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The best sustainable restaurants in the UK

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Sustainable eating is all about making the most of produce on your doorstep. This can be from making the most of food waste and leftovers, which helps the environment, to working and cooking with what’s in season on a day by day basis.

More and more people are committing to sustainable eating these days, and it seems more restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon. Here we have compiled a list of ten of the UK’s best and most sustainably minded restaurants for you to try.

1. Silo, Brighton

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

Founded by Douglas McMaster, this is the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant. There are many waste avoiding plans in place here, including a machine that generates 60kg of compost from food scraps every 24hrs. The furniture in this restaurant, which is crafted from pulped wood waste, adds to the calm setting of the establishment.

2. Shell Bay, Sandbanks, Bournemouth

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

Clams sourced from the neighbouring Poole harbour and mushrooms collected from the New Forest. These are a couple of things that make this restaurant one of the best sustainable places to eat in the country. Owner Jamie Farrar works to ensure that all vegetables, fish, and shellfish are sourced sustainably, and you are able to sip on locally distilled drinks, including Black Cow vodka from Bridport.

3. The Wild Rabbit Pub, Oxfordshire

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

The Wild Rabbit Pub is located in a beautiful wildflower meadow on the 40-year-old organic Daylesford Estate in the Cotswolds. Much of the ingredients; fruit, vegetables, and meat, are sourced from the organic farm. A signature dish is gnocchi with buttered turnip, and if you book to stay the night the bedrooms come complete with homemade mattresses.

4. Angela’s, Margate, Kent

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

Not far from the Tracey Emin supported Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate, Angela’s puts the people and planet first. Its sustainable ethos includes working with the nearby Windmill Community Gardens to turn the restaurant’s food waste directly into compost. Glasses of natural wine are from the Sussex based vineyard Tillingham.

5. Franklins, East Dulwich, London

Image credit: Wandermusts

This long-standing restaurant has been a favourite for decades thanks to the fact that most of the meat used is bred and reared on the same farm to help minimise emissions from transportation. A focus is also placed on small suppliers, zero air miles and minimal packaging.

6. Captain’s Gallery, Scrabster, Scotland

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

This popular restaurant has won a huge number of environmental awards, the most recent being the Sustainability Chef of the Year award. Jim Cowie is a highly celebrated figure in restaurant sustainability and as such runs the Captain’s Gallery under three pillars: sustainability, traceability, and seasonality. With fish sourced from North Scotland’s best fisheries, expect to have dishes served such as crab risotto and Shetland mussels.

7. The Marram Grass, Anglesey, North Wales

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

At the forefront of everything the team at The Marram Grass does is seasonality and local produce. The menu will have you sampling the best produce this corner of Wales has to offer. Wild Anglesey sea bass is popular, and is a prime example of the sensibly sourced food served at this establishment.

8. Sat Bains, Nottingham

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

Two recycled greenhouses and a garden produce 40% of the menu’s vegetables and herbs, which feature on the seven or ten-course tasting menus. It was also one of the first restaurants in the UK to install a closed-loop composter. Tablecloths are avoided to reduce water waste from the laundry in this stylish restaurant with two rooms.

9. Battlesteads, Northumberland

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

This was the first hotel in its region to install a carbon-neutral heating system. Like other restaurants on this list, Battlesteads converts kilos of food waste in compost. The restaurant boasts five and eight-course vegetarian tasting menus which feature locally sourced and home-grown vegetables to help reduce the restaurant’s carbon footprint.

10. Arbor, Bournemouth

Image credit: Lili Rutherford

Arbor is a restaurant that celebrates environmentally responsible dining and a passion for the countryside. Locally sourced ingredients are only one part of the sustainability story here. The team use low energy induction cookers in the kitchen, keep honey bees on the roof and have kitted the restaurant out with FSC timber. A lot, I know. The tasting menu is also a winner.

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