Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Stable Yard, Hatfield - independent shopping at it's best

I was recently invited along to a press day at Stable Yard, a beautiful shopping venue within the splendid grounds of the Jacobean Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

I must admit, although it's not far from me, I haven't visited the house for years, and now with a young child I don't imagine walking around a stately home is top of her list of fun things to do.

That's why I was so impressed with Stable Yard.  It's a standalone venue, which you can pop into even out of season when the house is closed.  Full of boutique and independent shops, a fabulous restaurant and even their own children's farm and outdoor play area (entrance fee applies) there's something to keep everyone entertained.

Stable Yard is open Tuesday-Sunday 11am to 5.30, with free entrance and free car parking.

Stop for a coffee or meet friends for afternoon tea and delicious cakes at the Coach House Restaurant, and peruse the delights in shops such as The Oak Room which sells a range of beautiful home ware, haberdashery and gifts.

Get garden inspiration from the Burston Garden Shop, and even pick up a tasty treat for dinner from Frank the Butcher - sausages are made on site to his own recipe and I can personally vouch for them!

Stable Yard Music offers lessons, instruments as well as recording space and children's parties.  There's a huge range of different specialist stores nestling in the converted buildings - a traditional sweet shop; goldsmiths; art gallery; toy shop; gift store and antique centre.

In a world where we are used to shopping in High Street chains, the unique products and personal service is very welcome. The relaxed atmosphere makes time spent here a real pleasure.

There are regular Farmers Markets and Antiques Markets at weekends and every Tuesday crafters can drop in to their sessions to pick up tips and inspiration from others.

Stable Yard is a real hidden gem, go check it out!

Disclosure: I was invited to an event and lunch.  No financial reward was received and all views expressed are my own.


  1. Ooh, this sounds so lovely Lizzie! Love the idea of lots of little specialist stores - and could possibly even bribe T to come round a few with me if there was a promise of playpark and farm afterwards!

    I was invited to the event too and couldn't make it, but so glad you had a good time. Is Hatfield House accessible without a car or will I struggle from Harpenden?

  2. Hi Dorkymum, thanks for your comment. It is lovely, so peaceful and I could literally spend all day in the Oak Room! Funnily enough, I live on the same train line as you and I too don't drive. But as FCC own both our line and the Hatfield line, there is an interconnecting bus between St Albans and Hatfield and the House is just across the road from Hatfield station. I haven't tried it yet but it seems totally do-able. We should check it out and go for afternoon tea one day! x

    1. Go for tea once I have finished work and before I move away, pretty please! Mich x

  3. My Mum and I went along to The Stable Yard last Monday whilst she was visiting and had a lovely time. The mix of shops is just right - something for everyone - and I was also amazed at how long we spent in the Hatfield House gift shop which also had a great range of things, all very reasonably priced too. We stopped off for coffee in the restaurant and enjoyed the selection of cakes and cookies too. As we were there they were setting up for lunch and it all looked delicious.

    I'll definitely be back - hopefully to try out the butcher, but also possibly to one of the farmers markets or antique fairs that they hold. The whole place just has a great vibe about it. Next time I'll aim to take Little Miss C round the farm too as we're yet to make it to that.

  4. And I nearly forgot to mention how I want to buy absolutely everything in the Oak Room! I'm definitely up for trying to organise a bloggers day out there. Or maybe two - one featuring afternoon tea for us, and another featuring the farm and playground for the kids!

    1. Hi Mrs C. Totally agree, it's a lovely atmosphere. The Oak Room is amazing I got some really gorgeous birthday presents while I was there - definitely a great place to go for out of the ordinary gifts.

      A blogger day out sounds fab. x

  5. As you know I love the wooden children s play area and the price is so reasonable. It makes for a great summers day out and has loads of shade there too! Mich x