THE TUDOR way has proved a recipe for success at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
The charity which cares for the five historic Shakespeare houses in and around Stratford has been awarded a Gold Food for Life Served Here award from the Soil Association.
The award recognises restaurants and caterers who serve fresh food, which is free from controversial additives and better for animal welfare, and includes a rigorous on-site inspection.
The trust rears its own organic rare-breed animals on Mary Arden’s Farm, source free-range eggs and organic milk from the Midlands, the bread is hand-crafted and the orchards provide fruit for recipes while the herbs are all grown on-site.
Lizzi Testani from the Soil Association said: “This really is a story from Tudor farm to 21st century plate.
“The team at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust have entwined the food of a bygone era into Food for Life Served Here and thoroughly deserve their Gold award. She continued: “Visitors can be assured that all the food is sourced and prepared with care, with many ingredients coming directly from Mary Arden’s Farm just up the road.”
The Tudor way of eating was in many ways very sustainable as seasonal produce was very much in use and far less food was imported.
This ethos flavours the recipes used today to make the 400 meals provided to visitors daily, not to mention the cakes and snacks.
Trust head of hospitality Beverley Hunt said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the gold Food For Life Served Here accreditation from the Soil Association.
“All of our catering staff have worked extremely hard to ensure that each and every visitor to our three café’s experience good quality, delicious food that has been ethically and locally sourced. We are passionate about sustainable food sourcing, 86per cent of our café food is made from scratch and most of our waste is composted so that we can continue the wonderful farm to plate cycle.”
The trust is almost unique among most visitor attractions in having its own Soil Association organic licensed farm in Mary Arden’s Farm at Wilmcote, producing its own pork, lamb and beef using Tudor heritage breeds.
Mark Kirton, chef manager at Mary Arden’s, said: “To work for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is to delve into the past and bring a taste of history to our visitors. The Tudor element is such fun – adapting recipes to modern tastes and using quality ingredients makes it a special treat for all our visitors to experience.”