Eco-savvy dining in Somerset
The Holcombe is a labour of love for owners Alan and Caroline Lucas, whose kitchen garden inspires the imaginative menus they craft for one of the most environmentally conscious restaurants in the country.
The 17th-century inn is surrounded by two acres of land that is the source of fruit, veg, herbs and flowers for The Holcombe’s uber-seasonal menus. What can’t be cultivated on-site is sourced from local producers.
Sustainability-wise, Alan and Caroline set themselves a high bar. All food waste is composted and used cooking oil becomes biodiesel. There are also wildlife-friendly plots among the raised beds, while 40,000 bees are kept to produce honey.
In the kitchen, Alan is a one-man prepping, pickling and preserving machine, and relishes finding creative new ways to use the produce from his plots and polytunnel. It’s his passion to ensure everything – from the sourdough bagels at breakfast to the ricotta style cheese at dinner and the ice cream served with pudding – is made in-house.
Flavour-packed dishes include the likes of tandoor-roasted cauliflower with white onion puree, spiced lentils and toasted almonds, and Creedy Carver duck breast with red cabbage and quince puree.
After dinner, sit in the covered Mediterranean-style garden to relish views over Downside Abbey with a house-infused gin (the elderflower is a must-try).
Trencherman’s tip: Book one of the gorgeous rural-luxe guestrooms or dog-friendly lodges to extend your visit.