The UK's top sustainable restaurants
Take some guilt out of indulging by opting to eat at one of the country’s best eateries, both in terms of food, and ethical credentials
One of the UK's first zero-waste restaurants, Silo's sustainability credentials extend from the food and its packaging, right down to the plates it's served on. While its menu is not vegetarian or vegan, its approach to meat follows the waste-cutting nose-to-tail ideology popularised by the likes of St John (at which chef patron Douglas McMaster cut his teeth), while elsewhere it processes its own flour, churns its own butter and brews fermented drinks using foraged plants through its brewery Old Tree. Silo’s stark and industrial aesthetic isn't purely driven by looks, but also by the fact that the furniture and dinnerware is up-cycled, from crockery formed from plastic bags to jam jars used as glasses. To achieve its waste-free status, leftovers are fed into its aerobic digester that is also offered up for use by the local community.
39 Upper Gardner Street, North Laine, Brighton, BN1 4AN; silobrighton.com
This collaborative new opening comes with an impressive pedigree, backed by figures including leading mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana and the aforementioned McMaster, with similar aspirations to Silo in reducing waste. It has even enlisted the help of Noma's former resident scientist Dr Arielle Johnson to develop incubators and hydroponic systems for cultivating ingredients. Following Mr Lyan's signature experimental style, the menu aims to blend the boundaries between drinks and dishes, each featuring interesting and unusual flavour combinations; opt for the carefully tailored set menu for the full experience.
155 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6PJ; lyancub.com
Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
This two-Michelin-starred restaurant doesn't shout about its eco-friendly credentials, but rather has a consideration for sustainability that has developed naturally over the years. In the shadow of a motorway flyover, it has developed an urban garden producing around 40 per cent of its plants and herbs, while the restaurant was one of the first to put in place a closed loop organics composter. The high-tech gadget helps break down food waste, leaving behind material that can be matured into compost to then be used on site. Chef patron Sat Bains has even worked with nearby Nottingham University on its ecological projects.
Lenton Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2SA; restaurantsatbains.com
This award-winning tapas bar in Bristol boasts some of the highest scores awarded by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. An adherent to the Slow Food movement, promoting locally sourced and traceable ingredients, 90 per cent of the produce found on its vegetable-focused menu is British, with much from within 50-100 miles of the restaurant. Following the circular economy model, in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible, the kitchen has strict rules in place to help reduce waste. These include allowing dishes to run out and building in 'rescue recipes' to put to use ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away, while bin bags are weighed on a daily basis to determine what is being discarded.
45 Jamaica Street, Bristol, BS2 8JP; pocotapasbar.com
Located in the aptly named Greenhouse Hotel, Arbor works with small, local producers in surrounding Dorset to put together a seasonal menu with high standards of welfare and environmental accountability in mind. The kitchen has been designed with these principals at the forefront, from using energy-efficient appliances such as induction hobs and hot-fill dishwashers (that use water heated in part by solar power), to having an on-site filtration and bottling system to avoid the transport of bottled water. Meanwhile the restaurant and hotel is also lauded for its community projects, working with local schools to put green initiatives in place.
4 Grove Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3AX; arbor-restaurant.co.uk