Lincolnshire Shepherdess, Sophie Arlott, supplies native breeds to four Michelin-starred restaurants.
Based on a small, idyllic farm in the Lincolnshire countryside, mother-of-two Sophie has been producing Lavinton Lamb from her flock of native breed sheep for the past ten years.
Mix of native breeds for taste and texture
Extensive research led this artisan producer to establish a mix of native breeds hailing from all four corners of the British Isles – each carefully chosen for the particular attributes it brings to the texture and flavour of the meat. Her award-winning flock started in 2004 with Southdowns, one of Britain’s oldest breeds, particularly noted for its sweet marbled meat.
This breed is mixed as a sire with the slow-maturing Romney from Kent, the Lleyn from Wales and the Cheviot from the Scottish Borders, as well as the Hebridean, a ‘wild’ sheep which prefers to graze on leaves, twigs and grass, lending its fine-textured, unusually lean meat a rich, gamey taste. The Hebridean is a totally natural breed which has never been modified by artificial selection.
“I want consumers to enjoy the delicious taste of real lamb, using ancient native breeds which feed naturally on pastureland,” says Sophie.
Served in four Michelin-starred restaurants
Lavinton Lamb has found a place on top restaurant menus and in high-end retailers. Chefs’ verdicts include “Awesome” (Aaron Paterson, 1* Michelin chef at Hambleton Hall), “Outstanding” (Phil Howard, 2* Michelin chef at The Square), and “Delicious, much more flavour than our usual supplier’ (Sat Bains, 2* Michelin chef at Restaurant Sat Bains).
Animal welfare a top priority
This artesan producer has created a unique product driven by customer demand, whilst maintaining great consideration for animal welfare. The lambs are reared on the lush ancient pasture that surrounds her farmhouse. Sophie’s sheep enjoy the finest quality of life; she knows all her flock by sight, and even smiles benignly as her prize-winning ram chomps his way round the flowerbeds in the garden. She drives the lambs to the local abattoir personally and once a week she delivers orders herself in her van.
Meet Sophie and her flock
Lavinton Lamb satisfies the growing desire for consumers to know exactly where their meat comes from, a food trend identified and labelled by The Future Laboratory as ‘hyper-provenance’.
Lavinton Lamb is available to buy direct from Sophie’s farm; customers can see the flock in the field, meet Sophie, and purchase anything from lamb burgers, to a joint, or a whole sheep prepared for the freezer.