What better place to enjoy seasonal, sustainably sourced food than in the estate in which it is planted, grown and picked? At recently opened restaurant Pensons, chef Lee Westcott (previously of London’s Typing Room) has put together a menu that serves to highlight the quality of produce produced at its home – the Netherwood Estate on the border of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. He is working closely with the on-site kitchen garden to provide the restaurant’s own cold-pressed rapeseed oil, honey, meat and cider, as well as the fruit and vegetables. The result is delicious dishes like lamb, artichoke and sorrel (below).
Of course, there’s more to please guests here than just the cuisine. Located in former derelict farm buildings – some of which date back to the 15th century – the dining room and open kitchen are a treat for interior design fans. Alex Coppock of architecture firm Communion Design worked on the conversion of the space, restoring its weathered floorboards and stunning eaves. He even saved the former manger, used for feeding hay to the cattle, reimagining it as a lighting rig.
Peta Darnley was tasked with turning the cavernous newly renovated buildings into a cosy and enticing 46-seat restaurant. Peta’s family own the Netherwood Estate, so few were better placed than her to capture the spirit of this rural venue. She has concentrated on a natural palette of wood, brick and stone, introducing colours (slate blue, grey and ecru) via the textiles, which are produced by the estate’s own weaving mill, Netherwood Textiles – a collaboration with Daniel Harris, the founder of London Cloth Company.
Want a more intimate experience? You can book the private dining room, situated up in the eaves of the barn, which seats 14 people. Or, if you enjoy yourself too much and decide to stay, there’s two houses available – The Hyde, a Grade II-listed medieval hall that sleeps 20, or former hunting lodge The Freeth. pensons.co.uk
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