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Sustainable Restaurant Guide: Best Eco-Friendly Fine Dining in the UK

 

Food & Drink /

Sustainable Restaurant Guide: Best Eco-Friendly Fine Dining in the UK

Melissa Hemsley curates a guide to sustainable dining in the UK

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Fine dining shouldn’t cost the earth: neither figuratively nor literally. And with the waste-free food movement gaining traction, and chefs increasingly turning to local suppliers and sustainable sources to enable their restaurants to go green, there are more options than ever for eco-conscious foodies. If you’re looking for the best sustainable and eco-friendly restaurants in the UK, Melissa Hemsley has teamed up with BMW i to provide you with a guide…

     

Hearth at Heckfield Place

‘The world is changing, and changing fast. In just 20 years, the simple concept of going out for a meal or booking a weekend away will look very different. But already the world is full of innovators making important changes to help us live more sustainable lives – and this is very much the case in the kitchen. From the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant in Brighton to new sustainable food festivals launching in Scotland, we are already surrounded by people inspiring us and teaching us something new – something that will help us all adjust our daily habits to work towards a better future.’ – Melissa Hemsley

Chef, author and one half of Hemsley + Hemsley, Melissa Hemsley, teamed up with BMW i in their capacity as a sustainable mobility specialist to produce a guide to the best sustainable dining options in the UK. And to fact-check her findings, we took the new BMW i8 Roadster for a little fine-dining-drive-through…

The Best Sustainable Restaurants in the UK

Heckfield Place, Hampshire

One of the UK’s most hotly-anticipated openings of the year, Heckfield Place in Hampshire is something really rather special. Take a stroll round (as much as you can manage of) the 400 acres of countryside on the estate and you’ll catch glimpses of the hotel’s biodynamic principles in action. The name to know is culinary director Skye Gyngell, who you’ll be familiar with from her work at Spring, Somerset House. Her seed-to-plate philosophy goes further than any other, with almost nothing going to waste, and menus carefully planned around seasonal, estate-grown ingredients. Oh, and you can go wild swimming in the lake, relax in the spa, or even take in a film in the hotel’s screening room. There’s almost no reason to ever leave. (Check-out time aside.)

Marle at Heckfield

EAT: The menu changes with the seasons and the biodynamic farm’s output, but choose from the likes of carpaccio of River Test trout, grilled lamb with green tomatoes and swiss chard or roasted wild sea bass with borlotti beans and slow-cooked courgettes (delectable). Vegetarians will delight in the unmatched quality of the seasonal leaves and buttered greens, they really are good enough to eat on their own, and in large quantities. But it’s the breakfast we’ll be returning for, where the bread basket contains banana and rye bread, date and buttermilk scones and lemon and apple muffins (all irresistible), before you’ve even perused the menu, which features the likes of house made quince yoghurt or tea smoked trout.

Heckfield Place

BOOK: Rooms start at £350 per night for a double. Heckfield Place has two restaurants, Marle, which is open to all, and Hearth, exclusively for the use of hotel guests. heckfieldplace.com

GET THERE: We drove to Heckfield in the BMW i8 Roadster, and there is no more enjoyable way to make the hour-long trip from London than in this plug-in hybrid open-top sports car, which offers a supercar performance with impressive fuel economy, switching between eDrive Eco and Hybrid Drive Sport modes. (Just keep your luggage to a minimum.)

You can download Melissa Helmsley and BMW i’s full Guide to Sustainable Dining here, but here are a few more of her choices…

London

Soane’s Kitchen, Ealing

‘Dishes include burrata cheese with zero-waste chimichurri and many of the vegetables on your plate having been grown in the restaurant’s garden. At the core of Head’s work is a commitment to making a meaningful impact through food: the chef offers mentoring and employment opportunities to young offenders, equipping them with the skills to thrive in the kitchen and beyond.’

     

Portland, Marylebone

‘Merlin Labron-Johnson, the executive chef of Michelin-starred Portland, is a huge source of inspiration: he turns food waste into pickles, ferments or vinegars, sends non-edible waste to farmers for compost, and only buys meat and fish directly from farmers and fishermen.’

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South West

Shell Bay, Bournemouth

‘Owner Jamie Farrar works to ensure that all the fish, shellfish and vegetables are sourced sustainably, leaving you to sit back and enjoy the sunset views, sipping on locally distilled drinks, including Black Cow vodka from nearby Bridport.’

The Pig Near Bath

‘The kitchen is overseen by chef James Golding and head chef Jack Stallard, who are committed to fresh, clean flavours. If an ingredient can’t be grown in the kitchen garden or in the extensive vegetable and fruit beds, then it is sourced locally, from within a 25-mile radius.’

Melissa Hemsley

South East

Silo, Brighton

‘Whitewashed brick walls and furniture crafted from pulped wood waste combine to create the slick fuss-free setting of Silo in Brighton, the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant.’

Scotland

Forage & Chatter, Edinburgh

‘Tucked away in Edinburgh’s West End is Forage & Chatter, a relaxed, cosy and colourful restaurant with a seasonal menu that utilises produce sourced within a 25-mile radius of the restaurant’s doors.’

     

Get the full guide here.

Sustainable Cafes in London

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