Former Masterchef finalist Sven-Hanson Britt aims to turn a barn in rural Derbyshire into “one of the best places to dine in the country”.
He hopes to have his 45-seat farm-to-table destination restaurant at Hardley Hill Farm, five miles to the west of Derby, up and running next summer.
He has received planning approval to convert unused buildings at the farm and is now looking for additional investment to complete his project, which will employ up to 15 staff. Once the restaurant is up and running, he plans to provide rooms at the farm so guests can stay over, though this may require further planning approval.
Mr Britt, currently executive chef at Miele GB, said: “Now we have planning permission granted, it would be great to start the renovation of the buildings as soon as possible. I personally would love to be up and running this time next year.
“We are still looking for a considerable chunk of investment to allow Hardley Hill Farm to realise its full potential as one of the best places to dine in the country.
He said: “I would love to work with local people who believe in the idea and principles of Hardley Hill Farm from a business point of view as well as using it as a venue to showcase local craft, design and heritage.
“We want to maintain the style and history of the farm and will try to change very little about the existing layout and buildings. I see it as a really exciting opportunity to bring back to life the disused and forgotten farm.
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The buildings at Hadley Hill Farm near Sutton-on-the-Hill have not been used for around a decade and are all within the ownership and control of the Trusley Estate. South Derbyshire District Council has granted planning permission to Mr Britt’s company SHB Hospitality.
Mr Britt, who spent seven years at the Ritz Hotel in London, working his way up to the role of sous chef, said the project had been a long time in the planning.
He said: “I’ve been working on the concept of Hardley Hill Farm for two years and the whole idea of a semi-self-sufficient restaurant for much longer than that and, now we have been granted planning permission to change the use of the barns, it obviously makes it a really exciting time for me.
“Many restaurants across the country and the globe have to use inferior, old ingredients because they are so far away from the source of the food. Hardley Hill Farm eliminates that by being surrounded by and growing most of the ingredients that will be used on the menu.
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“The farm will create much of what will appear on the menu, including produce from our Victorian walled garden, greenhouses, rare-breed livestock and surrounding pastures, woods and fields and it’s this that will ensure Hardley Hill Farm is a unique and exciting destination for our guests.
“Hardley Hill Farm will embody the finest principles of hospitality and design while retaining its rural roots as a working farm, allowing guests to have the finest experience while being surrounded by the ever changing bounty of the seasonal farm.”
The Victorian walled garden at Hardley Hill Farm will play host to much of the growing space for the restaurant’s produce and will have dedicated areas for vegetables, herbs, fruits and mushrooms.
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Mr Britt said: “We want to keep this space full of life and will produce everything using organic principles.”
He will also be working with Derbyshire rare-breed specialists Tori and Ben Stanley, of Park Farm, Melbourne.
Mr Britt said: “They will help source the best, most delicious and local meat and animals for Hardley Hill Farm, helping bring in our own livestock to the farm.
“We will only use the most local and delicious meat reared on our pastures where we utilise everything that each animal can offer – from milk to hides or wool and of course its meat.”
He has also planted 300 fruit trees in the “agroforestry” field – apple, pear, plum, cherry, and quince trees.
Source: Derby Telegraph