Frasers at Coldharbour Farm
Nestled in an idyllic location in the heart of the Kent countryside between Maidstone and Ashford, Frasers is a working farm and thriving hospitality business owned by Adam and LisaJane Fraser.
In just under a decade Frasers has become an award-winning restaurant with rooms and boutique wedding venue based on a mixed farm. In 2017 Frasers won the British Farming Award for ‘Large Diversification of the Year’ in recognition of its transformation from solely a working farm to a successful hospitality business.
Frasers of Coldharbour farm is a small 300 acre eco-estate which operates on a sustainable ethos.
Frasers is a 300 acre eco estate situated in the heart of the idyllic Kent countryside. Both the tourism enterprise and estate grounds are run with a strong environmental and sustainable ethos.
Fraser Family History
The Fraser heritage for hospitality began in retail, rather than farming, when in 1850 Hugh Fraser (Adam's great great grandfather) founded a retail business which would later become the House of Fraser retail empire. The business became the 'House of Fraser' in 1937.
The Company was extremely successful and expanded rapidly taking over many household retailer names such as Harrods, Barkers, Army & Navy and Cheesemans. Hugh IV was born in 1936 and died in 1988. In 1984 the Company went public
We pride ourselves in being custodians of our protected lands and historic buildings at Coldharbour Farm since 1960. We are proud to offer our guests flexible accommodation either bed and breakfast or exclusive use of our rural retreat, set in the heart of the idyllic Kent countryside, yet easily accessible from London.
We have over 30 years experience in property design, hospitality and event management, which, combined with our award winning, sustainable tourism practices and land management systems benefit both visitors and the wider community.
We have many environmental joint ventures including with 'The Stour Countryside Project', 'Kent Wildlife Trust', 'British Trust For Ornithology' and 'South East Rivers Trust'.
Frasers At Coldharbour Farm
The Fraser Family background is in retail, rather than farming, having founded the widely known chain of The House of Fraser. It was this heritage that formed the idea for the branding and family association for the restaurant and accommodation business. The familiar stag’s head is the Fraser family Crest as well as being associated with the retail business House of Fraser, which the family sold in 1988.
The farm was purchased by Adam's father John Fraser in 1960 and completely modernised, eventually boasting two large dairy herds - one Jersey and one Fresian.
Adam and Lisa married in 1990 and worked alongside Adam’s father to begin the process of converting redundant buildings on the farm into high quality bed and breakfast accommodation and holiday lets. Adam took on the farm in 1996 upon his father’s retirement.
In 2000 Lisa began taking advantage of the huge variety of local seasonal foods available in Kent and began cooking and selling her range of products at local farmers’ markets. The business flourished, largely by word of mouth and Lisa began catering for parties, weddings and other events.
Access to a wide range of local ingredients from meat, dairy, jams, chutneys and breads enabled Lisa to produce high quality food for her catering business. The benefits of this practice continue to be felt today in the wider rural economy by increasing turnover for local farmers on Frasers’ supplier list. This also significantly reduces Frasers’ ‘food miles’ compared with other catering businesses.
Accommodation guests frequently asked to purchase Lisa’s local food produce and the intoxicating smells wafting out from the kitchen acted like a magnet, attracting our guests to the kitchen stable door.
Hence, the idea of Frasers was born, to custom build a commercial kitchen and an adjacent private function room on the Farm to offer a restaurant and unique venue for guests to meet with colleagues, celebrate a special occasion or get married. Frasers was awarded its Wedding Licence by Kent County Council in March 2009.
Today, guests can visit to relax and unwind dining in the 2 AA Rosette Restaurant, stay overnight in one of the luxury suites or even take part in a series of courses from cooking to floristry, candlemaking to photography.
In a world where we must become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of our business activities - Frasers facilitates a 'guilt-free' experience. The whole farm has been lain to a low input grass system where Suckler-Beef herds graze in the summer with sheep following for the winter months. The nitrogen inputs are minimal and hence this results in a highly sustainable and low input method of farming. Any carbon emissions produced by the business are offset by the extensive grass land.
The function room is constructed sustainably largely from green oak and is constructed to an extremely high standard of insulation. The carbon production of Frasers is minimised by the installation of a ground source heat pump which provides all the heating and hot water requirements for both the restaurant and commercial kitchen. There is also a self-contained biological treatment works to minimise any impact on the surrounding countryside.
The food offered is from a locally produced, seasonal group of suppliers; hence the 'food-miles' are far lower. The primary produce is traceable and seasonal and the menus reflect this seasonality.
Sustainability is carried through to the hotel rooms where the guest toiletries are sourced from Noble Isle whose ethos is to create their range of products using only British ingredients. Similarly, guest staying for longer than one night are encouraged to reuse their towels and gowns. All cleaning products utilised also carry green credentials. When the redundant farm buildings were converted to make the luxury rooms, high levels of insulation were utilised thereby minimising heat loss from the buildings themselves.
Frasers Family History
Hugh Fraser (Adam's great great grandfather) was born in 1815. In 1849 he became a junior partner in James Arthur - then in 1850 Arthur and Fraser was founded. This business grew over the 1850s and 1860s.
By 1866 the partnership was dissolved and Fraser and McLaren was established. In 1873 Hugh Fraser died and in 1875 his eldest son James Arthur Fraser took the reins. At this point Fraser and Sons was born.
This was very much a family business run by three of the five sons. John Fraser became Chairman. At the beginning of the nineteenth century Hugh Fraser II took over control and when he died in 1927 his son Hugh Fraser III took control. He eventually became Hugh Fraser of Allander - having run the business from 1937 until 1966.
The business became the 'House of Fraser' in 1937. The Company was extremely successful and expanded rapidly taking over many household retailer names such as Harrods, Barkers, Army & Navy and Cheesemans.
Hugh IV was born in 1936 and died in 1988. In 1984 the Company went public. Further information from the House of Fraser archives can be viewed here.
Leave the M20 at junction 8 proceed along the slip-road to the roundabout, take the 3rd exit towards Ashford A20. Proceed over the next 3 roundabouts towards Ashford A20. Follow the A20 through Harrietsham and Lenham. Follow to the large roundabout (the Swan Public House and Peony Chinese restaurant are on the right). At the Charing roundabout take the 3rd exit (i.e. straight over). Take the first right (just before the traffic lights) sign-posted Pluckley / Smarden. Follow the road through Charing, continue until you reach the top of the hill in Pluckley.
Continue down the hill, at the bottom of the hill the road bears left, start looking right. Take the right signposted A274 Biddenden/Headcorn. Proceed and take the next right. Follow the road, past the Rose and Crown Pub on the left. Continue until you reach a triangle of grass "Pembles Cross" which will be on your right.
Stay on the road you are on (follow the second Headcorn 4 miles sign). This road bears sharply left. We are half a mile from the left hand bend on the left hand side. There is a green and gold "Frasers of Coldharbour" sign at the bottom of the drive. Proceed along the drive past the front of the main farm-house. The road bears left, continue past the Oast House and then turn right into the gravel car-park.
Located in the heart of the Kent countryside
An award winning small private estate and eco venue