Taking the helm of the Westonbirt Kitchen
After a rigorous tender process, Bristol-based caterer Fosters Events have been awarded a five-year contract and lease for Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.
Fosters is a home-grown South West success story, based out of their Bristol Head Office in St Anne’s, only 24.4 miles from The National Arboretum. Their history dates back over sixty years, over which they have grown and diversified to become renowned for operating some of the region’s most high profile and volume venues, restaurants, and cafes. Their track record for launching some of the UK’s most exciting venues, such as The Box Kitchen & Bar in Plymouth, is an indicator of the experience and expertise that Fosters is set to bring to Westonbirt.
Details of the development, design, and key dates of the work on-site have now been revealed and people can begin to see what to expect from the new dining experiences at The National Arboretum.
The main restaurant is envisaged with a completely new concept brought into the space that intends to celebrate the very essence of the land in which it exists. With preservation of the original timber beams, contemporary green tiling, and an abundance of plants and foliage, the aesthetic is detailed as ‘the forest garden’. Visitors can expect everything from the furniture and furnishings to the dishes on offer to reflect the nature of the land and produce from within and around Westonbirt. The same concept is at the core of the other two catering spaces, with a walk-in kiosk and ice-cream hatch, and outdoor smokehouse forming the last instalment of the new dining areas.
'We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Fosters to deliver a new and refreshing seasonal menu for our visitors. Fosters commitment to championing local produce in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way that embodies our vision made them the stand out organisation to elevate the catering offering at the National Arboretum.’
Andrew Smith, Director of Westonbirt, The National Arboretum
Fosters pride themselves on their dedication to local and independent suppliers, choosing fresh, seasonal, and quality ingredients to inspire their menus. They design offerings that celebrate the innovative and ever-growing South-West food and drink scene, a core value they feed through to all their venues across the region. They operate with inclusive dining front-of-mind, where ‘everyone has the opportunity for making delicious memories’, designing venues and dishes that suit all requirements, right down to the most complex of dietaries. The offering at The National Arboretum will be no exception to that, with Vegan, GF, and other dietary-considerate dishes on offer across three catering spaces.
'We couldn’t be more delighted and excited at securing such a prestigious contract with Forestry England at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum. Working in partnership with Forestry England, we look forward to offering the ½ million+ visitors annually, a new and enhanced catering experience.
We have created three very distinct offers which will ensure that there is something for everyone, with the Fosters premium quality and service always at the heart of it all. The team have taken so much pride in the awarding of this contract and what the arboretum means to the local community and visitors of Westonbirt (Arboretum).
We hope that you will discover a brand-new catering offer that communicates that pride and consideration, where every element has been designed with the arboretum and local people in mind. We cannot wait to welcome people through the doors.'
Neil Lodge, Chief Executive of Fosters Events
PLEASE NOTE: The old restaurant remains open onsite for takeaway until mid-April 2021 while refurbishment works are being completed, offering hot and cold drinks, fresh cakes, bakes, and more.
• End of March 2021: The kiosk and smokehouse open to the public.
• Start of April 2021: The old restaurant, new kiosk, and new outdoor kitchen will operate takeaway service for the Easter holiday period.
• Mid-Late April 2021: The old restaurant closes for the final instalment of refurbishments, with the new kiosk and outdoor kitchen staying open to offer takeaway options to visitors.
• End of May 2021: All new areas open to open to the public.