THE PIG-at Bridge Place delivers glut from its renowned kitchen gardens to the vulnerable, including endangered gorillas in local sanctuary.
‘Really restaurants with rooms, our Kitchen Gardens are at the heart of what we do.’ A maxim that The Pig hotel group quickly become renowned for, only ever using home grown or local produce, resulting in a restaurant where you stay, instead of a hotel where you eat. What, then, does a booming hotel do when the world is placed in lockdown? The veggie patches don’t understand the concept of social distancing – they are as busy and bustling as ever, and certainly not keeping to the two metres rule. The Pig-at Bridge Place offers a solution to the problem of hotels and coronavirus.
Hotels and coronavirus, unfortunately, means no guests to feed. The non-furloughed kitchen garden staff at The Pig-at Bridge Place have started delivering its abundance of produce to the doorsteps of NHS workers, the high risk and the vulnerable. In this group are the wild residents of the nearby gorilla sanctuary at Howletts Wild Animal Park. The 29 western lowland gorillas, which The Aspinall Foundation intends to re-introduce to the wilds of Central Africa, are now enjoying ‘gone over’ parsnips, chard, celeriac and spring onions, that would otherwise go to waste – you would expect nothing less of a hotel group whose founding hotel, THE PIG, New Forest, is an award-winning member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
‘We didn’t want any food to go to waste but veg can only be preserved for so long,’ explains Guy Freedman, Hotel Director. ‘We have asked all in our local village of Bridge to let us know what they need and have ensured that the local NHS workers, elderly and vulnerable take what they want. We still found ourselves with left over veg as the gardens are at their most productive in April, May and June. So we are delighted to have found that the gorillas are happy recipients.’
THE PIG-at Bridge Place opened to much excitement in April 2019 but has had to temporarily close its doors during the coronavirus crisis. Hotels and coronavirus has left a universal sense of uncertainty as to when they will be able to re-open to guests, but as least THE PIG are making the most of the situation by ensuring that their nourishing produce does not go to waste and reaches as many people (and wild animals) as possible.
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