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Foraging Experiences

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Foraging is my full-time profession and my passion; when I am not foraging for work, you will find me foraging for fun!

Join me for a forage, I'd love to share my edible wild world with you!

Various foraging experiences, foraging courses and foraging workshop offerings are available to book throughout the year, across the seasons. I would love for you to join me and my loyal canine companion Samphire, for an exciting immersion into the world of foraging!

I will teach you how to find, identify, sustainably harvest and use every wild ingredient we encounter, in delicious food and drink recipes, as well as detailing their folklore, medicinal & nutritional benefits.

Prepare to be amazed by the incredible flavours on your doorstep, from fabulous woodland and field mushrooms to mind-blowing hedgerow, meadow and estuary herbs, fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, vegetables & more!

 

Please enter your email address below to join our mailing list, and be notified when new foraging experiences are added, and to stay up to date with other exciting news from Gourmet Gatherings!

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March to October
All  2024 dates now fully-booked! To be notified when 2025 dates are announced, please email  chloe.gourmetgatherings@gmail.com
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To be notified when 2024 dates for this offering are announced, please email  chloe.gourmetgatherings@gmail.com
Please email  chloe.gourmetgatherings@gmail.com to enquire about private & bespoke bookings, hen & stag parties, community events, corporate retreats, whatever you fancy! I'm open to all ideas!

Private & Bespoke Forages

I can tailor my offerings to whatever suits you best. If you would like a private forage as you would prefer not to be in a group, or conversely have a large group such as a wedding party, or wish to arrange a hen party forage, stag party forage, or corporate excursion or staff retreat, please contact me and I will do my best to accommodate you.

Alternatively, you may like to be shown what edibles are in the vicinity of where you live, in which case we can arrange for me to come and forage with you near your home, or in your favourite wild location. I'm open to all ideas, so please do get in touch!​

Foraging Experiences

 

1.5 Hour Estuary, Meadow & Hedgerow Forage (ALL YEAR)

I will lead you on a guided tour of an incredibly rich and biodiverse site along the Severn Estuary, close to Chepstow, covering edible meadow & hedgerow species along the coast, and estuarine species on the shore. You can expect to be introduced to a myriad of edible species on any given day of the year, with diverse, exciting and surprising flavours, which we will nibble on as we meander!  From foliage to fruit, fungi to flowers, seeds, herbs, spices and more, as we encounter each ingredient I will teach you how to identify, sustainably harvest, and use them in delicious food & drink recipes, whilst detailing their medicinal properties and associated folklore. 

This is a gentle route suitable for all ages and mobilities. Up to 2 children 14 years and under may attend for free with any paying parent/guardian. Gift vouchers available.

£45 per adult 

All Day Forage & Feast (10.00am until 3.30pm) (March to October)

This is an extended fully immersive all day foraging safari experience, incorporating multiple sites to show you as wide a variety of edibles as possible, with a fabulous foraged feast at the end! We will start by exploring wild edibles in meadows, hedgerows & salt marsh coastal flats along the Severn Estuary, enjoying foraged refreshments throughout the morning, before we head to ancient woodland or a second estuary site, just a short drive away close to Chepstow, depending on the time of year and what is abundant. I will introduce you to a multitude of wild edibles from fruits to fungi, foliage to flowers, herbs, vegetables, roots & spices!  I will teach you how to find, identify, sustainably harvest and use all of the incredible nutritionally superior & flavour-packed wild ingredients we encounter. We will then dine together in the wild and feast on a myriad of pre-prepared foraged dishes I will bring along, I usually prepare between 10 & 15 dishes for my guests to enjoy during our day together!

Example menu:
~Venison, cider, juniper & mustard broth
~Porcini, chanterelle & amethyst deceiver wild mushroom puff pastries
~Woodland mushroom miso soup
~'Brie aux truffes et morilles', whole brie cheese wheel, stuffed with truffle & morel mascarpone
~Bacon-cured chicken of the woods mushrooms, poached in butter & deep-fried in a crunchy coating, with wild plum ketchup
~Venison liver, tequila & cranberry pate
~Rock samphire, feta & black olive salad
~Stilton, wild pear & candied walnut salad
~Wild garlic & poppy seed focaccia
~Toasted Hogweed seed hummus
~Wild salad picked on our forage tossed in walnut oil
~Mugwort crumbed puffball mushroom burgers with blue cheese & caramelized onions on brioche buns
~Slow-roasted venison wraps with celeriac & fennel slaw & rowan berry jam
~Lemon cupcakes with a damson centre & elderberry icing
~Lavender shortbread

Any guests with special dietary requirements will be catered to, I will ask when I receive your booking.
We normally start at 10.00am and finish at around 3.30pm.  This offering is usually limited to just 8 participants to guarantee an enriching and intimate experience. Up to two children aged 14 and under are welcome to accompany their paying parent or guardian free of charge.

