ESL is delighted to celebrate the opening of Pensons, the exciting new dining destination situated on the 1200 acre Netherwood Estate, owned by the Darnley family, on the rural Herefordshire/Worcestershire border.
The restaurant venture is a partnership between acclaimed chef Lee Westcott (formerly of the Typing Room) and Peta Darnley, where Lee’s experienced and ambitious team compliments Peta’s design expertise to bring you a stylish yet accessible venue of gastronomy.
ESL visited Pensons following its launch in January and we could immediately see the care and passion that is in every inch of the business. The sympathetic conversion of the derelict 15C farm buildings, with architect Alex Coppock from Communion Design, has entirely rejuvenated, restored and preserved intricate original features, re-using as many of the historic materials as possible. The former manger, used for feeding hay to the cattle, is being reused as a lighting rig, the brick threshing floor has been repaired and beautifully weathered elm and oak boarding reinstated.
The bespoke kitchens, designed to Lee’s requirements, are open to the diners’ view, showcasing the talents of his hand-picked team. The refined menu draws inspiration from produce from around the Netherwood Estate and surrounding countryside, favouring local producers and growers, and the finest ingredients from around the UK’s waters.
Currently open from Wednesdays 6pm, then through lunch and evening services Thursdays – Sundays (closed Sunday evenings), Lee offers an a la carte and tasting menu based on what produce is at its peak from the Estate and growers in the area.
Staying true to his Great British Menu ethos, Lee enthused “I’m incredibly excited to immerse myself in this new project, where the team and I will fully utilise the abundance of produce that the Netherwood Estate has to offer, alongside what we are growing in the Penson’s kitchen garden.”
“Working with the seasons has always been of huge importance to how I approach my menus and working alongside the team of gardeners, farmers and the gamekeepers on the Estate will be very beneficial in continuing this approach. The inspiration for us all is the countryside around the restaurant”
The 46-cover restaurant comprises of a large open dining space and an upstairs private dining room for parties of up to 14. It is set around a sheltered courtyard where guests will be able to have an aperitif outside when the weather allows, or which can be used as a venue for larger events.
The interiors, designed by Peta Darnley, accentuate the natural light that floods into the building through the double-height former wagon-openings. The decoration is deliberately understated to allow the natural beauty of the many varied textures of the building to shine and the natural textures and colours of the wood, brick and stone are complemented by a palette of slate blue, soft grey and ecru.
The team have worked with local artisans for furnishings and bespoke pieces. Fabrics have been made in the weaving mill on the Estate itself, by Netherwood Textiles, a collaboration with Daniel Harris, founder of London Cloth Company. Similarly, renowned basket-maker and artist Jenny Crisp has created unique lampshades made from willow harvested on the Estate and around Herefordshire.
Join us in welcoming this chic new addition to Herefordshire’s dining scene, set to attract national and international foodies keen to discover new flavours …. And where better than from the rich soils of this county.
Stay over at the Netherwood Estates luxury country house lets The Hyde and The Freeth
Pensons Restaurant, Pensons Yard, Stoke Bliss, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8RT, 01885 410 321 & firstname.lastname@example.org