Around Town: Farm-to-restaurant dream teams
These eateries take sourcing seriously and have strong relationships with their supplying farms, bringing us all closer to the best food. Compiled by Amy Luck and Rob Slater.
Fern Verrow and Spring
A true monogamous marriage, Fern Verrow farm and Spring have been working together since 2015 and are exclusive. The farm-to-table approach connects diners at Spring with the finest seasonal ingredients, grown in the foothills of the Black Mountains in Herefordshire.
St. James’s, SW1Y
Matt takes Herdwick sheep and regenerates pasture with them using a silvopasture system – essentially, grazing in woods – before selling them as mutton. He is changing the way we think about sheep and mutton with the help of Jeremy at Ikoyi, a small-plate restaurant that combines seasonal British produce with exciting West African spices.
Esters serves the best coffee, tea and brunches based on seasonal produce from places they can trust that aren’t too far away. Supplied by Calixta at Flourish Produce, spectacular fruit and veg is used to make the most delicious food. The café is also a collection point for Flourish veg boxes.
St Peters, N1
Britain’s first certified organic pub, so it’s no surprise it has a history of farmer-focused supply. Established since 1998, it is now part of The Culpeper Family, maintaining strong farming connections to serve up delicious British cuisine. Veg comes from Sarah Green’s (see page 7) as well as Riverford, with meat sourced from Rhug estate in Wales.
Duchess Farm and Silo
Hackney Wick, E9
Support for farms and suppliers that respect the environment, is a big part of Silo’s ethos and Duchess Farms has been supplying this zero-waste restaurant with grains and rapeseed oil since they opened. We love their smoked oil beetroot dish and ‘the Siloaf’ – a Duchess Farm’s heritage wheat flour bread.
Run by Fred, Richard and Victoria Price, Gothelney Farm is a diverse family farm at the foot of the Quantock hills in Somerset that breeds native Tamworth pigs. Lots of their pork ends up in the dishes served at the Smoking Goat, a Thai restaurant in Shoreditch that Fred says “gets what farm-to-fork really means”.
London Fields, E8
After many successful years of running E5 Bakehouse, Ben Mackinnon returned to the Suffolk countryside to start market garden Fellows Farm. Running under organic principles, Ben supplies the bakery with fruit, vegetables and some grains – making sure that their food is as good for the environment as it is for our bellies.
OrganicLea and Eat 17
Based on the outskirts of the city in Chingford, OrganicLea grows organic fruit and veg in its market garden. It has also set up kitchen gardens for wonders such as Ottolenghi, and supplies salad leaves to Eat 17 restaurant and its east London stores (and ‘Eel stockists) which offer local, small batch food to Hackney and Walthamstow residents.
Hackney, E2, E8, E9
The new GROW farm, based in Totteridge Academy school, is a working horticultural farm, delivering secondary education while supplying the popular Pavilion bakery with fruit, veg and flowers for their super sustainable east London sites.
Franco founded the online farmers’ market Natoora in 2004, and now supplies ‘radically seasonal’, quality produce from trusted farms to people and restaurants in London. This suits the chefs at The Camberwell Arms, who create regularly changing menus centered on simple, bold flavours.
This duo shares a vision of the positive power of good food. The farm is supported by a network of 3,000 volunteers, growing fresh ingredients that the team at Well Kneaded make into creative and award-winning sourdough pizzas. With options ranging from the ‘meaty marg’ to the ‘wildervegan’, a visit to Well Kneaded is a must for any foodie in London.
Notting Hill, W2
Set in the Kent countryside, the ‘farm’ in Farmacy grows vegetables and herbs using sustainable practices that are founded in a deep respect for nature. In 2016 Farmacy launched a restaurant, using ingredients grown on the farm to develop instant classics, like their hearty ‘got no beef’ burger and vibrant kitchari stew.
Hungry for more? We help you find the best ingredients to fill the pantry.