If you’re out and about in the Cotswolds, Cirencester is a town worthy of a visit and there is a modern eatery worthy of your attention – the refreshing and affordable Roots + Seeds!
Roots + Seeds Kitchen Garden opened recently as a novel cafe and restaurant concept at The Old Kennels in Cirencester Park, part of the Bathurst Estate.
The new venture comes from the threesome behind “The Scenic Supper” at Moreton-in-Marsh, old school friends and founders Toby Baggott, Sam Lawson-King, and Scott Sullivan. The guys want their new eatery to engage with both the environment and community, aiming to use its onsite kitchen garden to achieve 75% home-grown fruit and vegetables by spring 2025.
With sustainability and freshness at its heart, breakfast, lunch, and evening menus showcase Cotswolds artisan produce, all from within a 25-mile radius.
Managing climate change, reducing food miles, and improving sustainability are strong principles the three of us share” says Toby. “By growing our own food over a weekly cycle with daily changing specials, this will help us achieve our goal of creating a low to zero food waste restaurant”.
Drinks are always a challenge for a low “food miles” strategy but they try hard and use the delicious range of Benson’s juices from nearby Sandyhill Farm, Sherborne, Gloucestershire. There’s a full bar with artisan King Stone gin made by restaurant founder, Sam Lawson-King. Do try the seasonally-changing gin cocktails menu, muddled with Sam’s own homemade shrubs, cordials, and mixers that have been developed with locally foraged ingredients. The Bathurst Summer Garden Spritz uses a Thyme infused gin, herbal syrup, and tonic.
There’s an extensive wine list curated by local wine company Talking Wines, including respectable English wines from Woodchester Valley Vineyard and Poulton Hill. The beers are produced literally next door by Corinium Ales and Lakes Brew Co, a short drive away. The range will keep the most ardent beer lover happy, including a craft lager, pale ale, golden ale, and mosaic American pale.
Once the Bathurst family’s foxhound kennels and stables, the café occupies a newly built light-filled space with vaulted ceilings and large windows overlooking the kitchen garden. On the sunny day we visited, it creates such a bright, wholesome, uplifting ambience.
Head Chef, Sam Idione’s menus use locally reared beef, lamb, pork and poultry, game from the Bathurst Estate and fresh fish and seafood delivered daily from Brixham in Devon. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are available on every menu. A regularly changing seasonal ‘specials board’ offers delicious ‘Field to Fork’ dishes based on what’s best on the day. Classic Italian meatballs with pasta and sea bass were two of the enticing options on offer the lunchtime we visited. Simon worked for Rick Stein in Padstow, in 2*Michelin ‘Restaurant Patrick Jeffroy’ in France and he has catered for David Beckham’s summer garden parties. It’s simple and modern British cooking.
We sampled the Eggs Benedict and Eggs Royale for starters. The eggs were perfectly poached, the Hollandaise was of the ideal consistency and the warmth of the muffin and dish was bang on.
We chose the fresh garden salads for our main dishes, opting for the smaller plate at £8 each. Both the Caesar Salad and the Superfood Salad were beautifully abundant and visual pleasing. You can add chicken or oak smoked salmon for an additional £5.50. The generous Superfood salad comprised an innovative mix of giant cous cous, beetroot, pickled rhubarb, radish and summer peas.
To finish we shared excellent coffee and a chocolate torte, topped with vanilla mascarpone. Indulgence in a slice!
The dinner menu is served Thursday – Saturday 6 to 9 pm. Try Toby’s Tempura battered Courgette Flowers for a quirky starter. There’s fish of the day, a 30-day dry aged sirloin steak, the eponymous fresh garden salads and so much more. Eton Mess including Chantilly cream and King Stone Gin is a must.
Wait staff led by Laura were professional, enthusiastic, and friendly.
It’s a great vision for an all-day restaurant. The food was fresh, light, clean and healthy. The portions were certainly fit for an Earl. Roots + Seeds is open 7 days a week with coffee available from 8am and brunch/breakfast starting at 9 am. I really wish the guys and staff the very best in this exciting venture.
Roots and Seeds
The Old Kennels, Cirencester Park, Bathurst Estate, GL7 1UR