Boston hotel forms link with town allotments association

A hotel in Boston says a new link between itself and an allotment association in the town is already yielding a rich harvest.

The successful partnership is between The Coaching Inn Group’s White Hart Hotel, in High Street, and the Willoughby Road Allotments Association (WRAA).

It was set up after the allotments association’s chairman Paul Collingwood approached the executive head chef of The Coaching Inn Group, Dave Simms, suggesting that perhaps vegetables and fruit grown on the five-acre site could be used by the hotel.

Mr Simms welcomed the proposal, attracted by the idea that students participating in the Chef’s Academy – which he started within the group – could visit the allotments to expand their knowledge on vegetable production.

Ahead of this, White Hart head chef Shelina Burford has already started writing a blog for the allotments’ website (www.willoughbyroadallotments.org.uk) on dishes prepared from the fresh produce grown there.

Mr Collingwood said: “We took some beetroot into the hotel from which Shelina produced a recipe for a delicious beetroot and goats cheese risotto.

“There seems to be a growing trend for restaurants to have their own vegetable plots so we are delighted to have this link up with the White Hart.”

Kevin Charity, chief executive of The Coaching Inn Group, which operates 15 market town hotels and inns across the country, said visits to the Willoughby Road allotments would be inspirational for young chefs on the academy course.

“It’s great that they can now increase their knowledge by going out and looking at the produce during the growing process,” he said.