The 19-bedroom luxury boutique hotel, which first opened in 1913, has been part of the Relais & Chateaux collection since January 2016, with its restaurant overseen by head chef Guy Owen and his team.
The news comes soon after predictions from Mintel and other commentators identified the championing of vegetables and healthy options, British heritage and traditional produce as key trends for 2017.
Owen and his team will use the ‘Soil to Plate’ partnership to champion Cornish food, using produce from the Heligan estate, including the 300-plus varieties of fruit and vegetables, as well as its collection of rare breed livestock.
These are set to be featured throughout the year on changing seasonal menus, with a ‘trophy’ ingredient showcased each month. Owen’s focus will also continue to be on locally-sourced fish, and meat, from Cornwall and the West Country.
It is thought that the partnership will boost business, as well as act as an example of how local businesses can work together to highlight regional producers.
It also coincides with the 25th anniversary of The Lost Gardens of Heligan opening to the public, after they were restored following their rediscovery in the 1990s. They were originally abandoned – hence “lost” – just after World War I.
The Heligan Productive Gardens seen from above (Photo: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, heligan.com)
Commenting on the news, Owen said: “It was Cornish produce that fuelled my passion for food and this partnership with The Lost Gardens of Heligan reflects both mine and the hotel’s ethos of using only the best ingredients. As a chef, the opportunity to work with the produce from the estate is truly a dream come true.”
George Elworthy, managing director at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, said: “We are all extremely excited about joining forces with The Idle Rocks and the relationship going forward. The Idle Rock’s ethos for sustainability and locally sourcing produce mirrors our own beliefs.”
The Idle Rocks first opened in 1913, and was bought by David and Karen Richards in 2010, closing for renovation in 2012 and re-opening in 2013.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan cover 200 acres and were once family gardens. The space prides itself on reflecting Victorian horticultural values and husbandry practices, and talks of ‘food yards’ from soil to plate, rather than ‘food miles’.