When we say we support local suppliers and businesses, we really mean it, which is why the lamb you love in every one of Head Chef Matthew Tomkinson’s dishes is reared just 8 miles from The Terrace Restaurant.
Introducing our supplier Dan Smith. Once a dairy farmer, Dan seems to be the ‘black sheep’ in the family, having strayed from generations of dairy farming in the New Forest area to a life of lambing.
First his passion started as a hobby to provide family celebrations with great feasts of spit-roasted lamb, but then in 2012 Dan began rearing lamb solely for our Terrace Restaurant in the nearby town of Pennington.
Matt and the team at The Terrace Restaurant are always seeking to limit the impact of our business’s carbon footprint as well as sourcing sustainable ingredients and supporting local businesses, so it couldn’t be more perfect to find a supplier like Dan; an expert who cares about every delivery.
Dan’s small-scale farming enables him to produce far superior lamb than that produced for supermarkets and he can give greater care and attention to the nurture of each lamb for ethical as well as culinary reasons. Dan stands strongly behind the conservation of animal welfare standards whilst also being passionate about producing delicious lamb for our award-winning restaurant.
Dan’s lamb is held on the farm much longer than mass-produced lamb before taken to a family run slaughter-house in Sherborne, then to the Blackmore Vale Butchery where it is hung for 10-14 days, expertly butchered and then delivered to Matt at The Terrace.
Over the past 6 years Dan and Matt have formed a collaborative relationship and with ultimate trust in Dan’s expertise, Matt gives Dan complete freedom to experiment which has always proven highly successful when it comes to Matt’s award-winning cuisine.
In 2010, Dan began with 12 breeding Ewes on the smallholding at Pennington House where his family has farmed the land for many years. Even when the current owners purchased the land, Dan and his family were able to continue to reside there and care for the land. So, over the years Dan has enjoyed experimenting with different breeds, starting by rearing Herdwick lamb – a Highland breed which does very well on low ground. Before moving on to a Dutch breed called Zwartble, which take longer to mature, which gives the hogget an incredible flavour. Today he also has a pure Romney Marsh flock, producing pure bred lamb, perfectly suited to the marsh land in Pennington, which is particularly good as the fields flood there during winter.
So, true to the very reason for this venture, Dan is still able to keep one or two sheep for himself to ensure he has plenty for those big family occasions, and despite his success lambing for The Terrace, Dan wishes to remain small-scale. He hugely values and respects the relationship he has developed over the years with Matt and because of the manageable, and sustainable, amount of lamb required by The Terrace, he can continue ‘working’ at the hobby he loves.
The restaurant is open to residents and non-residents daily for lunch and dinner. Whether it's for a celebration, executive meeting, private birthday dinner or afternoon tea - For places to eat in Hampshire, The Montagu Arms is the perfect spot.
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