The Balloon Tree Farmshop
We are a family run, high quality food retailer. The Machin family has seen the site grow, from the original wooden hut with a table on the side of the road, to the fully fledged farm shop that opened in April 2004. We have enjoyed a successful run of awards to date, thanks to a great team and amazing customers!
We are a true and market led farmshop because we grow the majority of our products ourselves in light sandy soil which gives a unique flavour to our homegrown produce. We grow around 30 types of fruit and vegetables, with 150 varieties. We harvest the produce from the farm fresh every morning, so we can choose varieties for their flavour and not their shelf life. This means that the produce is 'superfresh' and the most flavoursome and nutritious available. We use our concept “superfresh” because the word “fresh” has been saturated for food marketing as opposed to actual product description.
Rare breed meat
Our meat is predominantly sourced locally. We specialise in Gloucester Old Spot Cross rare-breed pork and our lamb can also be seen grazing on the foothills of Sutton Bank, both from Charles Ashbridge of Thirsk. The beef is from J Walton of Thirsk and has a higher fat content, which means that it can be hung for a minimum of three weeks to ensure a better flavour.
The asparagus season usually starts mid April when the milder weather warms up the sandy soil. We also grow some in polytunnels, which is ready early because it is protected from frosts and adverse weather. We harvest asparagus every day, trimming it to size and bunching it to go in the shop in the morning.
Our award winning cafe is now double the original size, due to the extension that completed in May 2014. The cafe is now spacious and light with bi-fold doors looking out onto the landscaped garden - bringing the outside in. It is open all day, 7 days a week and serves breakfasts, speciality teas and coffees, lunch and afternoon teas. We have home cooked food with a summer and winter menu and a seasonal specials board.
Children are welcome, as we offer a children's menu as well as direct access to the play area from the cafe. And the good news is we now have space for buggies! Our award winning cakes are baked by Phyllis and her team in the on-site bakery. We are also licensed to sell alcohol, so if you are celebrating a special occasion, you can raise a toast with a glass of wine or locally brewed beer.
Landscaped Cafe Garden
Weather permitting, enjoy a relaxing meal or drink in our beautifully planted landscaped cafe garden. If it’s a bit chilly, we provide blankets to snuggle under and you can still enjoy the winter sunshine. There is an awning if you want to stay out of the sun on hotter days. The garden is located next to the children’s play area, so parents can keep an eye on their children playing.
We try to use as much seasonal produce from the farm as we can on our cafe menu. We have two main menus – summer and winter. We also have specials on our board which reflect the “in season” produce like Asparagus in April to June, Strawberries June to August and pumpkins in Autumn. There’s no need to book a table in advance, just turn up. All our food is freshly prepared, so sometimes there can be a short wait, but we try to keep this to a minimum.
Pick Your Own
In the summer we offer PYO on fruit and vegetables as an alternative to ready picked produce on the farm. You can do PYO from the first strawberries of the summer in May to the last pumpkin in October. All the varieties we grow have been chosen for their taste – we can do this because everything is picked and sold within minutes or hours, not days.
We have been growing soft fruit for over 20 years and have managed to get it down to a fine art. To ensure availability, we grow both soil grown and substraight grown strawberries and the taste is arguably the best you will ever have. We even have PYO strawberries on table tops now, so its even more convenient for picking!
Children's Play Area & Animal Corner
The children's play area is outside, situated next to the cafe garden, so you can supervise. Children can play on the tractor, climbing frame with a slide and a Wendy house. The animal field is situated across from the Children's play area. This gives children the opportunity to see the animals in their natural habitat and even feed them.
We have a wide selection of good value, quality homegrown and locally sourced produce, including Christmas turkeys, all under one roof – for a convenient local shopping experience!
Take the stress out of Christmas by ordering your Christmas food early so its one less thing to think about! Christmas orders can be placed in the shop, by email or over the phone on 01759 373023.
We have local free range bronze turkeys, stuffing and all the trimmings from various local suppliers. Christmas Puddings and Christmas cakes made by our very own in-house baker, Phyllis, which she has been maturing since the summer. We have plenty of gift ideas, quality hampers, Christmas trees, decorations, Christmas wreaths, homemade cakes, puddings, tasting sessions and lots more.
We are located 6 miles outside of York on the A166 to Bridlington at Gate Helmsley. We are on bus route number 10; hop off at Gate Helmsley before reaching Stamford Bridge.
If you are a keen cyclist, we are on Sustrans Route 66 and the "Way of the roses" Cycle route - we welcome you to stop off to re-energise.
Open 7 days a week.
Yorkshire and the North Members