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Going for green!


At The Eastbury we have an ongoing commitment to becoming more sustainable as a business but because we know this is easy for everyone to ‘say’ we decided to set ourselves some targets.  In 2008 we started this process by implementing a green energy system for the Hotel, and now two years later we are putting together a portfolio of all the ways we are being green in the hope of joining the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS).

There are lots of ways to help make the Hotel more sustainable and we’re leaving no stone unturned to make sure we’re doing everything we can.

We’ve made all sorts of changes, from the major ­ including our heat extraction system which takes the hot air from the kitchen (eliminating the need for air conditioning) and then channels it to the Hotel’s boiler, reducing the energy used by the boiler, to the minor - using 100% recycled wool blankets outside at our bistro.

We’ve had everyone involved at the Hotel and even some thoughts from our two children! One bright idea is to make our beautiful walled garden as hospitable to bees and butterflies as it is for guests! We’re going to plant flowers and plants that will support these vital insects and we are building food tables and nesting boxes for birds as well.




The Bistro launch 


The Bistro is open!

After months of planning preparation and hard work our alfresco Bistro at The Eastbury is now open.  We celebrated the launch last week with canapés that gave a glimpse of The Bistro menu including: Barrington asparagus with wild garlic leaf butter; Dorset crab cocktail; dark chocolate mousse with griottine cherries and crushed amaretti.

Mike Burks from Castle Gardens has done a tremendous job bringing our creative ideas to fruition, and Brett our Head Chef has done something really special with a menu that offers something unique. If it is warm and sunny then you can experience the new menu in our alfresco area, but on evenings that are a bit too chilly, you can still enjoy Brett’s new Bistro menu in the warmth of the Conservatory Restaurant looking out over our walled garden.  

We already offer fine dining at The Eastbury so with The Bistro menu we wanted to offer something different.  Brett will use ingredients from his herb and vegetable garden which is only a few feet away and soon he will incorporate ingredients from the bushes and trees that line the alfresco dinning area, including a rosemary bush, plum trees, blackcurrant bushes and an olive tree, so guest will literally be eating their surroundings!

The area is covered by a giant, Italian designed umbrella, with fitted heaters and guests can keep their legs warm as the night draws in with the woollen rugs that took me so much time to choose that they only arrived hours before the launch!







Local and seasonal


I have a serious passion for sourcing the very best, local produce ­ which is bordering on an obsession according to some - which is why I was so excited to discover an absolute gem right on my doorstep here in Sherborne. Mike Appleby and his partner at Honeycombe Shoot, less than a mile away from The Eastbury, offer some spectacular produce and I’ve only just found them!

Only this morning Mike dropped off fresh quails’ eggs and quail leg and breast which I have put straight onto our menu at The Eastbury. We will make a boudin, served with the quail egg, and roast the breast and serve it with a truffle sauce.

Mike also dropped off pheasant eggs which I tried for the first time this morning and loved.  They are incredibly creamy and are perfectly in season right now. For an incredibly local and seasonal dish we will serve them with poached asparagus from Barrington, just a few miles away, and garlic butter, using wild garlic that I foraged myself. We are also sourcing rabbit and fellow deer from Mike and Antonia ­ as you can probably tell I am delighted with my little find!

Mike and Antonia will be guest speakers on Friday 21st May at our Seasonal Supper Club.  To learn more about the fine work they do on their 4000 acre estate (and sample my beautiful menu of course!) call 01935 813131 to book a table.







The Bistro


The umbrella for our outside Bistro has arrived. In the picture you can see Mike Burks from Castle Gardens and my husband Paul discussing the finer details of our new outdoor Bistro including, which edible plants we will have around the outside. We want to be open on 8th May! I have been busy looking at furnishings including Lloyd Loom chairs, now all I need to find are the perfect tables to match.

The lovely weather over the Easter fortnight has meant that even more people are out and about enjoying the sunshine. Our Free at Three offer has been really popular, so much so that we are going to extend it until the end of May meaning you can enjoy, three courses for just £20 with a free half bottle of wine.

