THE director of a popular vineyard has revealed plans to create a new restaurant and a bigger shop. 

Prettyfields Vineyard, in Dead Lane, Ardleigh, submitted blueprints to Tendring Council to extend an existing building on its site. 

The plans suggest creating a space for a new eatery and kitchen and a larger on-site store for customers. 

The proposal statement reads: “The proposal is located within the footprint of existing development on the site and supports an ongoing brewery and café business. 

Echo: Plans - Prettyfields Vineyard has applied to build a restaurant and bigger shop in Dead Lane,

"Meaning that it has a limited impact whilst also creating much-needed rural jobs in a sustainable location.”   

Director Robert Blyth spoke to the Gazette about how the Covid pandemic was the root of the plans. 

He said: “We originally opened in 2019 and had an adequate first few months, but then Covid happened. 

“We re-evaluated our business throughout the pandemic and when the restrictions were lifted, offered outdoor seating, tours and tastings. 

“But we noticed we do not have enough indoor space and we submitted the plans.” 

If the expansion plans are approved, ten new jobs will be created. 


Mr Blyth added: “At the moment we are introducing a new brunch menu over the weekend. We will have cakes, sausage rolls and charcuterie boards.

"We will also offer pizza nights, salad bars and barbecues using locally sourced meat. 

“If we are successful with our application, we are hoping to open the new restaurant before autumn this year. 

“We hope to give the development more prospects and help increase the work we have been doing here. 


“The support from local people has been great and we are looking forward to what is coming next.” 

The cafe and farm shop, managed by Skylark, offers local produce and wines, as well as a re-fill station, open to customers seven days a week between 9am and 5pm. 

Tickets for regular events with good food and great music can be booked online, with upcoming events for Mother’s Day and Easter. 

Wine tastings and tours of the vineyard can also be pre-booked on the vineyard's website. 

Planning bosses at Tendring Council will have the final say about the expansion plans