It all starts in the Kitchen Garden – the team here are the original Home-Grown Heroes of everything we do. Our 25-mile menu changes by the minute depending on what the kitchen gardener deems to be in perfect condition on that day – it’s just the way we run our kitchens.
The aim is to grow as much produce on site as possible for use in the kitchens, the garden also acts as a show garden for our guests. We aim to use as many parts of the plants as possible and our Garden team ensure there is always plenty of variety for the chefs to use 365 days per year.
The team is made up of two parts; the kitchen garden team are solely responsible for the productive garden spaces; whereas, the grounds teams tend to look after the lawns, trees, and maintenance of any formal borders. The team however works together on all projects and events supporting each other in all that we do.
Our nursery at our office in Clayhill, Lyndhurst, produces all of the seedlings and cuttings to populate the gardens throughout the year. Each garden team has a person dedicated to the management of the plants within the public areas, these plants must be either edible or medicinal and are replaced weekly always appearing fresh and healthy to the guests.
We happily chat to anyone who wants to come out and join us, be it guests who need some advice on their own gardens, or the rest of the hotel team who are keen to learn more and are always happy to take on volunteers and teach them some new skills. So, our Kitchen Garden Team need to be passionate about what they do and truly prepared to share their passion.
There are lots of opportunities for further training achieving recognised qualifications. Most recently we have trained staff to grow mushrooms on spent coffee grounds, (a natural by-product of the hospitality industry). We now grow upwards of 10kg of oyster and shiitake mushrooms every week! There are always exciting new opportunities within the kitchen garden department, we aim to promote from within and grow our own talent for the future.
There are always exciting projects, whether it be building a garden from scratch, or restoring a neglected or unmanaged garden. We build pop up show gardens at various events and festivals across the country and act as crew for the setting up and derigging of Smoked and Uncut music festivals at the hotels.
Each of the hotels have pigs as well as chickens and quail for egg production. We also have herds of deer, sheep, and flocks of ducks at various hotels too. The all-important husbandry of the animals usually falls under the grounds team’s remit; however, the kitchen garden team often muck in too.
We believe we never truly own our gardens, we are just custodian for a period of time. By joining our team you too can be one our all-important custodians cultivating the real beating heart of our hotels.
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