Actively practising food sustainability is becoming the norm rather than the exception, which is good news for everyone, and especially
good for the environment. Our local food and drink sector has made huge progress in recent years when it comes to sourcing sustainable
produce – as well as ensuring their operations are as low-impact as possible. Once again, innovation plays an important part, but it’s the
smaller, everyday changes which make the biggest difference. Chester Food & Drink Month has been finding out more
Spitting Feathers Brewery – Thirsty for Sustainability
Spitting Feathers is known for producing dynamic and superb quality craft beer in keg, cask and bottle, but there is much more going on at their home on Common Farm in Waverton than the brewing of award-winning beer and cider! Matthew and his fabulous team at Spitting Feathers have closed the loop on local produce and sustainability, whilst also remaining many steps ahead with innovation and creativity. The used grains from the brewery are a valuable feed for the pigs that provide the brewery and their pubs (The Brewery Tap in Chester and The West Kirby Tap on the Wirral) with their delicious pork. Beehives also provide honey for the pubs and seasonal beer, Honey Trap, and small amounts of hops are also grown on the farm for use in occasional speciality beers. Driven by their enthusiasm for great beer and good times, Spitting Feathers has continued to grow and evolve into a forward-thinking brewery, producing some of the best beers in Cheshire and beyond. The art of brewing has become a thing of artisan excellence – a lesson in true, local sustainability.
Common Farm, Waverton, 01244 332 052, spittingfeathers.co.uk
Rowton Hall Hotel & Spa – an escape to the country feel, right on your doorstep.
A beautiful former Georgian manor with 39 super-luxurious rooms and suites, and with a gorgeous award-winning Cheshire spa. But Rowton Hall has never really been known as a destination dining experience, and we think it’s now time to rewrite the Chester restaurant guide. The Langdale Restaurant at Rowton Hall is run by dedicated Head Chef Matthew Jencitis, who is hugely passionate about local produce and quality ingredients. Matthew works with other massively-passionate food and produce experts to deliver delicious, seasonal menus in this beautiful countryside setting. Sitting in eight acres of stunning grounds, it’s no surprise that they have dedicated a large section to a fabulous kitchen garden where they grow their own organic vegetables, fruits, salad and micro-herbs. You can seriously taste the fact that so much of that natural produce is tended and nurtured by expert gardener Karl, with zero carbon footprint to deliver. When planning menus and preparing for the day’s service, Matt and Karl select the produce only needed for that day – and which is at the peak of perfection for his stunning dishes.
To experience the wonderful food and the relaxed country house feel of the Langdale Restaurant, book your table today by calling 01244 335262, or make a night of it and stay over, enjoy some time in the Luxury Spa and Health Club and even get a round of croquet or tennis in too!
Rowton Lane, Chester, 01244 335 262, www.rowtonhallhotel.co.uk
The Forge – a true taste of the wild, where sustainability is king!
Mike Robinson and his fabulous team at The Forge source the very best quality, sustainable ingredients from land and sea for incredible dishes that form truly memorable dining experiences. The focus at their stunning new Chester restaurant is on British-only ingredients. The venison is harvested from herds on estates that are managed specifically to improve biodiversity and deer health – something that Mike is fiercely passionate about. The top-grade seafood is also British, from hand-dived scallops from our own shores to the best Menai oysters, and only ever from fully sustainable sources. Farmed produce comes from those farms with the highest welfare standards, with the provenance printed on every menu. Add fantastic service and a very recent Michelin recommendation to their unwavering commitment to sustainability – and you have one epic new dining experience to enjoy right next to the picturesque Grosvenor Park.
Grosvenor Park road, 01244 735 765, theforgechester.com
Hypha – a huge commitment to sustainability with a Michelin Green Star to prove it
There is no one in Chester who has sustainability credentials quite like Hypha, and they even have a Michelin Green Star to prove it.
Hypha is a whole new dining experience, an epic ongoing food and drink experiment with sustainable aims interwoven through every aspect. Starting with hero ingredients being grown in Chester and surrounding areas, right through to the aim of a zero-waste kitchen. After such a financially challenging time for the industry, owner Nik Friar invested in a state-of-the-art composter to close the loop on all food waste (including cardboard and paper). On top of that, every stalk and stem is utilised in the most creative, innovative and delicious way, it is a truly inspiring local food and drink story. Hypha is a food lovers paradise – constantly evolving and developing each season’s tasting menu, proudly using ingredients from local suppliers, growers, and foragers. These dishes are developed with a unique approach to dining, utilising their very own fermentation lab and creative food workspace, so that every mouthful has maximum impact for the guests and minimal impact on the planet.
5 City Walls, Chester, 01244 312 490, www.hypha.uk
Chester Zoo – offering sustainable dining and first-class food and drink
In the very heart of Chester’s world-famous zoo stands The Oakfield, a beautiful manor house which held the very beginnings of the zoo we know and love today. It is now the home of delicious food and drink, presented with the same pride, passion and consideration as this entire award-winning and much-loved destination. Chester Zoo is proud to keep its own sustainability values and policies central in all their operations, and The Oakfield is no exception. Their delicious dishes are crafted with local, seasonal produce, including meat and potatoes grown right here in Cheshire. All the fabulous fish dishes are responsibly sourced and certified by the Marine Stewardship council. There are meticulous and hugely detailed plans in place to make it a ‘zero waste’ operation by 2030. When you dine at The Oakfield, you will be tempted by a varied selection of menus, but can still be assured that even they are a part of their wider strategy for preventing extinction. Every item at The Oakfield is checked for its Palm Oil sustainability status, and all products containing palm oil come from sustainable growers and are certified by the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). The Oakfield at Chester Zoo makes a fabulous dining addition to your Chester Zoo visit – and we hear that the Sunday roast is amazing! For more information about The Oakfield at Chester Zoo and their ambitious sustainability plans, please head to www.theoakfield.org.