Forest Side is all about a passion for food. Fresh produce is the underpinning of all that Head Chef Paul Leonard and his team create in the kitchen.
Unloved for over 70 years this now verdant one-acre vegetable and herb garden make our grounds an experience in their own right. (In September 1858 the Westmorland Gazette reported on the ‘great success in rearing wall fruit’ achieved by the Forest Side gardener, Mr. Roberts).
Planted with over 100 varieties of vegetable and 25 types of herb, the kitchen garden aims to supply 60-70% of the produce needed. Everything is farmed using ethical growing techniques, with no chemical herbicides or fertilisers. All produce is picked fresh daily, with the aim of ensuring the freshest possible crops. By reducing the length of time from farm to fork this increases the nutrient content and flavour quality of the produce.
The garden also supplies the kitchen with an array of micro greens, used for garnishes, a growing technique that increases the nutrient content by up to ten times. These are grown in the garden’s traditional greenhouse – a vital resource in Cumbria to supplement what is produced in the garden.
The informal gardens surrounding the hotel have also been cleverly designed to provide a rich bounty of forageable plants, shoots and stems, which our kitchen, restaurant and bar teams use to full effect in the food and beverages they create.