“Farm to Fork” is an increasingly fashionable trend amongst luxury hotels, but many can fall short on delivery.
So, we have curated a small collection of some of our favourite properties around the world that incorporate local cuisine as part of their DNA, then go that extra mile to ensure their guests enjoy a real “Sense of Place” through, the ingredients they grow and use.
Fresh. Locally sourced. Seasonal. Reducing travel and emissions of their produce, providing local employment and opportunities for up-skilling. You can even get your hands dirty in the gardens or try your hand in the kitchen! Not essential though…
Lunch Barbeque At Andbeyond Vira Vira
Vira Vira Farm
USP: Cheese Indulgence
A relatively unexpected foodie treasure trove in the heart of the Chilean Lake District. Surrounded by mountains and with lots of outdoor activities at your finger tips, the cuisine here is not only delicious but full of healthy sustenance to reward you after a busy day.
90% of what you eat is grown on the organic Vira Vira farm, the other 10% is fresh seafood brought in straight from the coast. The team behind the dishes are impressively acclaimed too. A Michelin starred chef, two pastry chefs and top sommelier.
And, for something truly unique, the on site boutique cheese factory (quesería) is, for any cheese lover, a delight. Gain insight into the specific ways different cheese, including Parmesan, Gruyère, Blue cheese and Camembert are produced by their local, expert cheese maker. And, to top it off, none of the cheeses produced are for retail, they are for the exclusive delight of the guests! Tip: enjoy a cheese board at the end of a beautiful kayak down river with warm, homemade bread.
Chefs collecting salad for the day ahead at Babylonstoren
USP: Taste the Garden
Located 40 minutes from Cape Town in the breath-taking wine growing region of the Cape Winelands, Babylonstoren is home to an 8 acre fruit and vegetable garden bursting with flavour! Guests are encouraged to pick, taste, smell and touch whilst walking through the garden and, with over 300 varieties of plants, there is always something new to try.
Every single aspect of Babylonstoren – including the contemporary Farm Hotel and Garden Spa, the Farm Shop, winery, farm-to-fork restaurants, Scented Room and Bakery – is led by the ever-changing tapestry and botanical diversity of the garden.
Lake House Sustainable Menu
Lake House, Daylesford
An hour’s drive from the culinary capital of Australia, Melbourne, it is fair to say that Lake House put Daylesford on the culinary travellers map. Over the last 30 years the vivacious owner, Alla Wolf-Tasker, a widely celebrated Australian chef in her own right, put a firm focus on regional dining and sustainable farming starting a true labour of love. With almost 40 acres at their Dairy Flat flat, it is all about regenerative and organic practices, ensuring the team, and their guests, leave only the faintest footprints and providing a feast for the senses with the change of each season.
Whilst seasonal dining is more “common” today, it certainly wasn’t in the 80’s and the guiding ethos of seasonality and the use of local produce is evident in every dish. In a culinary area like Melbourne that celebrates international cuisine, Lake House is a breath of local fresh air.
Beyond this, the botanicals, native plants and flowers used in the spa originate from the farm, the olive oil from their own olive trees and honey from their resident bees. Heaven.
Shinta Mani Picnic
Shinta Mani Wild
USP: Foraging the “Local” Way
The location of Shinta Mani Wild is mind blowing. Rivers, waterfalls and beautiful forest trails, all ripe for exploring. Guests here are encouraged to slow down, listen to the surroundings and disconnect from their busy lives.
Behind the scenes, each afternoon, one of the gardeners or chefs leaves his apron or kitchen whites behind and sets out on one of the many winding gravel paths on a foraging trip. He’ll comb the jungle and streams for the edible treasures hidden beneath scrubby bushes and between gnarled branches, which guests are welcome to join.
The result is a medley of herbs and other delights: shoots of bamboo, mangosteens, wild potatoes, figs, waterlily, fresh mud crabs and even red ants—a zesty delicacy.
This job of foraging not only highlights the riches of the surrounding jungle, but brings work for local community members, including former loggers from surrounding villages.
“We’ve hired former loggers to help prevent more deforestation and also gain such valuable, intimate knowledge on what we can use in the kitchen. These guys know the forest like the back of their hands” GM Sangjay Choegyal
Curry from the garden
USP: “Our kitchen uses typical rural techniques – fresh spices are ground on a stone, curries are cooked in clay pots over earthen fires, and most of our ingredients come straight from our estate”.
With a history spanning over 200 years, Horathapola was primarily a coconut estate bordering a rice paddy. Today, Horathapola produces over 30 different types of fresh fruit, vegetables and other edibles, ensuring the freshest and most seasonal of menus.
Horathapola believes Sri Lankan cooking is more art than science and recipes are mere guidelines. Every dish is therefore somewhat unique! Coupled with the tropical gardens, 5 intimate rooms and wonderful team, Horathapola provides both a “sense of taste” and a “sense of place” in the bucket load.
Six Senses Zighy Bay
USP: Desert Farming
Dibba Farm is located in the ancient, fortified town of Dibba Al-Baya, a short drive from Zighy Bay. In this arid area, where it only rains between November and March at an average of 11mm per month, it is incredible to learn about their irrigation systems and farming techniques that produce almost all the fruit and vegetables they need.
Milk from the goats and Jersey cows help produce their own unique organic cheeses and the chefs are often spotted at Dibba fish market at dawn to collect the mornings catch. You can be assured that the food you enjoy at Zighy Bay is not only fresh and delicious, but supporting local businesses and families. A good excuse to stay for longer!
For more information or to book a holiday, get in touch.