Win dinner and overnight stay at a luxury hotel
- Credit: Jake Eastham
The secret of distinctive and delicious menus at a luxury Devon hotel is all in the planning, discovers Emma Cripwell.
Many view the end of summer and beginning of autumn as the end of gardening and time in the garden. At home we think glorious summer salads, tomatoes, courgettes and fresh peas are the end of our kitchen garden’s abundant produce.
Yet at THE PIG-at Combe we’re just as excited about autumn arriving as we were when summer arrived. We see our Kitchen Garden in this beautiful Devon setting as a thriving homage to mother nature. Our Plot to Plate seasonal menus in the restaurant and Folly really demonstrate that the gardens are very much alive and kicking!
“A year-round garden with eternally evolving produce is really all in the planning,” says head gardener Pete Harris. Planning down to the smallest detail and a year ahead is what ensures that the three walled gardens provide year-round produce for the kitchen and their hungry guests.
Pete adds: “The planning is done each winter for the year ahead so that we can really go for it as soon as spring appears and the weather warms up. Each 50-inch bed in the Kitchen Garden is planned out for every week of the year yet we're always at the mercy of Mother Nature so can’t control everything! The elements are always the unknown but that also helps to make every year different and full of variety.”
Classic autumn veg usually includes kale, kalettes, cabbages, parsnips, carrots, beetroots, apples and pears, oyster mushrooms, salsify, scorzonera, winter squashes and chards.
Head chef Dan Gavriilidis heads up the kitchens and talks regularly to Pete about what’s flourishing or nearly ready for harvest so that he can work out the menus with the team.
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Dan explains: “We walk through the Kitchen Garden and discuss what will be ready when and in what sort of quantities. These discussions and decisions then turn into an order that the chefs leave for the gardeners to pick up in the morning.
“They harvest to order first thing and the produce is then ready and waiting by the time we arrive ready to start the day. It’s a well-oiled process and far slicker than having to place a veg order with a local supplier!”
This autumn Dan and his team will be producing plenty of hearty and warming dishes, packed full of the freshness and flavour that our home grown veg delivers. Roasting and braising; preserving and pickling are classic autumnal chef practices and the team love to use the berries from our fruit cages for autumnal puds.
Learn more at thepighotel.com
WIN! A stay and dinner
We’ve teamed up with THE PIG-at Combe to offer one lucky Devon Life reader the chance to win an overnight stay including dinner and breakfast for two people, staying in a Big Comfy Luxe room. This offer is for midweek stays only and is not available over Christmas, Easter or in July and August.
To be in with a chance of winning, answer the question and fill in the form below. Competition closing date is November 4th, 2021.