Painstaking hours of digging, raking and forking – this week has been all hands on deck. With the outdoor growing season upon us there has been a rush to prepare the terraces for their crops. TB and chef James have constructed clever cloches to allow us to grow outside and take advantage of this wonderful spring sunshine. Tomorrow Ken and the gang will be filling the beds with the first crops of the year. The poly-tunnel is packed full of seedlings on their way outside and there is a real feeling of a change in seasons.
I am delighted that the tiny woodruff roots that I foraged a fortnight ago have taken well and show new growth. I hope to establish it wild again this summer in the field next to the garden for easy access. Foraging with guaranteed results has got to be a good thing!!!
When we first discussed the prospect of the garden with Ken last year, we all agreed that the garden and it’s produce would be the most important part of what we do. All our menu ideas would come from the ingredients available to us at any particular time. We knew this would be a challenge. Everyday new ingredients might be ready and we would have to seize them at their absolute best and create unique dishes and drinks from them. It’s exciting and encourages our creativity as well as setting us apart from any other restaurant. Last year we decided not to open for lunch during the week to allow us the time to establish the garden. We are still open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
I am really pleased that we have now decided to run two tasting menus; our normal nine course menu and a shorter five course menu instead of the 3 course menu. Only serving tasting menus means we can change dishes daily allowing us to show off the best ingredients we have everyday. It’s great to serve at least five courses – guests get a real feel for what we are doing and experience more of our unique ingredients. The five course menu will be the same price as the 3 course was – representing great value for money.
With everything in place for what should be an amazing summer, I for one can’t wait!!!