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Fresh, local, seasonal - why food provenance matters at Donnington Grove

While the changing seasons bring many pleasures, one of the greatest is the procession of things that ripen, sprout and grow. And the difference all that makes to the food that turns up on our plates. At Donnington Grove we delight in showcasing reputable, local, seasonal produce. Which is why, for our Head Chef this is one of the most exciting times of the year. 

Meet our Head Chef, Simon Hodgson

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Head Chef Simon Hodgson has been cooking up a storm since he was just 19 – that’s when he secured his first sous chef role. Since then he’s progressed through the ranks to become a Head Chef at a large chain hotel, before taking up that role at Donnington Grove. 

Simon’s passionate about traditional cooking with innovative twists. New World and Asian accents infuse his dishes, as do the classical flavours of Britain and Berkshire. 

Sourcing prime local produce and using it to create dishes that delight guests is something of a passion for Simon. It’s led to him setting up a kitchen herb garden and using its produce to add depth and flavour to seasonal menus. Quality local produce also informs Donnington’s food philosophy – as seen in our emphasis on food provenance.

Food provenance 

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Three key themes underpin how we source the ingredients we use at Donnington Grove. We work hard to ensure our produce is:

• From reputable producers and locally or regionally sourced wherever possible.
• Independently accredited – for example the Red Tractor Scheme, wherever possible.
• Impeccably handled throughout the supply chain, including delivery in temperature controlled vehicles.

And of course these themes are reflected in the delicious dishes we place in front of you – locally, ethically, responsibly sourced food isn’t just better for our environment and our society, it tastes better too.

Regional produce

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At Donnington we’re incredibly proud of the regionally-based people who supply the ingredients for your meals. Here are just a few:

John Ross Jr Suppliers of our cured fish, smoked the traditional way in 150 year old red brick kilns.  The company has a long history of excellence and holds a Gold Award from the Guild of Fine Foods.

Thatcham Butchers Graham Wilks and his staff have more than 200 combined years’ experience in the butchery trade and supply many of the country's top chefs. Their assured meat tastes the way it should.

Philip Dennis A family-owned wholesaler with the highest quality and animal welfare standards. Produce includes chilled and ambient foods as well as fresh meat from Dennis Family Butchers and fresh fish from Dennis Family Fishmongers.

Menu review

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And all that fine produce fills our menus – and your plates. John Ross’ smoked salmon appears with lemon crème fraiche and rocket in our exquisite sandwiches. Seafood from the Dennis Family Fishmongers features in Beau's Restaurant dishes such as our seabass with olive crushed potato cake, buttered fine beans and red pepper pesto. 

It’s also at the heart of our popular beer-battered haddock served with chunky chips, pea puree and a tangy tartar sauce in Beau’s Bar. Cuts from Thatcham Butchers star in our bar menu beef burger, which comes smothered in melted cheddar, topped with mayonnaise and back bacon and sandwiched between a toasted brioche bap – with chips of course. 

While Thatcham’s 8oz sirloin steaks arrive perfectly pan fried to your liking, with crisp hand cut chips, grilled mushrooms and beer battered onion rings. Local, seasonal, reputable provenance – the difference is in the taste.

Book a table

Pop in for a bite to eat in Beau's Bar, book a dining experience to look forward to in Beau's Restaurant, or treat yourself to a leisurely afternoon tea. Whichever you choose, you'll enjoy tasty dishes that showcase the best of locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

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