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From Plant to Plate: How The Greenhouse's Kitchen Garden is Promoting a Sustainable Menu

16/11/2023 Wadswick Green, General, Case Study, Blog, Corporate

Green by name, green by nature certainly seems to be both the literal and figurative ethos of Corsham’s The Greenhouse restaurant when it comes to sustainable dining.

Set amid the beautiful, leafy 25 acres of Wadswick Green’s award-winning grounds, The Greenhouse benefits from receiving fresh vegetables from the Wadswick kitchen gardens, herbs harvested from the village grounds, and honey collected from on-site beehives. Altogether, the supply of these items combines to a proud total of 0 food miles (or 250 feet to be exact).

When choosing where to dine, sustainability is a factor valued ever more highly by restaurant clientele. Considering that one third of the world’s food goes to waste, which in turn contributes to 8% of greenhouse gas emissions, this is unsurprising. Couple this with the rising demand for top quality fruit and vegetables from society’s many organic and health obsessed individuals, and we have to conclude that fresh is best.

The Greenhouse restaurant offers a solution in that you can enjoy a delicious meal safe in the knowledge that your dinner’s ingredients were grown, harvested and produced as eco-consciously as possible. Menus are a true collaboration between the creatives in The Greenhouse’s kitchen and the multi award-winning Wadswick Green gardening team, led by Head Gardener, Chris Liversidge.

“I trust Chris to grow what he loves in the garden,” says Head Chef Leon Sheppard, who designs his menus around the produce brought in by Chris every week, enabling Leon to curate the ever-changing dishes on offer to suit the season by utilising the freshest produce. However, when working 100% on seasonality Leon stresses that “flexibility is key” to ensure that menus remain innovative and inspiring to cooks and guests alike.

As such, this harvest season we can expect to see more ‘Home Comfort’ dishes on offer at The Greenhouse - perfect for bringing the family together on the colder days and darker evenings autumn brings. Whereas summer saw a selection of light, salad-based items on the menu, autumn at The Greenhouse will provide diners with “warming and quintessentially British favourites”. Chef Leon’s Beef Hotpot, Stilton Macaroni and Lambs Liver are not only comforting British classics, but are all informed and complimented by Wadswick’s homegrown veg such as carrots, courgettes and leafy greens.

Big hits from menus of recent weeks have included the Pork Schnitzel with creamed potatoes, greens and cider sauce, and the Golden Glazed Carrot, mushroom and hazelnut tart, both of which have been inspired by Chris’ weekly hauls from the village gardens. Should there be any gap in garden provisions, Leon and his team turn to local suppliers such as Wiltshire’s Four Seasons greengrocer for additional fruits and vegetables. The flexibility of working menus around a seasonal harvest truly pays off in the deluge of compliments from guests and hot anticipation for the release of each week’s menu.

Sustainability doesn’t stop with vegetables. The Greenhouse’s Sunday roasts, described by customers as both “excellent” and “delicious”, receive their meat from local South West suppliers Buxton Butchers in Bristol. Although Wadswick Green isn’t close to water, The Greenhouse classics of Beer Battered Hake and Chips along with the famous Fish Finger Sandwich have their seafood supplied from Kingfisher fishmongers in nearby Brixham. Needless to say, these dishes are given their finishing touch with a microherb garnish grown and handpicked by Chris and his diligent gardening team. Furthermore, for those enjoying a hearty breakfast or brunch at The Greenhouse, the restaurant’s beehives can provide own-brand honey for your morning toast, pancakes or porridge. Supporting local means that The Greenhouse team, and thus their valued customers, know exactly where the food on their plates has come from whilst also reducing their food miles and subsequently the restaurant’s overall carbon footprint.

Making the decision to eat a diet of organic food remains popular due to the numerous health benefits that come from avoiding the pesticides, chemicals and synthetic hormones commonly found in more processed options. This is a lifestyle choice which Chef Leon wholeheartedly agrees with, emphasising the benefits by stating that The Greenhouse would like customers to know that they are doing their best to “look after our environment and wildlife” along with the health of guests themselves. Leon is “incredibly proud” of this step towards Rangeford Villages’ overall goal of becoming net-carbon zero by 2030.

Although growing your own fruit and vegetables in a kitchen garden isn’t a new concept by any stretch, it can seem like an overwhelming task to begin with. Leon stresses that this is not the case, encouraging those at home to start small with window boxes for kitchen cupboard staple herbs like rosemary, thyme and basil, or easy to grow items such as tomatoes or potatoes. The Greenhouse’s own crop of heritage tomatoes, potatoes and asparagus are testament to this. Our Head Chef highly recommends these simple, yet “beautiful” items to elevate your home cooking.

In a manner reminiscent of traditional British agricultural practices, The Greenhouse restaurant reconnects with the seasons by designing weekly menus to be highly adaptable, based on seasonally available produce. This level of sustainability means that The Greenhouse has removed all food miles for garden vegetables, herbs, and honey and has found a great way to appeal to environmentally-minded customers, cut costs and reduce the restaurant’s impact on the planet. Guilt-free in both senses, dishes at The Greenhouse promise customers healthy treats, sourced sustainably – a double incentive to visit for dinner this weekend.

Call The Greenhouse team on 01225 220 830 to book your table today.

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