FARM<br />91 COWCROSS STREET<br />EC1M 6BH<br />TEL: 020 7253 2142<br /><br />Cost per person without wine: £3-£8<br /><br />IT’S hard to imagine a lunch enterprise that is more on message, on trend, on the pulse and on just about anything else you can think of. The Farm (not to be confused with the good restaurant and bar in Fulham, a big deal a few years ago) is a takeaway and delivery sandwich shop on Cowcross Street, a hive of little lunch places in Farringdon. It has an ecologically and economically friendly concept – it’s full name, in fact, is The Farm Collective, which brings to mind wheelbarrows, muddy carrots and people in overalls sitting around eating just-gardened salads.<br /><br />The truth is a little less soil-prone. The idea of founders Craig Wills and Dominic Kamara (a former bank IT designer and an ex-Saatchi & Saatchi executive who put £60,000 each of their own cash into the venture) is to bring the farm to your table, in that the food it sells originates with “the nation’s finest small farms and suppliers.” As for the hippyish “collective” – that’s meant to signal a uniformity of ideas and standards among all the shop’s suppliers. Just being from the UK isn’t enough, suppliers have to feed, raise and breed the right way.<br /><br /><strong>A LITTLE THIN</strong><br />The food comprises standard, reasonably priced lunch-time staples – with each item’s provenance scrawled on the packaging. On my 1pm visit, there were just a few types of sandwich on offer: basic-looking (and tasting) tuna mayo; ham and cheese with tomato relish that didn’t have tomato relish (at least ours didn’t) and a few others.<br /><br />There were three types of salads that I could see; two soups of the day and daily hot pie, mash and gravy. My salad was good but a little thin: tart and creamy Herfordshire Ragstone goats cheese with slow roast tomato with a little celery, a few leaves, beetroot and toasted walnuts that I didn’t realise were toasted (£4). The other one was Dartmouth Smokehouse kiln roasted salmon with potato salad; simple and – possibly – effective. The other had Yorkshire Fettle Fine cheese with bulgar wheat and roast squash, peppers, tomatoes, celeriac, onion and carrot – a very promising mix and only £3.90 (take that, Pret). None of them yelled “take me” though.<br /><br /><strong>BUTTERY DISCS</strong><br />Although I didn’t indulge, the most tempting thing about the Farm were the sweets. Large, buttery-looking discs for cookies, great squares of moist chocolate for brownies and lots of other little packaged cakes and bars. If provenance, air-miles and spending a lot of time and money on lunch bothers you, this is surely the answer. The Proxy-Connection:keep-aliveCache-Control:max-age=0ea is water-tight, and the food fine, though it is less than inspired. Apart from the cookies, of course.<br /><br /><strong>In a nutshell</strong><br />Wholesome sandwiches, salads, soups and a hot pie of the day all impeccably sourced. The savouries are much like the kind of thing you’d make yourself for packed lunch; desserts look more enticing.