an is the only creature that consumes without producing […]. Yet he is lord of all the animals,” said George Orwell. Napoleon and Snowball, the tyrannical pigs in Animal Farm, bear little resemblance to Matilda and Tiramisu, the two pets—pig and goat, respectively—at TribeWanted Monestevole. This 40ha project in Umbria, Italy, aspires to be self-sufficient, and offers total immersion at a farm. They define themselves as a community, but accept travellers who want to stay there, for a fee. There is no activities program, but the visitor is expected to contribute to farm chores. They have horses, cows, sheep, pigs and ducks. “We also aspire to preserve and enhance local artisanal skills and inspire the Italian youth to return to the countryside, while, at the same time providing our tribe members with a more accessible location to learn, get their hands dirty and take lessons home,” they affirm.
On the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, you will find Belle Mont Farm: a deluxe farm with 160ha of agricultural land, deep in a tropical jungle. Here, everything is organic and every morning, guests receive a basket of ripe fruit in their room.
This is precisely what many urbanites are looking for. A trip to the country—even if it is just for a holiday—in search of a slower lifestyle. A return to our origins, in response to the stress caused by an increasingly urbanised world. In this context, agritourism is a goldmine. The farm becomes a trip to the past, for people who have only ever eaten their lettuce pre-washed, chopped and packaged.
Luxury also has its place, even when surrounded by vegetables. In Oxfordshire, an hour-and-a-half by car from London, you will find Soho Farmhouse, a Soho House project, which offers rural accommodation, but with every comfort you might want. This select club also admits guests, in its farmhouse, river cabins and even tents. It is home to traditional countryside activities, like horse riding and learning to cook with farm products, not to mention others that are more typical of first-rate accommodation, like a gym and swimming pool. The public areas have a bar, shop and cinema.
Between Bath and Bristol, you will find The Pig. A 29-room hotel that invites you to discover Somerset, a county in south-wast England. Its windows overlook fields replete with deer, and a garden, which supplies the hotel restaurant with fresh produce: spinach, beetroot, onion, blueberries, the list goes on. They go from the earth to the table of the glasshouse, home to the excellent in-house restaurant. The other ingredients are provided by local suppliers. Stress is left at the door of the library, bar and massage cabins.
At Liberty Hill Farm (Vermont, USA) guests are invited to help out with the farm tasks: tidying, gathering eggs and the harvest. They have 80ha of land and it has a big favourite with families. Perhaps this is because the children discover that lettuce is actually grown in soil.