An enchanting book about the orchard that Raymond Blanc planted in the Oxfordshire countryside. Full of ancient varieties of fruit, each one is celebrated through anecdotes and recipes, weaving a rich story about our country's past.
Picked as one of the Telegraph's cookbooks of the year 2019.
'I began to dream about an orchard filled with thousands of fruit trees... Today we have an orchard with over 150 ancient varieties of apple. Each one has its heritage in a village or a county that used to thrive on that particular variety. They tell the story not only of what we have lost in Britain but also what we could regain.'
Over the past seven years, Raymond Blanc has planted an orchard of 2,500 trees in the grounds of his hotel-restaurant in Oxfordshire. Yielding about 30 tonnes of fruit for his kitchen each year, it is full of ancient and forgotten varieties of British apples and pears, along with walnut trees, quince, medlars, apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, damsons and cherries. A further 600 heritage fruit trees have been added from Raymond's home region of Franche-Comte in France.
The Lost Orchard is a love letter to each of these varieties, complete with beautiful black and white drawings, photographs of Belmond Le Manoir and fascinating information and anecdotes about each fruit, along with recipes and stories.
RAYMOND BLANC is renowned for his passion for seasonal, sustainable and organic produce. When sourcing food for his two Michelin-starred restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, he makes sure to know everything about its provenance. With his gardeners, he has cultivated herb beds, a two-acre vegetable garden, a mushroom valley and heritage orchard. Raymond champions an ethical approach to cooking with sourcing and seasonality at the heart of it. He is involved in many movements and is honorary President of The Sustainable Restaurant Association and Vice President of Garden Organic.
THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, KEW is a world-famous scientific organisation, holding an unrivalled position for its outstanding collections of plants and fungi, artefacts and art, world-class Herbarium as well as its expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development. From its beginnings as a small physic garden in 1759 it has grown to become a top international visitor attraction and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kew's 132 hectares of stunning landscaped gardens and iconic glasshouses make it one of the world's best-loved gardens, a paradise for plant lovers, offering a wealth of ideas and inspiration to all.