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Hastings Hotels launches edible roof garden

The Europa Hotel edible garden

Confirming their commitment to sustainably sourced produce

Hastings Hotels, Northern Ireland’s finest independent hotel group are passionate about food and believe that eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Due to this strong belief, they pride themselves on sourcing only the highest quality produce for use in their restaurants, from breakfast buffets to fine dining and gourmet menus. The culture of ‘local is best’ underpins all Hastings Hotels’ menus and showcases the very best of Northern Ireland’s seasonal larder and heritage from a select group of local and artisanal suppliers. The outstanding quality and flavour that differentiates this produce ensures that every dining experience is as delicious and special as possible.

Food Provenance
The commitment given by Hastings Hotels to locally sourced produce is reinforced across their six properties with two little booklets available for diners to read. These give more details on their local sourcing policies and share suppliers’ stories, allowing guests to see the care, quality and local expertise that goes into every meal. An example of the award winning produce you will find in any of the Hastings’ restaurants includes Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt, the only yoghurt made in Northern Ireland, created using milk from Clandeboye’s award winning herd of Holstein and Jersey cows and Carnbrooke Meats Honeybee Sausages which are a unique blend of pork, spice and Mourne Heather Honey.  

Edible Gardens
Hastings Hotels are also pioneering their local produce quest, with the installation of special edible herb gardens in all six of their hotels. The latest addition is the edible herb roof garden on the top of the world famous Europa hotel right in the bustling city centre of Belfast!   In a world where customer demand for information on how and where food originates from is on the increase, Hastings endeavour to use fresh local ingredients sourced responsibly and sustainably, ensuring a low carbon footprint wherever possible. By investing in on-site gardens, the culinary teams at the hotels can ensure an abundance of seasonal produce on a daily basis, right at their fingertips!  The development programme of herb and edible flower gardens began last year at the 5* Culloden Estate & Spa in Belfast. The initiative was so successful and well received by guests, that similar herb gardens have been created at all of the Hastings properties and expanded upon, with new additions including rhubarb beds and Chilean guava bushes!  

Howard Hastings, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels commented: “These new herb gardens illustrate our continued dedication to food provenance. The island of Ireland has a proud heritage of farming and fishing, resulting in an abundance of sensational produce and we at Hastings Hotels are striving to give all our guests a true taste of this in everything we serve. When sourcing our food, we look for produce which stands out from the rest - from where it originates, to the way it is produced and for its flavour”  

The Europa Hotel was the last of the properties to develop green fingers and is now the proud home to its own herb gardens and greenhouses. The greenhouses will be used to grow micro-herbs and pea shoots for the hotel from April to October. Raised beds have been planted with rhubarb, bay trees, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage, coriander and chives for the chefs to use across many of their popular dishes and even in cocktails in the bars!  These fabulous, productive herb gardens  allow guests and diners alike to enjoy the freshest ingredients with the lowest carbon footprint and food miles around!

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