Locally sourced and home made
When choosing suppliers for food we have taken care to select companies that can provide the quality and quantity of goods we require and guarantee supply of these 365 days a year. We also expect them to comply with the highest standards of food hygiene and regularly visit their premises to ensure that we are happy with the procedures they have in place.
Finding local suppliers that can work to these high standards consistently is not easy but below are just a few of the companies we are proud to work with and details of where the food is sourced from.
In order to maintain the standards of the food that we serve Four Pillars have invested in the training and development of all of our chefs and still have a chef apprenticeship program in place “chef school”. Taking on trainee chefs each year we put them through their paces with supplier visits to see where the food comes from along with skills days with our experienced head chefs. We enroll them on the Triple A qualification to asses their progress and they work full time in our kitchens along side our qualified brigades. That is how we can claim our chefs are truly home made and many of our current chefs have come through the apprenticeship program over the years including the Head Chef at the Oxford Spires Hotel, Pete Withers.
Aldens - Oxford
Is there another butchers in England that’s been in the same family through seven generations since 1793? R R Alden Oxford Ltd isn’t just special for that; Matthew Alden, who runs things now, goes to great lengths to work with small, local livestock producers, they always have – and with organisation like the Traditional Breeds Survival Trust. To find just one of Alden’s own “local heroes”, drive a few miles out from Oxford into the foothills of the Chilterns, to typically English rolling countryside. At Wheatley Bridge Farm Alden’s source wonderful Angus cross beef. In terms of provenance and taste, you’d be hard pressed to do better.
Alden’s Butchers based in the heart of Oxford have been supplying the Universities since 1793. Despite vast changes in farming production Alden’s have maintained their traditional methods and continue to work with local producers to supply our customers who share the passion for great local produce.
Fruit and vagetables
Fresh Direct - Bicester, Oxford
Fresh Direct’s FreshGro initiative encompasses a syndicate of local farmers growing on behalf of Fresh Direct Local sites - to trial new, old and forgotten varieties. Crops will be grown as customer specific products, enabling the customer to market their local origin, the soil and the farmers behind the product. We already have one farming family in Oxfordshire, the Markhams – just 3 miles from Fresh Direct's Bicester headquarters. They are growing fresh asparagus for the FreshGro campaign with first cropping in 2009. Total yield will be 30 tonnes a season by 2010.
New Wave - Fairford, Gloucester
By chance, our hotels are situated amongst some of the best know cheese areas in the land. Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds have longstanding traditions of artisan cheese making.
Based in Upper Slaughter is Simon Weaver’s Cotswold organic diary and his award winning range of soft and creamy Bries. From the outskirts of Bath comes the organic, camembert style Bath Soft cheese, handmade in the same traditional way since 1908. As an alternative to Stilton, the Oxford Blue is a vegetarian, creamy English blue cheese made from cow’s milk. And from Stroud on the edge of the Forest of Dean, we offer Cheddars and Double Gloucesters created by the fifth generation of Godsell family cheese makers, including the quaintly named Holy Smoked and Scary Mary.
Just a small flavour of the carefully selected cheeses you can expect to find on our cheese board, plus other ranges from Shropshire, Somerset, Nottingham and even further a field.
New Wave - Fairford, Gloucester
The vast majority of the wild fish on your plate, including sustainable Pollack, is landed in Plymouth or Brixham in Devon and Looe in Cornwall, being transported overnight to our suppliers and then directly to our kitchens. Then let’s not forget the award winning Bibury trout which is only a few minutes drive from most of our hotels.
New Wave is committed to supporting responsible fishing in British waters and regulated fish farms, predominantly in Scotland, producing both fresh and smoked Salmon.
Kingfisher - Brixham, Devon
Brixham is regarded as the largest prime fish (Turbot, Bass, Red Mullet, John Dory, Brill, Dover Sole and Lemon Sole) market in the U.K. With the beautiful location in Torbay it is easy to understand how the fishing industry has woven itself into the fabric of the local community and become an addictive passion to those involved, the majority of whom have lived in and around the Brixham area for generations, passing knowledge down through their families.
Kingfisher has built and developed strong contacts and relationships with the auctioneers who supply daily information on landings and quotas; the fishermen who contact their buyers via ship to shore radio and the local companies who supply sustainable farmed Mussels, Oysters, Cockles, Clams, smoked products, Trout, Crabs and Lobsters. Sustainability has become a fundamental issue for the Kingfisher buyers when making their purchasing decisions. Information is required from all the suppliers as to the source of produce as well as any relevant catch methods. For example Kingfisher is supplied by the innovative trawler BM 200 “The Lady T Emiel” the skipper Mike Sharpe having personally developed new, square shaped nets that allow larger quantities of smaller fish to escape, leading to cleaner fishing by having 60% less discards and by-catch. These improvements won Mike and his boat first prize in the clean fishing award presented by Rick Stein in 2007. The new design of nets is now being introduced aboard many other south west trawlers.
Kingfisher - Newlyn, Cornwall
In 2006 Kingfisher purchased the wholesale company Shell Fish Direct located Newlyn (Cornwall) that supplies markets and wholesalers across the U.K. This has since been developed to where Kingfisher buyers are buying on the Cornish fish markets and have shell fish boats landing direct to them in Newlyn. This fantastic addition means the very best of Cornish seafood is arriving daily at the Paignton processing unit on the same day of purchase. The Cornish ports are leaders in sustainable fishing with line caught Mackerel, netted Herrings, tagged wild Sea Bass, line caught Pollack, hand hauled Lobster and Crab pots. Kingfisher also purchases sustainable Newlyn Crab meat, River Fowey Mussels and Oysters.
Being located at the source provides chefs with deliveries the following morning and within twenty four hours of being bought from the fish market which provides optimum traceability from the trawler to the kitchen. Plus because all the produce only goes through the Paignton facility there are no wasted miles with seafood being transported around the country increasing the carbon footprint and losing quality.
Tortworth Farm Estate - Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire
The Orangery Restaurant at the Tortworth Court Hotel sources the majority of its meat from the Tortworth Estate Farm Shop where they have a huge variety of produce to choose from, including estate-reared prize-winning aged beef, succulent local lamb, free-range pork and poultry.
Hobbs House Bakery - Chipping Sodbury, Bristol
Both the Tortworth Court Hotel and the Cotswold Water Park Hotel are supplied fresh bread from Hobbs House.
Hobbs House is a truly family business, with members of three generations currently working alongside their enthusiastic team of about 120 employees. They have been producing an astonishing range of breads and confectionery to the very highest standards since 1986 and provide a personal, individual and friendly service to hundreds of customers who entrust their orders to them.
The coffee we serve in our bars, restaurants and lounges is all certified according to Rainforest Alliance. In cooperation with Rainforest Alliance we want to support the sustainable improvement for people and nature in all countries of origin concerning our coffee.
The rainforest is the lung of our planate and needs to be maintained. The green frog on the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ logo stands for economical and considerate exploitation of environment and fair trade conditions for our coffee farmers.
Rainforest Alliance Certified seal is a guarantee that coffee is grown on farms where forests are protected, rivers, soils and wildlife conserved; workers are treated with respect, paid decent wages, properly equipped and given access to education and medical care. These farms are on a path towards true sustainability. Besides comprehensive investments in reforestation and fostering of water quality, the sustainable support of hospitals and schools is an important issue.
Each step starting with the cultivation and ending with the processing of coffee beans underlies specific standards, which are important and serve the protection of the plants and wildlife on the coffee plantation.