FRESHLY foraged brambles in home-made scones.Scottish gins from nearby distilleries on the shelves of the deli. Strathaven artworks on the walls.

Celebrating all that is tasty and terrific about local produce is at the heart of a new farm shop and kitchen proving a hit in the Lanarkshire countryside.

The Heron Farm Shop and Kitchen is the brainchild of Emma Smith, who runs a sheep farm in Strathaven with her husband Angus, daughter Katie, 10, and eight-year-old son Rory.

“It was a huge leap of faith,” smiles Emma, a former nurse who grew up on the south side of Glasgow.

“We were keen to diversify, and I’d always liked the idea of running a café – there is so much amazing Scottish produce out there, that I wanted to try and use that as much as possible. I think people are much more aware of where their food comes from, and want to shop and eat locally if they can.

“We have worked hard to build up relationships with suppliers across Lanarkshire and in nearby Ayrshire – for example, we get our beef from a farm in Biggar, cheese from Dunlop, milk from Cumnock, and bread in our shop is baked in a bakery on a farm just a couple of miles away.”

Emma adds: “The art and craftworks we sell in the shop come from makers living in Strathaven and surrounding villages too - we’re really keen to support other businesses nearby.”

The stunning café, with its oak frames, spectacular views, is located on a quiet rural road over the Ardochrig on the road between Strathaven and Auldhouse Village, just on the outskirts of East Kilbride.

“We are quite out of the way, so we have been delighted so many people have made the journey out to see us,” smiles Emma. “We are one of the main cycle routes so we do get a lot of cyclists looking for tea and bacon rolls.”

Cyclists are not the only visitors flocking to The Heron – weekdays are busy with parents and young children fresh from the school or nursery run, ladies who lunch and friends relaxing over afternoon coffee, while families looking for somewhere different to enjoy a leisurely brunch or lunch are making a beeline for the place at the weekends.

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The 16-strong team, led by Emma and manager Rosie Grant (with support from mini-helpers Katie and Rory who enjoy baking and building respectively) bake and cook most of the menu in the kitchen.

“I have always loved baking, inspired by my gran,” says Emma. “In fact, many of the recipes I’m using here are my gran’s. It’s her Victoria Sponge we sell, and her meringues. She was a fantastic baker. I have her original recipe book and it’s a shame – some of it was written in pencil, so it has faded away.”

The bakes are glorious - salted caramel and banana cake, gluten-free blueberry lime and coconut sponge, blueberry cheesecake - and the menu is a mix of classics, such as home-made soups and sandwiches, to traditional-with-a-twist favourites like Scottish salmon on a toasted bagel from Taylor’s bakery, just up the road, or the hot chicken garlic baguette, inspired by Smith family trips to the Isle of Coll Hotel.

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“It has been a challenge, opening a new business, running the farm and bringing up two young children,” says Emma.

“But everyone has been so supportive of us since we opened in April - we feel very lucky.”