THIS EXPERIENCE REQUIRES A MINIMUM OF 4 ATTENDEES TO BE BOOKED IN ORDER TO RUN ON A GIVEN DATE. IF YOU BOOK FOR LESS THAN 4 PEOPLE AND NOBODY ELSE BOOKS ON THE SAME DATE UP UNTIL APPROXIMATELY 2 WEEKS BEFOREHAND, YOU MAY BE ASKED TO ATTEND ON ANOTHER DATE. A CHOICE OF DATES WILL BE GIVEN TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR AVAILABILITY. THANK YOU!

£140 per adult

Forage wild botanicals, learn how gin is made & distil your own unique blend to take home

In partnership with the wonderful folks at Silver Circle Distillery we are offering you the unique opportunity to spend an afternoon foraging for wild Welsh ingredients, before enjoying a couple of craft cocktails during an introduction to gin-making and botanicals from expert distillers, then using your chosen blend of selected pickings to distil your very own bottle of bespoke gin, or vodka, in a miniature copper still, to take home and enjoy!

This is a 4 hour experience, beginning at 11.30am with an immersion into foraging along the Severn Estuary coastal flats, meadows & hedgerows. We will meet in a car park close to the Severn Bridge, from where we will embark on an approximately 1.5 hour gentle guided walk of an incredibly bountiful area, with beautiful views across the River Severn. Along the way I will introduce you to a myriad of remarkable seasonal wild ingredients with incredible flavours and aroma profiles which lend themselves excellently to spirit-making. I will teach you about each plant, how to find and identify them, pick them and how best to capture their essence in your signature creation. Any flavours which excite you, we will pick a handful of for you to use to create your signature gin or vodka!

Once we have collected our freshly foraged ingredients, we will take a 25 minute scenic drive through the Wye Valley, to Silver Circle's new Distillery HQ at Kate Humble's Farm, Humble by Nature, just outside Monmouth. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a refreshing Wye Valley gin & tonic, expert distillers will then explain and demonstrate how gin is made and you can sample several varieties of their award-winning craft gin and other cocktail lines, whilst learning about botanicals and how to create an original and tasty gin or vodka recipe, which you will then produce in your own miniature copper still! Finally you will blend, measure and bottle your unique 70cl creation to take home and savour whilst remembering your wonderful afternoon of foraging & distilling in the Wye Valley!

2024 Dates remaining: August 10th & December 7th

1 adult, 1 still, 1 bottle to take home: £150

2 adults, sharing 1 still, 1 bottle to take home: £225

A day of weaving, foraging & wild food!

We will spend the day at Black Rock picnic area on the Severn Estuary, where the foraging is phenomenal and the views spectacular! We will meet at 9.30 am and begin with Amanda Rayner, the willow-weaving wizardess behind Wyldwood Willow, teaching us to weave a practical and beautiful foraging frame basket, with locally grown willows, whilst taking in the sights and sounds of the estuary and salt marshes. Throughout the morning we will enjoy foraged snacks and refreshments, which I will prepare with the finest seasonal & preserved wild ingredients. This peaceful and relaxing introduction to basket-making will give you a new skill, and leave you wanting more, eager to get on with the next part of our inspiring day, to use the basket for its intended purpose!

With your lovely new baskets in hand, we will explore the salt marshes, hedgerows, meadows and coastal flats, at this very special and particularly abundant spot on the Estuary. I will teach you how to find, identify, sustainably harvest and make delicious recipes with the myriad of wild foods we will encounter on our gentle & scenic meander.

We will then return to the picnic site, having worked up an appetite for a splendid wild lunch overlooking the water at Black Rock, the home of the Lave Net Heritage Salmon Fishery, intrinsically linked to both willow weaving and foraging, hence why salmon must feature on the menu! Our late lunch may include such delicacies as fire-roasted salmon basted with wild garlic, wild mushroom miso soup, freshly baked foraged focaccia, pastries, freshly-picked wild salads, dips and hummus, and sweet and tasty foraged morsels for dessert, all washed down with a foraged cocktail or tea, served overlooking the stunning estuary, tucking in whilst we chat about all things foraging & weaving related! 

Saturday July 13th £140p.p. Suitable for ages 14 and upwards, and all fitness levels. Vegan or vegetarian diets can happily be catered to, as can any other dietary requirements.

Forage & Ferment

I have teamed up with the fantastic Crafty Pickle, producers of innovative fermented food & drinks based in Caldicot, to offer you a unique afternoon of foraging ingredients & learning how to preserve them, by fermenting your own wild kimchi and a soft drink! Last year's inaugural combined workshop sold out very quickly and received fantastic feedback, it was a truly brilliant afternoon, so this year we added 3 dates!

This will be a fabulously fun & informative afternoon, we will meet at an incredibly bountiful foraging site on the Severn Estuary, just outside Chepstow, where we will spend two hours exploring seasonal wild foods abundant in the meadows, hedgerows and coastal flats. I will teach you how to find, identify, sustainably harvest, and ultimately use, an incredible flavoursome array of wild ingredients in delicious food & drink recipes. Along the way, we will pick ingredients suitable for your kimchi such as wild cabbage, wild garlic, and salt marsh herbs and vegetables. We will also select flavours that excite you for your soft drink, such as tangerine and blood orange from pine needles, pink grapefruit vibes from Alexander shoots, or fresh fruity blossoms such as Elderflower and Flowering Currant, to name but a few!

