Our Mission

We are working hard to make Bordeaux Quay as sustainable as possible. This has been a principal consideration since the start of the project and it is an ongoing process. We will always work to improve our performance by building and improving on our current sustainable activities.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA)

Sourcing our Food

We believe that nothing we do has a more direct impact on us, and the environment, than the way we choose to grow, shop for and eat our food. Buying local, seasonal, organic and ethically sourced ingredients is important for our own health, and reducing our consumption of fossil fuel and agrichemicals improves the health and biodiversity of our environment.

What this means for us:

  • Sourcing as much local, seasonal, wild and organic produce as we can
  • Working with suppliers who we know and trust to find the best ingredients available
  • Local doesn't just mean a local company, it means a local farm.
  • Our fish comes from Cornish day boats, not trawlers
  • Buying whole animals and vegetables and use the trimmings in stock for our sauces and stews
  • Buying local game and wild mushrooms
  • Our freshly squeezed orange juice comes from Fairtrade oranges
  • Our coffee is certified by the Rainforest Alliance
  • Following the Slow Food principles of 'Good, Clean and Fair'
  • Changing our menu regularly to reflect the best of the seasons

The Building

Bordeaux Quay was built in 1926 as a docks warehouse; the flat front area of the roof housed cranes that collected cargo directly from the ships that sailed right into the floating harbour. We are named after this stretch of dockside, which was called Bordeaux Quay because it was where the barrels of wine from Bordeaux arrived until 1957. Work on Bordeaux Quay started in 2005 and the renovation took nearly a year. During that time we stripped the building back to its skeleton and removed almost everything inside. To minimise waste we sent materials to be recycled, equipment and furniture was auctioned or donated to charity and as much as possible was reused within the building. Fridges were reused, doors were re-hung and the marble bar tops became work surfaces in The Brasserie kitchen.

Sustainable materials sourced for the building include:

  • European Oak wooden floors
  • Bar back made from old wine crates
  • Brasserie furniture made from sustainable chestnut, oak and ash and the upholstery made from Isle of Bute wool.

Saving Energy

Bordeaux Quay is a big building, around 1,600 square metres in total. We have two kitchens, one bakery and a cookery school, dozens of lights, hundreds of seats and two staff showers. So it's essential that we do everything we can to reduce the amount of energy we need to keep the building light, warm and comfortable.

This includes:

  • Solar hot water panel on the roof to reduce the energy needed by the boilers.
  • Low energy lighting and motion sensors in many rooms.
  • Good insulation that conserves the heat from the bakery ovens and the kitchens, reducing the need  for heating in the winter

The skylight and the large windows allow natural ventilation to cool the building in the summer and reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day. Many of our staff come to work on foot, by bike or by public transport. When the sun is shining on the terrace but there's a chill in the air customers get to borrow a blanket rather than patio heaters.

Saving Water

Water is a valuable resource and one we often take for granted. Though it seems cheap and readily available, cleaning water to make it drinkable and pumping it to and from our homes and businesses uses lots of energy. In order to use less precious drinking water to flush the toilets at Bordeaux Quay, we have a rainwater-harvesting tank that collects the water from our roof and uses it to flush the toilets.

Refilling our glass bottles with specially filtered tap water

Packaging & Recycling

For certain products packaging performs an important role in ensuring that our goods reach us safe and undamaged. We work to find the best, most efficient packaging that, for us, means sourcing the most sustainable materials available. All the packaging for our own brand products in is either made from recycled sources, or is recyclable, or both. This includes our printed brown paper bags that make great food waste bin liners once you have finished with them.

Our sandwich bags are compostable. Our food tubs are either compostable or recyclable plastic.

Within the building we are working to minimise our own waste and much of it goes to be recycled or reused.

We recycle:

Glass, paper, cardboard, cooking oil, plastic bottles, metal tins, wood, printer cartridges, batteries and light bulbs.

Looking to the Future

Future plans include:

  • a compost heap
  • bees on our roof
  • growing our own vegetables
  • We are working in partnership with other businesses in the harbourside to send our food waste to be converted to energy.
  • Newer even more efficient LED technology for our lighting system
  • A total ban on all our suppliers using polystyrene


Sustainable Restaurant Association Membership - 2014




Low energy Lighting

Water bottle