Gestingthorpe: Owners of The Pheasant pub plan the ultimate in low food miles fruit and veg

A VILLAGE pub, restaurant and bed and breakfast business close to the Suffolk-Essex order is celebrating its latest expansion – just across the road.

James and Diana Donoghue, owners of The Pheasant, at Gestingthorpe, near Sudbury, have just completed the purchase of a one-acre plot of land located opposite the pub, which they plan to use as a “kitchen garden”.

The land was purchased from a local church, with support from Essex County Council’s Retail Enterprise Fund. Diana said: “Locally grown fruit and vegetables always taste far superior than ones that have travelled half way across the country, which is why we’re delighted to be able to supply out pub’s kitchen with produce grown a matter of yards away.”

The decision to pursue the project was taken following the launch of their boutique bed and breakfast business, call The Coach House, to the rear of the pub last July.

Diana added: “We’re very pleased indeed to have been able to purchase the land and are very excited to be planning a new garden that will enhance our whole operation at The Pheasant.”

In addition to supplying the restaurant’s kitchen with zero food mile produce, the land has sprouted another opportunity.

The Pheasant owners are strong supporters of providing employment opportunities for younger people within the region, and are now recruiting for an apprentice gardener to work the land with head chef and gardener, James Donoghue.

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James,a former lecturer at Writtle College and Chelsea garden designer, will guide the apprentice to Level 2 NVQ, and will work alongside them to cultivate the market garden, and also produce honey from the 10 hives on the land.

The Pheasant also plans to also host day courses for bee keeping, willow weaving and allotment maintenance on the land.