Three fabulous South West restaurants putting sustainability front and centre
The Bull Inn, Totnes
In 2018, organic champion and ethical entrepreneur Geetie Singh-Watson took over the then crumbling Bull Inn. Her plan was to turn it into a sustainability-focused destination where locals could gather for delicious food and visitors could stay the night in comfort. After a year of hard graft the vision was realised, and The Bull Inn quickly became a pillar of on-point organic dining for both the local community and beyond.
Head chef Johnny Tillbrook utilises fantastically fresh produce – largely sourced from a cooperative of local and organic growers – in the creation of his daily line-up of dishes scribbled on the blackboards. The menu is split into small and large plates, and guests are encouraged to order for the table and dig in, sharing style.
Ugly Butterfly by Adam Handling, St Ives
‘There’s no such thing as an ugly butterfly in the same way as there is no such thing as food waste’ is the philosophy woven through chef Adam Handling’s restaurant and bar at Carbis Bay. The dining experience is built on an ethos of sustainability and zero waste.
Five- and seven-course menus (both vegan and non-vegan, and with optional wine flights) utilise the freshest locally reared and landed ingredients and deliver them in dishes such as St Enodoc asparagus with beach herbs and pilchard, and salt-aged lamb with morels and wild garlic. Any trims and off-cuts from the production of main dishes are employed by the Ugly Butterfly Bar team in the creation of delicious drinks and bar snacks.
The Holcombe, Somerset
When chefs Alan Lucas and Caroline Gardiner relocated from London to rural Somerset they were keen for their new project to be as sustainable as possible. In taking over The Holcombe near Radstock they’ve realised that ambition and created one of the greenest restaurants with rooms in the county.
The 17th-century inn is surrounded by two acres of land on which Alan, Caroline and gardener Kirsty, grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers for The Holcombe’s hyper‑seasonal menus. What can’t be cultivated on‑site is sourced from local Somerset producers. The same ethos extends to the meat and fish.
Any kitchen food waste is composted, while cooking oil is recycled into biodiesel. The duo have also rewilded areas of their land to benefit wildlife and introduced a beehive to harvest Holcombe honey.