We are really looking forward to the Sherborne Abbey Festival which runs from Friday 30th April until Tuesday 4th May. To celebrate we are opening Three at 5.30pm and offering a special two and three course menu including, Brett’s Beetroot cured salmon, herb crème fraiche, lemon preserve and crusty bread; the perfect way to start an evening of incredible music.

I hope to see you there.







Spring additions………



It has been a really busy time at the Hotel over the past week or two and we are well on the way to creating our brand new alfresco dining area. It will offer a really unique experience and bring something very special to The Eastbury. It is almost as if it was meant to be there all along- it’s the perfect space to provide the link between our kitchens and our walled garden. It will be completely open on the two sides that lead into the garden and it will not be uncommon during the day to see Brett walking through clutching a handful of freshly cut herbs from our garden, which will then feature in that night’s menu.

We aim to open in early May so at the moment it’s all go! I have been to hotel auctions to hand pick different pieces of furniture and the flooring will be completed this week, as long as it stops raining for long enough to finish it!

Amongst all of this we have welcomed a new receptionist to the team, so a new face will greet you on your next arrival. Marisa who was previously working at The White Star in Southampton, has been a pleasure to work with and is a great addition to our close knit team here at The Eastbury.





Camera small 


Every toss and flip caught on the clip!


As Brett our Head Chef mentioned in our previous blog, ITV Westcountry came to film our third ever Three Wishes Pancake Race and we now have the news clip up online ­ click here to see all the action!

Last week we held our Spring Supper Club at The Eastbury which was a really lovely evening. We enjoyed a fabulous seven course menu including George and Nick’s Portabello Mushroom, with Poached Summerleaze Duck Egg and Westcombe Rarebit. I would like to thank George and Nick Pointing of Dorset Down Mushrooms (who supply our mushrooms of course!) for providing some fascinating insight into the world of mushroom growing. Button mushrooms grow into large, flat mushrooms within a 24 hour period so they have to be cut twice a day ­ every day!

George and Nick even had to be home before midnight to cut their latest crop ­ they didn’t leave in a pumpkin though unfortunately!



PC blog


 ITV join in our Pancake Race!


For three years now on Shrove Tuesday we have organised a Pancake Race down Cheap Street from our bistro, The Three Wishes. We donate all the money raised to the fund to build Sherborne Rugby Club a new clubhouse, and each year we have had a fantastic turnout.

This year we mentioned to ITV Westcountry that our race was gaining not only momentum but something of a reputation, and they decided to come and see for themselves! The six o’clock news presenter, Vanessa Cuddeford filmed in our kitchen, where I taught her how to make the perfect pancake (well I tried to teach her!). Then she used her pancake to join in one of the races.

We had to have four heats as there were so many entrants and we almost ran out of pans! Vanessa ran in one of the children’s’ heats and she even showed the race from the pancake’s perspective with her pan-cam! To see some more pictures of the race click here.

Brett Sutton­ - Head Chef


Hotel blog


 Like easing into a warm bath


With new recipes for our seasonal menus; our Pancake Race through Sherborne on Shrove Tuesday; meeting new producers from our local patch or choosing the designs for our newly refurbished bathrooms ­there’s always so much going on at The Eastbury we thought we would start our very own blog!

So, along with my husband Paul, and our Head Chef Brett, I will be finding a spare half hour to blog and keep you updated with all the comings and goings ­ and as this is the first blog I thought I’d start with one of the things I like doing most ­ choosing new things for the Hotel!  

Bathrooms ­ where to start? Tiles, towels, blinds, taps, baths and shower heads ­ I could write a dissertation. Now they are finished and look so beautiful and all the pondering and choosing was worth every minute - striking ceramics, shiny chrome heated towel rails, fluffy towels of course and lots of gorgeous scented potions. Paul and I are really happy with the results. Even if deciding on which new suites to choose from did create some interesting family debates.......just waiting to hear feedback from the guests!

Be back blogging soon ­ just off for a long soak.


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