butcher and market full of local artisan cheeses, jams, condiments, ice cream and baked goods.

I ordered the slow roasted pork belly topped with fried eggs and it was even better than it sounds; melt in your mouth freshness; dippy eggs and tender pork, atop a buttery, grainy slice of bread with grilled greens and veggies to compliment. They also offer bottled Peloton Cold Brew Coffee from West Chester, PA which was delicious and they are BYOB with pints and pitchers of their own orange juice and bloody mary mix for brunch (noted for my next visit). All the food at Wyebrook is either farmed there or nearby, organically. We picked up some market goods to go, headed outside where the babe could play (imagine: open fields, farm animals, an old country tire swing beneath a treehouse) and headed home with full bellies and hearts. Wyebrook Farm is the perfect pastoral setting to "be still" and soak in life and its blessings over good food. They have live music weekly and plenty of outdoor seating as the summer days slowly creep up on us. If you're looking to take a country outing a bit off the beaten path, with great culinary reward, Wyebrook Farm is your place.

If you're interested in this locally sourced farming concept, the owner, Dean Carlson, recently published a book "Field & Feast" and is visiting Wellington Square Bookshop (another local favorite) this Sunday morning.

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Wyebrook Cold Brew
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