At the Green House Hotel, Bournemouth’s most eco-friendly luxury boutique hotel, we believe that the food served in our award-winning Arbor Restaurant should not only be the freshest and best-tasting but also the most sustainably and ethically produced we can find.
This is one of the main reasons we have received the maximum three-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association for the past three years in a row.
We use produce that is as local as possible and produced with love and dedication by small-scale, artisan businesses.
It’s not easy: it means taking extra time and effort to build short, visible supply chains that are based on personal relationships, trust and quality rather than convenience and cost. But it is so, so worth it, not only for the quality of what goes on our plates but for the good of our planet, too.
For example, much of the fish in Arbor’s dishes comes to us via Samways, a family-run business established in 1961 from a small wooden barrow on the harbour side of West Bay, Dorset.
Specialising in West Country Fish sourced directly from fishermen and local ports such as West Bay and Lyme Regis, the company is committed to supplying from port to plate in 24 hours – basically fish doesn’t come any fresher unless you catch it yourself.
But Samways also works tirelessly to ensure that breeding seasons are respected to ensure stocks remain sustainable. The company has a close partnership with the Arbor team, advising on menus and seasonal stocks to ensure high quality fish that is sustainable too.
And it also works directly with the fisherman that supply it to ensure the best catch methods and on-board handling are used.
For our meat we rely on our master butchers Walter Rose and Son, established since 1847 and run by brothers Steve and Andy Cook whose family have been butchers in Devizes, Wiltshire for three generations.
These butchers really know their farmers. As they put it: “You could walk around most of our supply chain”. Some meat is sourced from outside the county but only where it meets high standards of welfare and quality. Over the years, the Cooks have built longstanding relationships with like-minded Wiltshire and Somerset-based farmers who practice excellent animal husbandry and welfare, using natural feed and not rushing animal growth.
Farmers such as Cameron and Muriel Naughton from Devizes, winners of Pig & Poultry Marketing’s Pig Producer of the Year award.
The Naughtons, who have been keeping pigs since 1958, make constant investments in staff training and the herd’s environment to ensure they have the best, healthiest and most productive life possible. Their decades-long relationships with customers who share their high-welfare principles enable them to survive in a competitive marketplace full of cheap, intensively reared pigs who “never see the sun or a piece of straw”.
“Our aim has always been to let our customers come and see for themselves what we do,” the Naughtons say. “Often our customers will then want to bring their customers to the farm to see how pork is produced.” The judges’ verdict? “The pork is exceptional.”
And that is why our ethical supply chain is so important to us here at Arbor and the Green House Hotel. It is certainly not the easiest or cheapest way to run a restaurant. But serving up top-quality, lovingly produced, honest food that also has minimal impact on the natural world? Now that’s a win-win that really floats our boat.