Restaurants in London have to be inventive when it comes to finding space for their kitchen gardens. Case in point are the clever folks at The Dairy, who have looked skywards for theirs, installing numerous vegetable and herb beds and four beehives on their roof. The chic Clapham Common bistro has a seasonal changing menu of small plates to reflect this, with kitchen porters picking the fresh produce daily before service starts. Recent dishes include asparagus with lovage, BBQ purple sprouting broccoli and pot roast cabbage, all grown on site.
With its domed glass roof and floor-to-ceiling windows, the Garden House is the bright, relaxed sibling to Beaverbrook's more grown-up Japanese Grill restaurant. With a menu inspired by the Mediterranean, expect salads of radicchio, tomatoes, ricotta and pine nuts, as well as pasta dishes topped with fresh veg, all grown in the surrounding gardens (which double up as a play area for hungry kids, too).
One of the original and the best, Petersham Nurseries in leafy Richmond was so popular when it first started serving lunch, it caused multiple traffic jams. The charming glasshouse restaurant has a seasonal, Italian inspired menu, using ingredients picked from the garden daily, with standout dishes including risotto with peas, garden mint and parmesan, roasted beetroot with baby carrot and spiced chickpeas and broccoli and courgette.
A stay at The Pig is a real treat, not simply for the rustic-chic bedrooms and acres of grounds, but also the famed restaurant. With the aim of growing as much produce as possible on site in the gardens, there are endless plots of vegetables, salads and herbs, with exotic plants thrown in for good measure. All this dedication is reflected in the satisfaction of the clientele, who rave about dinners here.
Famed Lake District restaurant L'Enclume has built its reputation on its high-quality ingredients, mostly grown nearby at its very own farm. Chef Simon Rogan ensures that the finest organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers take centre-stage in his dishes, reflecting his farm to table philosophy. Think Native lobster with broad beans, and elderflower, butter poached turbot with courgettes, nasturtium and Goosnargh duck with cherries and smoked beetroot.
The Grove, a 300-acre former estate of the Earls of Clarendon in Hertfordshire, boasts a temporary kitchen garden restaurant every summer, dubbed The Potting Shed. Housed in its Victorian Walled Garden, the space instantly charms you, with terracotta pots of blooms strewn everywhere and mismatched furniture giving it a rustic appeal. The menu, of course, is equally as alluring, and is divided into sharing plates ‘from the sea’, ‘from the land’ and ‘from the garden’. Highlights include the hand-picked Dorset white crab, burrata with grilled walled garden vegetables and roasted butternut squash with Puy lentils, finishing off with the baked walled garden fruits.