Pensons Retains Michelin Starred Status and Wins First Michelin Green Star

Food & Drink | Green Tourism

Pensons head chef Chris Simpson collecting produce from the kitchen garden

Pensons at the Netherwood Estate has retained its Michelin starred status for another year and has won its first Michelin Green Star.

Michelin Stars are awarded for outstanding cooking, including flavour, technique, expression, and consistency both over time and across the entire menu.

Michelin Green Stars are awarded to restaurants with the best sustainable practices. Only restaurants that combine culinary excellence with outstanding eco-friendly commitments are awarded Michelin Green Stars.

Pensons head chef Chris Simpson said: “It’s the pinnacle for any chef to be awarded a Michelin star and I’m honoured to have one for another year, not to mention winning my first Green Star.

“At Pensons I take great pride in showcasing local produce and it gives me great pleasure to work with the gardening team, not to mention local suppliers such as Little Pomona Cider, Legges, and Huntsham.

“Having an open kitchen means I get to see diners enjoying that produce and the meals my team has cooked for them.”

Restaurant owner Peta Darnley said: “Pensons prides itself on its admirable ‘estate to plate’ ethos. These Michelin awards are a testament to the talent and commitment of the entire team at Pensons and the Netherwood Estate.

“Where possible Pensons grows, forages, or farms much of its own produce and our kitchen garden allows chef Chris and his team to have the freshest ingredients possible, which is immediately noticeable in the flavours on the plate.  It also eliminates packaging, food miles, and environmental ‘nasties’.”

Pensons believes that this hyper-local ethos shouldn’t just be limited to ingredients and collaborated with local artisans to furnish the restaurant and courtyard bedrooms, for example using fabric woven on the Netherwood Estate’s own mill, as well as plates and bowls made by local potters, lampshades woven from local willow, and steak knives forged by a local blacksmith.

Pensons composts the uncooked fruit and vegetables waste from the kitchen, but they also shred cardboard waste from the restaurant, adding this to the compost heap as a valuable source of carbon and to aid aeration, allowing the compost to decompose more quickly. The gardening team also makes its own charcoal to create rich soil.

Pensons believes in the ‘no dig’ principle for creating new beds, excluding light from the soil and applying a deep layer of manure from the farmyard to eliminate weeds, improve the structure of heavy clay loam, and retain all-important microbes. It might not look the prettiest for a while, but patience pays off and after six months the beds are full of goodness and raring to be planted.

Guests can also tour the restaurant’s kitchen gardens, as well as visit Pensons’ Concept Store that stocks handpicked and handmade artisanal pieces and products. 

As well as fine dining, Pensons also boasts two beautiful bedrooms so diners can enjoy a luxury overnight break.

Pensons is located where Hereford, Worcestershire, and Shropshire meet and is the only Michelin starred restaurant in those three counties.

Pensons is open from Wednesday evening until Sunday lunchtime, serving a three-course a la carte menu at lunch and a five-course taster menu in the evenings.