Dining, food & drink at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

From field to fork

With its exceptional passion for food and drink Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has created the perfect taste of summer with its selection of UK breaks for discerning gourmands.

With over 40 hotels and resorts in the UK - many home to AA Rosette award winning restaurants - including Bowaters at The Macdonald Compleat Angler, one of the finest hotels in Marlow, the use of fresh seasonal produce is paramount to the group's ethos.

The hotel group is also one of only a handful to proudly state where all its ingredients come from and its expert chefs are focused on sustainably sourcing produce.

As a result, the chefs at Macdonald Hotels regularly change their menus so the emphasis is always on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Traceability is crucial, as is developing strong relationships with the UK's best growers who can offer good provenance and sustainability.

Taste of summer

A classic fruit favourite for al fresco dining and picnics this summer is the Strawberry. This luscious summer fruit is the toast of Wimbledon, and goes excellently with anything from ice-cream, to Pimms not forgetting that great British tradition - Afternoon Tea.

With such an excellent pedigree it's no surprise that strawberries make several appearances on the menu at Bowaters at the Compleat Angler, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts' 2 AA rosette restaurant.

David Smith, Executive Chef at Bowaters restaurant in Marlow, serves strawberries in his delicious Strawberries and whipped Cream layered in sweet puff pastry biscuits or simply with rich, fresh cream as part of the restaurant's 'Champagne & Strawberries' offer.

David says, "The strawberry plays a huge role in our seasonal dessert menu, so hotel restaurants need to keep well stocked throughout the summer - or guests would be very disappointed indeed. This year we wanted a sweet, authentic tasting strawberry to give our diners a summer taste sensation to remember. To achieve this we have worked closely with our Kent farmer Peter Vinson who has been supplying us with a new variety called the 'Sweet Eve' - certain to be the strawberry of Summer 2011. "

Strawberry fields forever

Expert berry grower, Peter Vinson in Faversham, Kent, has introduced the 'Sweet Eve' to be a plumper, juicier berry with the aroma and intense flavour of wild strawberries. These delicious summer strawberries are so perfect they can easily be enjoyed without cream or sugar.

The Vinson family has been farming in Kent for more than 150 years and his ultimate vision is to extend the British strawberry season, which he has set about achieving through a bespoke breeding programme. Thanks to his modern growing techniques he will be supplying his British-grown strawberries from the end of May right through to October, certainly music to the ears of strawberry lovers across the country. Those with an eye on 'green' credentials will also be pleased to note that Peter is committed to minimising his environmental impact and prioritises innovative growing techniques that are environmentally sustainable.

Peter commented: "Good flavour is largely to do with high sugar, low acid and a good aroma. As we become more health aware, people are eating strawberries on their own without sugar or cream and therefore the berries need to have a fabulous flavour in their own right. Our strawberries really do taste like strawberries used to taste."

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts believes in using only the finest and freshest produce in its hotels. Chefs work from whole raw ingredients and plan menus by the season to ensure wherever possible UK produce comes first. The selection of foods includes British free range eggs that carry the Lion Quality mark, fresh milk from award winning Graham's Family Dairy in Scotland, 21 day matured beef fed on mineral rich grass from Scotland's farms and the famous traditionally smoked fish from John Ross Jr's 150 year old red-brick kilns in Aberdeen, supplier to H.M. The Queen.

The summer the UK's leading hotel group is offering great hotel deals with rooms from just £49 per person per night at any one of its 48 hotels and resort properties, ideal for family, golf and spa breaks UK wide. Simply book a UK hotel break before 31 August and stay from 13 June until 5 September. For visits from Sunday to Thursday, there will be an additional complimentary £15 voucher per room per stay, redeemable against the Group's award-winning food and drink, championship golf or exquisite spas. And, children under 12 can stay and eat free.