We will then take the short drive to the Crafty Pickle where we will be greeted by the lovely proprietors Madi & Arthur, who are experts in all things fermented. They will teach us to make a fantastic wild vegan kimchi, and a tasty fermented soft drink for you to take home and enjoy, so you will learn two very different preservation & fermentation techniques, which you can then apply to other ingredients in future, with your new-found fermenting skills! During the course of the afternoon, you will also be served taster nibbles & sips from their excellent range of fermented products.

ALL WORKSHOPS SOLD OUT FOR 2024! To be notified when 2025 dates are announced, please email chloe.gourmetgatherings@gmail.com 

3 Hour Mushroom Forage

Before each mushroom forage,  I spend 2 days scouting my best spots to ensure I can show you the most variety and abundance, to teach you as much as possible about these remarkable organisms. This offering is not intended as a group mass harvest of edible wild mushrooms, the aim is to share with you the incredible diversity of the fungi kingdom thriving in Welsh woodlands, and equip you with the skills to begin identifying mushrooms you come across in future. We will wander through beautiful Welsh woodland spotting, identifying & learning about the incredible variety of shapes, colours, reproductive & growth strategies,  habitats, ecological roles, communities and chemical communication, medicinal applications, and all things magical about the incredible fungal kingdom!  

I will take you to some of the richest mushroom grounds in South Wales where we might encounter Ceps (Porcini/Penny Buns), Chanterelles, Chicken of the Woods, Hen of the Woods, Boletes, Cauliflower fungus, Hedgehogs, Oysters, Puffballs & more, as well as a fantastic variety of inedible but no less fascinating and amazing species! 

Once you sign up to a session, you will receive email confirmation of your booking, the exact meeting location will be shared the day before at the latest, after I have completed scouting, but it will always be within 20 minutes of Chepstow. Demand is very high, as I can usually only offer two 3-hour sessions per week and the season is so short, so please book on as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Wherever possible I will add additional sessions at late notice, this often depends on weather conditions & the associated abundance of mushrooms, and those sessions will be promoted on my Facebook & Instagram pages.

2 children 14 or under are welcome to attend free of charge with a paying parent/guardian. Please note that these forages involve several hours of walking, so appropriate fitness levels are required for uneven, often muddy woodland terrain, with overhanging branches, so please dress appropriately. As the season is so short, mushroom forages will go ahead regardless of poor weather conditions such as wind or rain, unless it becomes dangerous to do so. With climate change we are experiencing hotter, drier Autumns, if there is a drought most fungi cannot fruit, if that occurs or a mushroom forage is cancelled due to any other prohibitive weather conditions, you can retain credit and will be given priority for future forages.​

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  • Up to two children 14 and under may attend for free with their paying parent/guardian, with the exception of the weaving, fermenting and alcohol workshops.

  • I recommend that my guests wear wellies or similar footwear, as the beach and parts of the woodland can be wet and muddy. Please bring suitable clothing for being out in the elements and it is a good idea to bring a drink of water with you, to stay hydrated and to help cleanse your palate between tastings as we wander.

  • The routes that I take my guests on are mostly gentle and suitable for all ages and fitness levels, please email to check suitability if you have any preventative mobility issues and I'll do my best to accommodate.

  • All foraging experiences can be tailored to a guest's specific needs, please get in touch with any particular concerns or enquiries.

  • Foraging excursion locations are usually within 20 minutes drive of Chepstow, however I can offer courses throughout Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and beyond, just get in touch!

  • I usually limit my groups to 8-15 adults maximum, depending on the experience in question, for larger group enquiries please get in touch, or if a date that you selected is showing as unavailable as it may be fully-booked, please get in touch directly and I will do my best to accommodate you.

  • If a time different from advertised suits you better, just email me before you book and we can make alternative arrangements.

  • If weather conditions on the day do not lend themselves to foraging, we can rearrange your trip for another day at no cost to you, up to a year from the original booking purchase date. I will contact you in advance to give you the option to re-book if the weather looks unsuitable.

  • Bookings and gift vouchers are valid for redemption for one year after purchase.

  • If you are unable to attend a booked forage due to contracting Covid, I will extend the validity of your booking for up to one year as a gesture of goodwill.

  • Refunds will only be issued if Gourmet Gatherings is forced to cancel an event due to circumstances such as dangerous weather. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please contact us 14 days or more, before the booked experience to be refunded or to reschedule. If the weather is prohibitive, we will contact you to rearrange. It is not possible to offer a refund for any cancelled bookings made within the appropriate time frame, for which alternative dates are available.

Please enter your email address below to join our mailing list to be notified when new foraging experiences are added to our repertoire, and stay up to date with other exciting news from Gourmet Gatherings!

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