In April, KFC opened an eco-friendly restaurant in Indianapolis that includes measures aimed at reducing energy and water consumption. While the overall planet-friendliness of a branch of KFC is debatable, it does highlight the growing trend for greener eateries. In September, the Soil Association will be hosting the annual Organic Food Festival in Bristol, which will bring together 150 producers from across the UK to display the cream of the UK’s organic produce. And organic isn’t just green: it’s good for you too. A recent study by Newcastle University found that organic fruit and vegetables contain more nutrients, including vitamin C. Whatever the reasons, if you love wining and dining but don’t want to eat pesticide-covered produce, these fabulous British restaurants are for you.
The Duke of Cambridge
Why we love it: Opened in 1998, the Duke of Cambridge remains the only Soil Association certified gastropub in Britain. The pub keeps records of all ingredients used in its food and drinks and is subject to random inspections. The menu varies seasonally but always includes local produce, with 80 per cent of ingredients sourced from the Home Counties. British dishes dominate but there are Mediterranean influences and the menu includes two meat, two fish and two vegetarian mains. All of the organic ales and lagers on the menu are brewed in or around London, although some of the wines are imported. The pub also introduced the UK’s first organic cocktail list, which features small, independent brands.
Find out more: www.dukeorganic.co.uk
The Austwick Traddock
Why we love it: This family run restaurant in North Yorkshire specialises in traditional English fare and in 2006, was named Organic Restaurant of the Year by the Soil Association. Although it continues to source many of its ingredients from local organic producers, the Austwick Traddock has developed its own garden that supplies some of the vegetables used in the restaurant. Meat lovers will appreciate the wide selection of meat dishes, such as the ‘pan roasted fillet of guinea fowl’ and ‘roasted rack of Mansergh Hall lamb.’
Find out more: www.thetraddock.co.uk
The Swan Inn
Why we love it: The restaurant is set in a 17th century village inn in Hungerford, Berkshire and is owned by local organic beef farmers, Mary and Bernard Harris. The menu, which is GMO free and uses organic ingredients, has a Mediterranean flavour, thanks to its Italian chef, and includes plenty of pasta and risotto. Steaks are a specialty but vegetarian dishes are also available. After polishing your lunch, head next door to the Swan Inn Farm Shop, to pick up some top notch organic meat and vegetables. The beef is sourced from the owners’ Inkpen farm near Hungerford and is certified by the Soil Association.
Find out more: www.theswaninn-organics.co.uk
Why we love it: One of the UK’S oldest vegetarian restaurants, Manna’s menu proves that healthy, vegetarian eating doesn’t have to mean broccoli stir-fry. Located in Primrose Hill, Manna serves up a menu of organic, fair trade and local products, and all wines are organic and vegan. The well-priced dinner menu is extensive and hearty, and the dessert menu includes organic, vegan cakes, which also can be bought to take away.
Find out more: www.mannav.com
Why we love it: Located in the picturesque village of Shaldon in Devon, Ode has a menu packed with regionally sourced and seasonal ingredients, including traditionally reared meat and organic fruit and vegetables. The restaurant has a strong ethical policy and won’t use factory-farmed meat or unsustainably sourced fish. Head chef Tim Bouget has cooked for Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro among others, and has worked in kitchens all over the world. The restaurant’s eco conscious ethos is seen throughout the structure and design of the restaurant, with low energy kitchen equipment, organic and hemp napkins, low VOC paints and soya tea light candles.
Find out more: www.odetruefood.co.uk
Why we love it: When you think of Italian food, vegetarian rarely springs to mind – unless, of course, you’re heading to London’s Amico Bio. Founded by head chef Pasquale Amico and his two cousins, ingredients are 100 percent organic and are sourced from the family farm in Capua. The menu is very reasonably priced and features some vegan and gluten-free options. For dinner, try the paccheri pasta with pumpkin and sage sauce, followed by the homemade pita bread filled with pear, raisin and cinnamon. You won’t regret it.
Find out more: www.amicobio.co.uk
Why we love it: Located on the remote island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland, the Soil Association certified Argyll hotel and restaurant is worth the trek. Meals are prepared using produce from the hotel’s own organic garden, which is fertilised with compost made from kitchen waste. Organic Scottish Highland beef features heavily on the menu, while fish options are all sustainably sourced. Other organic produce is scattered throughout the menu including teas , cheeses and the homemade bread made from organic flour.
Find out more: www.argyllhoteliona.co.uk
Why we love it: Home grown, local and organic are the best words to describe the menu at Bangors Organic. Located near Bude in Cornwall, the venue has five acres of land on which it grows fresh produce for its kitchen. The restaurant is open for dinner Monday to Saturday but closed on Sunday evenings, although a traditional roast, as well as vegetarian meals and lighter options, is served for Sunday lunches. Make sure you book ahead of time, as limited spaces are available.
Find out more: www.bangorsorganic.co.uk
Why we love it: Once described as the UK’s top vegetarian restaurant by the Vegetarian Society, the Bristol-based Café Maitreya specialises in spectacularly good meat-free meals that don’t break the bank. Better still, all produce used is organic and seasonal. Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes are also available.
Find out more: www.cafemaitreya.co.uk
Why we love it: Situated in London’s trendy Shoreditch, the Waterhouse uses only fresh, seasonal produce. Culinary expert and entrepreneur Arthur Potts Dawson, who also founded the People’s Supermarket, is head chef at the Waterhouse. The restaurant has adopted a smogasbord of ways to reduce its environmental impact including using solar panels for electricity and to heat water, filtering and bottling water on site and using a wormery to turn food waste into compost. Owned by community development charity the Shoreditch Trust, which also owns sister restaurant the Acorn House, the Waterhouse provides training opportunities for locals looking for careers in food.
Find out more: www.waterhouserestaurant.co.uk
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