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October update: The Tudor Farmhouse

23 October 2009
October update: The Tudor Farmhouse

Colin and Hari Fell have recognised the growing importance of the environment and sustainability to their guests. Hari says: "I think people do care more now about use of energy and in particular where their food has come from."

She adds that they take their main ethos from their three-year-old son's current favourite mantra. "We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible and live by one of Matthew's favourite sayings - reduce, reuse, recycle - from good old Bob the Builder."

To this end, the Tudor Farmhouse does a lot in the way of traditional green activity, recycling glass, tins, paper and cardboard by taking it in their wheelbarrow to the local recycling centre, as they can't find a contractor to remove it.

The Fells also compost and have installed two green cones for cooked food waste. "We are trialing them to see how they work at the moment and if they do, we will get a few more, as that will reduce the amount we send to landfill," Hari says.

They are also looking into renewable energy and are investing in sensor lighting to avoid having lights on unnecessarily. But it's the local community where the Tudor Farmhouse really comes into its own.

This year they have really increased their focus on getting produce for the hotel locally sourced and their success is now clear. Hari explains: "We use quite a few local farms - Madgett's for our poultry and Cowshill for our beef and pork. We also use local butter from Netherend Farm, local cider and perry from Severn Cider and Orchards Cider, local beer from Kingstone Brewery and even local wine from Tintern Parva."

They are also getting stuck into community events such as the local raft race the hotel took part in over the summer to raise funds for St David's Foundation hospice care and, on top of donating to local charities and schools with raffle prizes of free dinners and stays, they are also starting to take part in local fairs.

"We exhibited at the Forest Food Fair on Sunday 4 October - it's a great way to let the local community know what we are doing," Hari says.

Next year, thanks to their new vegetable patch, they will be growing more of their own produce and are already talking to their local market garden about picking up some of their excess stock.

Mentor Robin Hutson says: "There's certainly a will to go down the sustainable route. I think they are at the early stages of developing their environmental initiatives at the moment but the great thing about the Fells is that they're up for any idea and if they think it's good for their business, they'll do everything within their powers to try and embrace it."

Clearwell, Gloucestershire GL16 8JS 01594 833046

www.tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk

OCTOBER UPDATE

Despite concerns earlier in the year, the Fells have had a good summer, with August turning out to be a record month for business and September also looking good. "Bookings are up again," says Hari, "and we are taking a lot more forward bookings and enquiries for next year."

The hotel held its first wine evening this month, which went down a storm. The package attracted a full house of 30 customers at £50 a head and the evening was a great success, according to Colin.

"We weren't sure how it was going to go but it really was a fabulous evening. Tom Innes from Fingal Rock was great and very entertaining and we had lots of happy customers leaving asking when the next event would be. We'll definitely be organising a few more for 2010."

Mentor Robin Hutson adds: "The initial doom and gloom from the early part of year which was predicted hasn't come to pass and they've done well with a lot of last-minute business."

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