Our produce and Askham Hall
We grow and rear as much of our own produce as possible at our gardens at Askham Hall, just a couple of miles from the George and Dragon.
There we have 12 acres of gardens including a kitchen garden where we grow a wide range of fruit and vegetables (including many types of herbs) exclusively for the George and Dragon and our cafe at Askham Hall itself. The gardens are open to the public so visitors can meander along the terraces of colourful herbaceous borders, enjoy the topiary, ponds, meadows and wooded areas. And they can also see all the produce we grow in our kitchen garden before sampling it in the restaurant, cafe or party barn at Askham Hall or the George and Dragon. In the surrounding fields, we rear our own rare-breed pigs (Gloucester Old Spot, Tamworth and Saddlebacks – all crossed with Duroc). We also rear our own rare-breed goats (Cashmere and Boer) which we will soon be using for meat. Charles has a farm at Maulds Meaburn, where he breeds pedigree beef shorthorns and that is where the majority of the beef on our menus comes from.
Our own breeds of beef and pork are traditional and slow grown. What makes the meat so exceptional, is the grass which animals feed from, which here, grows in the limestone soil – famous for rearing the best quality animals. The extensive natural minerals and the significant amount of rainfall in the Lake District make it one of the best places for rearing livestock in the world.
So when you eat at the George and Dragon or Askham Hall, you’ll know that much of the produce we rear and grow ourselves at Askham Hall. For anything we don’t grow or rear ourselves, we use local farmers and suppliers, many who farm on the estate.
Game, including Roe Deer and Red Deer, are sourced on the Estate woods and moors as is partridge, pheasant, woodcock and duck which come from local game keepers. Our fish comes from the north west coast of Cumbria although often we are lucky to come by some brown trout caught in the local rivers.
The Lowther family Estates, situated on the north east of the corner of the Lake District, have been producing meat and vegetables for 800 years. Within the family Estates (of 70,000 acres) are approximately 70 tenant farms.