Land to Larder
Originally, Middleton Lodge would have been a self-sufficient Georgian estate, growing and rearing everything on site for the families living on the estate. The abundance of ingredients in the autumn would be preserved for the winter, before the new lease of life that comes with the spring and runs through to the summer.
This way of self-sufficiency inspires the day-to day running of the estate today, creating modern dishes inspired by some of these traditional ingredients in order to help conserve and protect the natural beauty of the estate environment.
The seasons provide a natural rhythm for each recipe and menu we create. We nourish the soil, growing ingredients bursting with natural flavours and textures, and allowing each dish to elevate the produce and inspire each diner.
Alongside the gardens, the orchards have been restored to provide fruit for the kitchens. We have added bees to encourage pollination across the estate and provide honey for the forge. Almost 90 per cent of wild plants depend on pollinators such as bees, so having our own bees is an important asset for the estate.
Middleton Lodge Estate is home to two restaurants, the Coach House and Forge. Both restaurants serve original, seasonal menus. They both use the ingredients grown on the estate to create dishes and inspire diners to eat seasonally. We are continually striving to reduce our offsite purchases and make as much on site as possible. This helps reduce our carbon footprint as far as possible.
Redesigned in 2014 by Tom Stuart-Smith, the original estate kitchen garden is a two-acre space. Just as it would have when the estate was designed by John Carr, the garden grows the produce required for the estate throughout the year.
The surrounding woodlands near the restaurant also provide produce for the kitchens and this year have been used to spore mushrooms using offcuts from some of the estate oak trees.