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Northumberland hotel and restaurant Battlesteads, near Wark, is Brexit-proofing its new eight-course tasting menu, with a focus on home-grown produce and UK seasonality.

To ensure the availability of all dishes on the hotel’s tasting menu, which aims to offer guests a true taste of Northumberland, Battlesteads has specifically designed the new autumn/winter menu to have no reliance on ingredients or products from the EU, in case a ‘no deal’ scenario results in food and drink shortages.

The award-winning eco hotel grows much of the green vegetables, salads and herbs on the menu in its onsite gardens and polytunnels. Last year Battlesteads also introduced a temperature and humidity-controlled mushroom farm to grow oyster and shitake mushrooms all year round, and head chef Eddie Shilton also home-smokes meats, fish and cheese sourced locally.

Dishes on the new menu include a selection of in-house produced charcuterie, including Wark forest ham, saucisson sec, smoked duck, smoked brie and speck, with pickled courgettes from the garden; semi freddo and carpaccio of beetroot, with micro-herbs grown under LED lights; home-smoked salmon with lemon jelly; duck breast with savoury granola, black pudding 'prune', charred cauliflower floret and cassis jelly; a regularly changing dessert and Northumbrian cheeseboard.

The menu can also be accompanied by a flight of wines, sourced from outside the EU, and finishing with Battlesteads owner Dee Slade’s homegrown and homemade sloe gin.

Head chef at Battlesteads, Eddie Shilton, said: "Our focus has always been on showcasing the very best local and home-grown produce, and our tasting menu offers the perfect opportunity to show diners just how fantastic seasonal UK food can be. Our gardening team, grows an amazing range of vegetables, herbs and fruit, and we are lucky to have some of the best producers in the country right here on our doorstep. UK-wide, 28% of what we eat comes from the EU, but our tasting menu is a true taste of Northumberland that won’t be impacted by Brexit or our relationship with Europe."

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Northumberland hotel and restaurant Battlesteads, near Wark, has been shortlisted for what is widely considered the Oscars of the hospitality industry – the Cateys 2019.

Battlesteads has been shortlisted for the Sustainable Business Award and will be going up against the best of British hospitality at the awards ceremony, held on 2 July at London's Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel.

The Cateys, now in their 36th year, recognise the most talented individuals, biggest brands and strongest performers in the hospitality industry. The shortlist was chosen by a panel of industry judges selected for their expertise and industry knowledge, making the Cateys the ultimate accolade in peer group recognition.

Owner of Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant, Richard Slade, said: "The Cateys represent the best of the best in the hospitality industry, so I am absolutely thrilled that Battlesteads has been shortlisted this year. Over the past 10 years we have been striving to be the most sustainable hotel in the country, as well as championing tourism in Northumberland, and it feels fantastic to be recognised for this by the judges. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for the ceremony in July, and hoping we bring back the trophy!"

Battlesteads Hotel offers a sustainable tourism experience combining a warm Northumberland welcome, accommodation including five eco-lodges, a restaurant showcasing the best local produce and home-grown ingredients, and a Dark Sky Observatory where visitors can discover the magic of the night skies.

The hotel has previously been recognised for its sustainability by the Good Hotel Guide, the AA, and at the Visit England Awards for Excellence.

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Battlesteads Hotel & Observatory in Northumberland has become the first place in the UK to install a light-measuring photometer camera, as part of a Europe-wide initiative to tackle light pollution.

The eco-friendly hotel has joined the EU-funded "Stars4All" initiative, which has created a network of several hundred devices monitoring the quality of the night sky across Europe.

Specially-designed cameras have been built by astronomers and calibrated in the LICA lab at the Complutense University of Madrid, which will measure how dark the night skies are, how clear or cloudy it is, and what the ambient temperature is. Stars4All will use the information gathered to support a campaign to introduce a new European Sky Protection legislation.

Located on the edge of Northumberland National Park, Battlesteads is the only hotel in the UK with an on-site observatory and has been awarded Designated Dark Sky Discovery Site status, meaning it’s one of the best places in the country to see the stars. Battlesteads is the only place in the UK with a calibrated photometer, leading the country’s research into light pollution.

Roy Alexander FRAS, head astronomer at Battlesteads, said: "This is a fantastic research programme for us to be involved in and will give us really useful data about the dark skies in and around Wark. Light pollution is an ever-growing problem, especially in rural communities. It not only adversely affects nature and wildlife, but more and more research is emerging which suggests that it can contribute towards health problems in humans, by affecting our natural sleep cycles. The darker the skies become, the healthier we will get and the better it will be for wildlife and stargazers."

Part of the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, the largest protected area of night sky in Europe, Battlesteads Observatory offers stargazing experiences for astronomers of all abilities, from getting to know your telescope to aurora hunting and astrophotography.

Real-time data from Battlesteads photometer can be seen at the stars4all portal.

