Home to the Boscawen family since 1334, Tregothnan, a private estate in Cornwall, grows a huge variety of plants in the largest historic botanical garden from which they produce English Teas and Infusions, Cornish Manuka and Wildflower Honeys, unique Kea Plum Jam, amongst a variety of other unique estate produce.
The name ‘Tregothnan’ literally means ‘The House at the Head of the Valley,’ and the family – renowned for their enthusiasm for botany – have worked with the community in the valley for centuries. Tregothnan grow and produce some truly unique provenance-assured foods, which are testament to their close historical connection with the land and their use of traditional growing methods, which created Britain’s first home-grown tea.
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Tregothnan is an environmentally responsible estate, and was recently awarded the European Land Owner’s award for sustainable farming practices, innovation and leadership. They are committed to supporting agriculture across the UK to ensure the long-term prosperity of the farming community
Tregothnan Tea – The Camelia bushes are carefully tended by expert technicians in the plantations of the Estate. Tregothnan teas are not processed using many of the same methods as large-scale producers in India, Sri Lanka or China. The Estate does not require large machinery, and the drying, chopping and sorting is still all done by hand. In fact, it was only in 2018 when Tregothnan stopped pressing solely in the traditional method using muslin cloths. The Estate now uses a rolling machine, helping them produce more tea.
Tregothnan Honey – The production of honey follows a traditional process. The head beekeeper even warms jars in the oven in the staff room so the raw and unpasteurised product doesn’t immediately set after its sterilisation.
Tregothnan Kea Plum Jam – The unique Kea plum orchards are tended to by experts to ensure healthy crops. When they are harvested, they are not picked in the conventional way, but rather shaken off the trees. Traditionally, four shakes get the best plums, with the first shake’s fall discarded. Plums are sorted and pulped by hand, adding sugar and a dash of lemon juice to make the preserve.
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The Boscawen family and their botanical experts are at the forefront of the business. Their knowledge and maintenance of the largest historical botanic garden in Cornwall ensure their authentic connection with the land and an intimate relationship with their produce. The diversity of lands in their historic botanic garden allow them to grow English tea and numerous other plant varieties that allows them to produce unique-tasting honeys, spreads and preserves.
The Sixth Viscount Falmouth and his brother brought many rare trees, shrubs and Camellias – the species from which tea is made – into the arboretum two hundred years ago. The family’s keen interest in botany led them to pioneer several botanical firsts in the UK, taking advantage of Tregothnan’s unique microclimate. Located a few miles from the coast, the estate benefits from the deep sea creek of the Fal Estuary running through it, helping maintain warmth and humidity throughout the year, even in winter.
The full-time Garden Team is eight-people strong, including dedicated tea technicians and specialists. They also count around ten volunteers, including one of the world’s leading experts in Camellia cultivation who advises on tea production.
CORNWALL’S GARDEN OF DELIGHTS
Cornwall’s culinary history is unique to the UK. The peninsula is surrounded by fertile fishing grounds on three sides and has a strong tradition for seafood dishes. Cornwall’s quirkier products, however, are also a result of its geography and climate. The Cornish peninsula is responsible for many foods which cannot be easily found elsewhere in the UK.
|Tregothnan, The Woodyard, Tresillian, Truro TR2 4AJ, UK|