As any chef or restaurateur will tell you, a menu is only as good as the ingredients that are on the plate. That’s why, for our modern British fare, we use the finest-quality, locally-sourced produce and real food in our Full and Half-Acre dishes. Not only do we grow our own at The Small Holding, but we also collaborate with a range of organic Kent and Sussex farms that are the best in the region.
Of course, provenance and sustainability are key, so we make sure to work with seasonal, communal Kent and Sussex farms. From the fresh fruit and vegetables in Goudhurst, to the pork and veal available from Lewes, we’re all about finding the very best that we can use locally, while also taking steps to reduce food miles and preserve the natural beauty of the counties we live in.
Here’s just a selection of the field-to-fork Kent and Sussex farms that we use at our Kilndown restaurant. Read on to find out why we think they’re the unsung heroes of our regional food and drink industry when it’s time to eat local.
For our Kent restaurant’s asparagus, strawberries and raspberries, we teamed up with Lower Ladysden. This fantastic farm offers pick-your-own and picked-for-you produce straight from the field, eliminating food miles and ensuring the greatest seasonality, right from the heart of the Weald. Plus, visitors can navigate their way to the centre of a three-hectare Maize Maze, and receive free recipe cards for some inspiring ways to cook up their purchases at home.
Morghew Park Estate
Set in unspoiled and varied Kentish landscape, this ancient agricultural estate is where we source all of our potatoes. At least 20 different varieties are grown across 35 acres of fertile soil each year, and The Potato Shop also picks naturally-grown wild garlic in early spring. You can find them at farmers’ markets too, as they regularly frequent the likes of Marylebone, West Hampstead, Parliament Hill and Brockley each month.
The Cherry Pie Farm
Lewes, East Sussex
When it comes to sourcing our pork and veal, Cherry Pie Farm is our go-to destination. Farming rare-breed animals, they help to support native livestock, including Gloucester shorthorn cattle, Berkshire pigs and Southdown sheep. The only thing we love as much as creating unforgettable meals for our customers is supporting our local communities – and as far as meat farming goes, it doesn’t get much more local than this.
Plurenden Manor Farm
Here’s a family-run dairy farm that provides the freshest, tastiest milk and cream. Plurenden Manor ensures that all of its cows – or ‘girls’, as they’re affectionately nicknamed – are happy and healthy, grazing all summer and feeding on homegrown forage in winter. The pasteurised milk here is produced in sustainable, natural surroundings, while its whole milk even won the ‘Kent Food Product Class – Dairy’ at this year’s Taste of Kent Awards.
© WILL AND MATT DEVLIN