Bournemouth’s multi-award-winning four-star Green House Hotel has opened the town’s newest fine-dining restaurant, Arbor, offering an innovative menu that will change with the seasons.
“I am totally committed to using only the finest quality ingredients,” says head chef Andy Hilton, “and that means we have to take a totally flexible approach to the dishes we offer.
“Too many restaurants serve up the same old menu throughout the year, and that means standards inevitably slip – something we are determined to avoid at Arbor.”
Hilton has the full support of Green House general manager Olivia O’Sullivan, who says Arbor’s emphasis is on freshness. “We’re taking a fresh approach to fresh produce,” she says, “and that means our menu has to change with the seasons.
“Our ‘fresh’ philosophy may mean more work for the kitchen staff, but we are determined that Arbor guests should enjoy a dining experience that is second to none.”
For now, starters include asparagus with honey-glazed chicken wings, served as a starter with salty shavings of Old Winchester cheese. Other offerings destined to become first-course favourite include squid ink linguini in a mussel broth flavoured with garlic, ginger and saffron, and Lyme Bay scallops combined with bacon and creamed peas.
Main course options include poached lemon sole, braised Mendip Hills lamb shoulder – served with its own individual shepherd’s pie – and chicken breasts stuffed with chorizo and a tarragon chicken mousse.
A separate dessert menu – along with main course ‘specials’ – changes on a regular basis to ensure the highest quality.
As for the prices, Olivia O’Sullivan insists: “There is absolutely no point in serving fantastic food if people cannot afford it, so we have taken a conscious decision to set a price point that reflects the quality without breaking the bank.”
Starters lead in at less than £5, while main course dishes are priced from just £11.50.
Head chef Andy Hilton’s commitment to culinary quality sets him apart from many in his profession in that he bucks the current trend for insisting on ‘locally-sourced’ ingredients.
“We will always try to source our ingredients from as close to home as possible, but Arbor will not compromise on quality,” he says. “Having said that, here in the southwest we are extremely fortunate to have some of the very best suppliers in the country, and Arbor will support them all the way.”
Those star suppliers include the Bath Pig Company, which povides Arbor with British-made chorizo, and Stokes Farm in Wiltshire, where Hilton buys his beef, while the restaurant’s scallops come from Lyme Bay; and the creamy Rosary goats’ cheese makes the short journey from Salisbury.
Even closer to home, Arbor’s honey travels only a few feet – it comes from bees housed in hives on the roof of the Green House Hotel!
Hilton’s quest for quality knows no boundaries, however – Arbor’s lamb is sourced from the Mendip Hills, and the restaurant’s black pudding travels the length of the country from Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.
“Good food has nothing to do with geography,” Hilton says. “My approach is that Arbor guests should enjoy the very best dishes, made from the finest ingredients, and if that means racking up a few extra ‘food miles’, then so be it – it’s about dining, not distance.
■ The brand-new Arbor restaurant at the Green House Hotel is at 4 Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX, telephone 01202 498900.
Editors’ note: For further information, contact Bob Papworth at Coast Media via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01202 416665.