Seasonality, Simplicity & Sustainability
At the Three Fishes, Mitton, there is a farm to fork ethos and a delicious, seasonal menu that changes every few weeks
Chef Nigel Haworth is thoroughly enjoying his time at the beautifully refurbished Three Fishes, which he opened at the end of last year: “We have been working hard since we started this project and it’s going really well,” he says. “I’m delighted to be back!”
The extensive re-modelling of the country pub has involved the interior and the surrounding grounds and gardens. Within the grounds, which have been transformed, is a one-acre permaculture plot and large polytunnel where fruit, vegetables, herbs and shoots will be grown for the restaurant. Over the coming months the soil will be prepared for the planting of heritage seeds, chosen purely for their flavour: “The menu is all about seasonality,” explains Nigel, who took on the pub in a collaboration with Martin Aspinall, a trustee of the Standen Estate.
“The ethos is very much farm to fork – most of the ingredients are organic, wild or grown here. Seasonality, simplicity and sustainability is at the heart of what we do.”
Inside the pub the interior is relaxed and elegant, reflecting the inn’s rural heritage.
“We very much wanted to be sustainable as that is the whole ethos of the Three Fishes. So, much of the furniture is reclaimed and has been lovingly recycled and brought back to life – the chairs have been upholstered in beautiful fabrics. We also wanted to use local suppliers wherever possible,” explains Kath Haworth, who collaborated with Martin on the interior design.
“Martin and I worked as a team on the interior. There was so much to do but we had a clear vision. The important factor for us was to take the pub back to its roots as a traditional country inn.”
Around the pub is an eclectic mix of artwork and memorabilia including some memorable moments from Nigel’s career as a chef – dining at Highgrove with the Prince of Wales and receiving the Prince Philip Medal – along with lunch at the Ritz with the Duke of Edinburgh.
The original bar, with its new custom-made oak top and the main dining areas remain in the upper level of the pub while a stunning stone arch leads to two private dining areas that can seat 12 or 18 people – or the area can be opened up for up to 30. The space can be used for private celebrations or meetings, with one of the areas featuring a large flat-screen TV.
Behind the scenes is a new state-of-the-art kitchen, where chefs prepare dishes from a five-course menu using the very best ingredients.
“Because it is based around the seasons, the menu changes every two to three weeks,” adds Nigel, who is keen to point out: “While we have one menu, those who just want to call in for a drink are most welcome. We are after all, a country pub, it’s friendly and welcoming.”
Outside a large terrace area at the rear has been landscaped with stone flags, railway sleepers and greenery – within the terrace, which seats 50, is an exclusive Chef’s Table seating 12 diners who will be served by chefs cooking on a Spanish Charcoa grill, bringing outdoors the sights, aromas and drama of the kitchen, creating the ultimate in theatre-style cooking.
“We’re hoping the terrace will be used throughout the year as it will be heated and covered with an electronically operated retractable canopy,” explains Nigel, who is set to create an exclusive ‘outdoor’ menu of light bites and dishes from the grill.
With the festive season behind them, Nigel and his team will be taking well-earned time off – the pub will close on 10th January re-opening on 26th January. He says: “We have all worked tremendously hard over the past few months to get up and running. At times it’s been relentless, but it feels great to be back – the Three Fishes is such a lovely place.”
The exclusive Three Fishes private dining area is available for celebrations or meetings. To discuss your requirements with Jessica Moretti call 01254 826666