AN APPETITE FOR CHANGE
When it comes to fine dining in one of the most atmospheric settings imaginable, there is nothing quite like The Harewood Food and Drink Project to ignite the senses, thrill the taste buds and experience the magic of great food that comes straight from the estate.
When Eddy Lascelles returned to his ancestorial home of Harewood in 2016, few imagined that within the space of seven years he would have had such an impact on the Yorkshire food scene.
As somewhere he would visit his grandpa as a child and lose himself in the magic of the sprawling grounds, Harewood always held a special place in his heart and so after quitting his recruitment job in London and heading to Yorkshire, he was determined to play his part in the history of the estate, which has been in the Lascelles family since 1738.
And along with brother Ben, an expert in conservation, the pair set out on a mission to showcase the produce which grows just a short hop from the grand entrance to the 18th century property.
From the Hebridean sheep to its annual crop of oil seed rape to the foraged fruit and vegetables from the grounds, the pair soon realised they were sitting on a gastronomic goldmine and now eight years since his return, the place is alive with the sound of diners, private parties and families enjoying a Sunday lunch in their Muddy Boots Café.
Looking back Eddy says: “We had talked for a long time as a family about doing something along the foodie lines and we are now finally beginning to see that dream come to life.
“The estate is fortunate to have an abundance of great produce and for years it was just sitting there and we knew we should be doing more to promote it, but the question was, how?
“Eventually it got to the point where Ben and I decided we should stop talking and start doing.”
Within a year, the pair had launched Hidden Harewood, an experience where diners are led on a magical mystery tour of the estate, sampling a different course in a different location with different guest chefs carefully curating the menu.
Such was its early success, demand for the event grew and today it is still one of the most popular events on their busy calendar.
It was the catalyst to explore other food offerings and seven years on, Eddy and his growing team have now completely transformed the hospitality at Harewood and ushered in a new dawn for homegrown produce, collaborating with a host of experts to bring the extraordinary, the intriguing and the experimental to the table.
Blending age-old Yorkshire roots with some vibrant new school thinking, the food scene at Harewood under the careful eye of Eddy has exploded.
He said: “We always felt Harewood’s food history and its produce was a story worth telling and through hard work and a great team effort we are now seeing that come to fruition.”
Today you’ll find The Harewood Food & Drink Project running Muddy Boots Cafe in Harewood Village and the Courtyard Cafe & Terrace Tearoom on behalf of Harewood House Trust; there’s been the launch of The Hovels – a stunning Grade II listed converted stable block – which serves as the perfect venue for private parties, weddings and celebrations and that’s before you count in the success of their very own gin and beer range which uses home-grown Botanicals and fruits from the estate.
Add to that the private dining experiences, where Michelin chefs put on a show-stopping seasonal menu from the grounds and it is little wonder The Harewood Food & Drink Project is enjoying such success.
And whether it is the Hidden Harewood menu, a light bite in the Muddy Boots Café or an afternoon tea in the Courtyard Cafe and Terrace Tearoom, guests can sit down in the knowledge their food and drink will have been sourced just yards from where they sit.
Eddy said: “The produce we use across all the kitchens is the same and because of the wealth of ingredients on our doorstep we are blessed with an ever-changing seasonal menus that are designed and based around the five S’s: Simple, Sustainable, Seasonal, Specials and Sourced locally.
“Yorkshire has an amazing heritage when it comes to food and drink production and we are incredibly lucky to have such a natural larder right on our doorstep which we are now in a position to share with everybody.”
To find out more about the amazing food and drink offerings available and to book for one of the events please visit harewoodfoodanddrink.com