Providing an abundance of fresh and seasonal produce for the restaurants – including fruit, vegetables, salads, herbs and edible flowers – kitchen gardens are an integral part of many of the UK’s finest hotels. Pride of Britain Hotels highlights 10 of its glorious kitchen gardens.
Barnsley House has an immaculate ornamental kitchen garden which was originally created by acclaimed garden designer Rosemary Verey. It is now overseen by head gardener Richard Gatenby, who is currently growing garden peas, chard, Little Gem lettuce and sweet peas on willow stems. A second garden provides a further array of delights including asparagus, squash, courgette flowers, carrots, beetroot and violet radishes. Hens and a cockerel also reside here, laying a range of prettily-coloured eggs. Both gardens provide ingredients for The Potager restaurant.
From nasturtiums, rhubarb and salad leaves to baby vegetables, micro herbs and white raspberries, Lucknam Park’s kitchen garden provides an eclectic range of seasonal produce in line with its ‘garden to gourmet’ philosophy. The hotel’s Michelin-starred chef Hywel Jones watches the kitchen garden closely and updates his restaurant menus accordingly. Home-grown produce is also used in the hotel’s cookery school.
Gilpin Hotel and Lake House
Spanning two estates in the beautiful Lake District, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House enjoys a wonderful Windermere location. As well fresh fruit, green vegetables, herbs and edible flowers, the kitchen garden grows vibrantly-coloured flowers for the hotel. During the summer months, afternoon tea and evening canapés can be enjoyed outdoors. There are also two Potting Shed spa treatment rooms housed in the garden’s old potting sheds.
Hambleton Hall’s walled kitchen garden is cultivated to grow herbs, salad ingredients, vegetables and soft fruit. In summer, courgette flowers form part of Michelin-starred chef Aaron Patterson’s favourite dishes, including Fillet of Seabass, Courgette Flower and Lemon Verbena Risotto. Kitchen garden ingredients are mixed with locally-foraged finds such as hogweed, wild sorrel, chickweed, wild garlic and wild mushrooms, for an ever-evolving menu.
The recently-restored walled vegetable garden at Lewtrenchard Manor provides its kitchen with a heavenly harvest of delicious homegrown produce such as asparagus, beetroot and rhubarb. The hotel’s ‘Soil to Plate’ events introduce guests to the kitchen garden before a three-course cookery demonstration and dinner showcasing the freshly-picked ingredients.
Lancashire’s Ribble Valley
At Northcote, Lancashire’s foodie retreat, guests can tour the kitchen garden to learn about the importance of local, seasonal produce. From French sorrel, lovage and sweet cicely to violet globe artichokes, Cherbury asparagus and radishes, crops are delivered by wheelbarrow to the cookery school and kitchen to create dishes for the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
Glenapp Castle’s Victorian walled kitchen garden grows a range of wonderful herbs and vegetables including rosemary, sage and thyme as well as courgettes, potatoes, artichokes and rhubarb. A stunning Victorian glasshouse grows fruit including strawberries, apricots, grapes, nectarines, figs and pears. The ever-changing produce features daily on the hotel’s lunch and dinner menus.
The Torridon in the Scottish Highlands has a lovingly tended two-acre fruit and vegetable garden. The superb crop includes apples, blackberries, raspberries, potatoes, carrots and a wide selection of herbs – all of which are used in the kitchen. Many of the flowers for the house are also grown in the garden, including dahlias, croci, gladioli and tulips.
Grove of Narberth
The Jacobean walled garden at Grove of Narberth in Pembrokeshire provides an exciting harvest throughout the year, with over 70 varieties of vegetables, herbs and summer fruits grown for the hotel’s restaurants. The chefs forage in the surrounding hedgerows for accompanying delights such as wild garlic, nettle, elderflower, wood sorrel, pennywort, wild blackberries and wild strawberries.
Grade I listed Gravetye Manor is set in 1,000 acres of landscaped grounds created over 100 years ago by pioneering gardener William Robinson. The magnificent oval-walled Victorian kitchen garden provides an abundance of fruit, vegetables and herbs that are used by Michelin-starred chef George Blogg in the hotel’s kitchen to create seasonal, modern British fare.