DUNKERY Beacon Country House Hotel on Exmoor is helping raise funds for invaluable conservation and access projects on the moor by holding a ‘Taste of the Moor’ evening in March (2018).
As part of the new Exmoor Dining Club, top chef and co-owner of the multi-award-winning hotel, John Bradley will be supporting the National Park by hosting the event championing produce from the area.
He explained: “We’re delighted to have been asked to be part of this wonderful initiative designed to celebrate the fabulous ingredients available to us here on the moor and to also raise funds to help keep Exmoor special via the CareMoor campaign.
“During the meal on March 29, I will come out of the kitchen to chat to diners and highlight our local suppliers as well as explain why we love using Exmoor produce here at the hotel. We also hope to sell all our tickets for the evening to help raise money for the National Park and its work.”
CareMoor is a donation scheme operated and managed by Exmoor National Park Authority. The scheme provides an opportunity for those inspired by Exmoor to contribute to the upkeep of the National Park through donations.
“CareMoor for Exmoor is managed in-house by Exmoor National Park Authority staff, so they can keep administrative costs to a minimum and direct all the funds raised towards much needed projects and we heartily support this.”
As well as the evening at Dunkery Beacon Country House Hotel, a series of meals under the CareMoor for Exmoor Dining Club banner will take place at various locations across Exmoor throughout 2018.
Each event will have its own unique menu created specifically to celebrate produce sourced from the Moor. The ticket price for each event includes a contribution to CareMoor for Exmoor.
“We’re committed to supporting as many of the local suppliers as possible and we even source veggies and fruit from the back gardens and plots of various villagers here in Wootton Courtenay wishing to share their spare crops.
“Food tastes better if it is transported as swiftly as possible from field to fork or plot to plate and is healthier for you too, so it makes sense to use the wonderful local ingredients we have here on our doorstep.”
John owns the hotel with his wife, Jane, who also has a hospitality background and worked in the wine trade for 15 years, and the pair have received enviable online reviews for their hospitality, accommodation and food.
John added: “Exmoor is often overlooked as a foodie destination but it’s a great place full of hidden culinary gems and somewhere off the beaten track to explore. It’s still got some really wild and remote spots and the farmers and producers that work on the land here are a hardy bunch.”
The couple’s award-winning fare includes dishes made from as much produce sourced nearby as possible and John grows his own herbs, berries, fruits, salads and veggies in the hotel garden.
Their Coleridge Restaurant, named after the famous, Romantic Movement poet who lived in the area in the late 1700s, uses Exmoor honey, eggs, pork and even offers Exmoor roasted coffee and blended tea.
John also makes all his own bread from flour produced at the nearby working mill in the medieval and charming town of Dunster, which has a castle and many quaint shops including one dedicated to Christmas all year round.
John continued: “The Exmoor Old English Pork Sausages we serve to guests at breakfast come from Kendle Farm, Exton and restaurant diners in the evening can sample venison from the nearby Holnicote Estate when it’s available and in season.
“During the autumn, I also forage for hedgerow blackberries and we freeze lots of produce throughout the seasons at the time they are picked to be used later in the culinary year.”
Dunkery Beacon Country House Hotel hosts its CareMoor Exmoor Dining Club, ‘Taste of the Moor’, tasting menu event on Thursday, March 29 in its award-winning Coleridge Restaurant. Tickets cost £45.
For details, prices and booking information, please visit exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/caremoor. Alternatively, please contact Dunkery Beacon Country House via 01643 841 241 or visit www.dunkerybeaconaccommodation.co.uk.