How Harewood Estate is making legacy for future

When Harewood House was built in 1759 and the seeds sown for its sprawling estate, Edwin Lascelles probably didn't think they would literally be growing a business to take the historic legacy firmly into the future.

Saturday, 25th August 2018, 6:49 am

However, with the surrounding land still managed by his descendants they are creating a self-sustainable venture using everything from its home-grown berries to bulls.

The Harewood Food and Drink project – managed by brothers Eddy and Ben Lascelles – is now in its second year and what started with a secret supper club on the estate using its own produce has rapidly expanded into buying the local village cafe, creating holiday cottages and producing its own award-winning gin.

Eddy said: “I rarely look back but was scrolling through over the last 12 months and you think ‘bloody hell’ we have done a lot.

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“We are excited about the journey that we are going on and God knows where it is going to take us.”

The newest project is the Muddy Boots cafe recently acquired from the previous owner and already a popular stop off for walkers, cyclists and local residents. It will be kept on and given the Harewood food touch by the project’s resident chef, Josh Whitehead. They make their own beans for to be served at breakfast with chorizo and the jam for scones using blackberries that have been foraged by Eddy’s wife, Sophie.

It will incorporate a village shop selling estate produce like meat and vegetables as well as the Harewood gin and beers which use seasonal fruits. The Harewood gin has just won a silver award in the London Dry Gin category of the International Wines and Spirits.

Meanwhile, Ben is working on the self-catering cottages set to host fishing, bird watching and even wedding parties.

“There are some things that are so traditional it is contemporary,” he said. “This is another element of making the estate outward facing and developing the leisure offering so we are more than a day trip destination and helps diversify the estate business further.”