The Upper East Side Hotel in Cape Town is growing its own produce on a high terrace just outside of the city center. Eager to serve their clients healthy, fresh greens and reduce their food miles, the contemporary boutique hotel in an emergent creative neighborhood commissioned Urban Harvest to develop a terrace garden that suits their particular needs. Since it wasn't feasible to build a fully-developed rooftop garden, the urban farming specialists planted everything from lavender to pineapple sage in 43 sustainably-sourced timber crates that are arranged in three different areas of the hotel's mid-level terrace.
Assistant Food and Beverage Manager Vamana Roux told Inhabitat that these crates full of herbs and other produce comprise the first step in the hotel’s food plan. They are currently investigating the possibility of buying a nearby plot so that they can start an even larger garden that will be serviced by a local orphanage. In addition to giving them greater control over the quality of their own food, this project would also benefit the local community. In the meantime, we had an opportunity to sample fresh basil and parsley, cut right in front of us and served with a delicious white tomato soup.
Although they have a long way to go before being truly sustainable (given the burgers and tuna served in the Liberty Restaurant), the Upper East Side Hotel has takes numerous strides to reducing its carbon and water footprint. Guests are given the option of reusing their towels, smart keys ensure that all the room’s lights are switched off when vacant, the and the hotel recycles all of its waste, which is not as common as it should be in South Africa. Numerous other eco-controls have been employed and staff are trained to maintain them as well as possible.
All images by Tafline Laylin for Inhabitat