Bute-iful Fresh Tastes

“I absolutely love what I do” – these are the words of head chef Kevin Brown who has been at the helm of the kitchen at The Lord Bute for 19 years.

English charm, luxury detail and local provenance are at the heart of everything the team do at this Dorset hotel and restaurant.

 Situated between the New Forest and the Dorset coast, The Lord Bute is an impressive looking building offering 5* luxury guest accommodation rated by the AA.

Once home to Lord Bute, the Prime Minister of England from 1762 to 1763, the venue is equally grand inside. Now a boutique hotel, parts of the building used to be the original 18th century entrance lodges to Highcliffe Castle but have now been transformed into 13 spacious, modern guest suites.

Cooking up award winning food in the kitchen comes easily to Kevin, 50, and he relishes the opportunity to create menus for guests, diners and wedding parties – their dedication to producing fine fare has earned them a Michelin Recommendation and they hold an AA Rosette for culinary excellence.

In recent years Lord Bute has scoped a number of awards including; best restaurant in Christchurch, best weekday lunch and best customer service.

They also won the 2013 award for Best Sunday Lunch in the Best of the Best Awards. The hotel itself has been awarded with a Highly Commended AA Award which puts them in the top eight per cent of rated hotels.

Family man Kevin, born and bred in Christchurch, has developed his love of cooking over the years, he tells us: “I trained at Bournemouth and Poole College, during which time I went to France as part of my work experience which was great. They offered me a job, so when I finished college I went back to France for three years working as a chef de partie in a Michelin starred restaurant along the south coast.

“I then worked at The Dorchester in London for a year, then came back down south, back home, and I’ve been here for 19 years now. I love coming to work and being creative, it’s amazing,” enthuses Kevin.

Who inspires you?

“I went to Tom Kerridge’s restaurant recently – I love his food, the simplicity. It was an amazing experience to have a meal at a 2 Star Michelin restaurant, just beautiful,” continues Kevin. “I love simple, fresh, quality ingredients - something you don’t have to do too much with, the products speak for themselves.

“Our produce is local whenever we can with vegetables from Sopley Farm, fish from Mudeford, meat from Jurassic Coast in Weymouth and local butchers. We get an abundance of regional food. I love getting new ingredients and putting my own spin on dishes.”

Signature Dish

Parsley crumbed rack of lamb with ratatouille and thyme fondant potatoes

Lamb is a popular dish on their a la carte menu and one of Kevin’s favourites. This lamb dish looks simple but delivers a big impact and is full of flavour.

-Trim the lamb bones to remove the sinew and fat, then sear.
-Brush with French mustard and roll in parsley crumbs and roast for 10 minutes.
-Elements of ratatouille are included but added in slices of tomato, courgette, onion and aubergine, baked in the oven with the lamb.
-Serve with a red wine reduction and a little garnish

·      The Lord Bute Hotel and Restaurant in Lymington Road, Highcliffe, 01425 278884, www.lordbute.co.uk