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Eco-friendly Northumberland hotel and restaurant Batlesteads has strengthened its international travel trade relations as it joins a new collection of National Park experiences.

Battlesteads has been successful in applying to be one of the exclusive experiences in The English National Park Experience Collection. This brand-new collection of bookable experiences tells the stories of England’s National Parks and their people, to attract new visitors from overseas.

Located on the edge of Northumberland National Park, Battlesteads is the only hotel in the UK with an on-site observatory, which has been awarded Designated Dark Sky Discovery Site status, meaning it’s one of the best places in the country to see the stars.

Part of the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, the largest protected area of night sky in Europe, Battlesteads Observatory offers stargazing experiences for astronomers of all abilities, from getting to know your telescope to aurora hunting and astrophotography.

Katie Meyrick-Scott, general manager of Battlesteads, said: "We're delighted to be joining The English National Park Experience Collection, which brings together more than 60 of the best experiences across nine of England’s National Parks. This new initiative will help us reach a much wider overseas audience and help to support Northumberland’s thriving year-round tourism industry."



Award-winning eco-hotel Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant is increasing its sustainability credentials even further with the addition of a new wild mushroom farm on site.

Housed in a converted shipping container in the hotel’s gardens, the temperature and humidity-controlled farm allows the hotel to create the perfect conditions for growing wild mushrooms all year round.

Battlesteads has worked with Snowdonia-based Yr Ardd Fadarch (Welsh for "The Mushroom Garden") to create the mushroom farm, which maintains a steady temperature of 13ºC and humidity level of 85% to provide optimum growing conditions for the mushrooms.

Built in March, Battlesteads trialled growing grey oyster and shitake mushrooms first, and, after that proved a success, has moved onto growing both yellow and pink oyster mushrooms.

The home-grown mushrooms are now being used by head chef Eddie Shilton in the Battllesteads restaurant, featuring in dishes such as a demitasse of wild mushroom soup and a shitake and oyster mushroom tagliatelle with wild garlic pesto.

Richard Slade, owner of Battlesteads, said: "Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we are always looking for new ways to produce more of our own home-grown ingredients on-site and reduce the food miles of our restaurant. We already grow 95% of the herbs, salads and green vegetables used in the restaurant in the Battlesteads gardens and polytunnels, and now with the mushroom farm we are able to offer the types of wild mushrooms usually only harvested in the autumn all year-round. It makes a big difference to the quality of our restaurant dishes too – fresh ingredients always taste the best, and it doesn’t get much fresher than coming from 30 seconds outside your door!"

Battlesteads is widely recognised as one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the country, having won numerous awards for its sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint to just one fifth of the industry average.

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Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Northumberland is setting the standard for energy saving and environmental responsibility in hotels, after recording a carbon footprint five times lower than the industry average.

The award-winning eco hotel has been tracking its energy usage and carbon footprint since 2012, and in that time has reduced its carbon footprint from 24.64kg CO2 per room night to just 5.85kg CO2 per room night in 2017.

Carbon footprint is measured by the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, the accepted standard for the hospitality industry, which has set the benchmark for hotels at 31.1kg CO2 per room night – more than five times greater than Battlesteads' figures for 2017.

Owner of Battlesteads, Richard Slade, said: "Since switching to a 100% green energy supplier Ecotricity in January 2014, we’ve been able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint despite increasing our occupancy. Initiatives such as having a biomass boiler, producing solar energy on-site, being very selective with our suppliers and constantly looking for new ways to save energy are helping us to pave the way for a new generation of environmentally-conscious, sustainable hotels."

Will Guyatt, Head of Communications, Ecotricity, added: "We’re proud to be powering Battlesteads – Richard and his team are helping make Britain a greener place, and do a great job spreading the word about renewable power from the wind and sun to both hotel visitors and the wider hospitality industry."

The software Battlesteads uses to record carbon footprint, ConServe, is designed specifically for the hospitality industry and allows businesses to monitor, interpret and improve their environmental performance, while tracking progress of any initiatives introduced to improve their eco-friendliness.

Diana Prince-Parrott from ConServe said: "ConServe allows users to easily identify inefficiencies in operations through a correlation of consumption to industry metrics, such as room nights or food covers, through a comparison against automatically-sourced local weather information or through a review of site consumption outside its operating hours. The use of the platform is accompanied by Considerate Hoteliers' reporting and account management service that makes even easier for clients to track trends in performance and monitor consumption, emission and cost data. 

"Not only is Battlesteads’ carbon footprint less than a fifth of the industry average, but it is also the lowest figure recorded from Considerate Hoteliers’ portfolio of ConServe users – they are setting a fantastic standard for the industry."

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Reviews from Trip Advisor

"Very, very impressed with the hotel and staff"

"Quality hotel, quality service, quality food, quality ethics"

"This is a place where the guests still matter"

"Fabulous service and food in this wonderful family hotel"

Some of our Awards

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