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An element of my wild food life which I thoroughly enjoy, is introducing people to foraging and teaching them about all aspects of wild edibles, from finding and identifying them, to their folklore and medicinal and nutritional benefits, to creating delicious dishes and drinks!
I would love for you to join me and my loyal canine companions, Sorrel & Samphire, for an exciting immersion into the world of foraging!
I take individuals, families and groups of people out on guided courses year-round. We explore different habitats, dictated by what is abundant at that time of year, or a person’s particular interests to find specific species.
As we walk, baskets in hand, I will point out all of the notable edibles along the way, teaching my guests how to find and identify them in future, whilst suggesting food and drink recipes you might try with our findings. Prepare to be amazed by the incredible flavours on your doorstep, from fabulous woodland and field mushrooms to mind-blowing meadow and estuary herbs and vegetables!
1.5 Hour Estuary, Meadow & Hedgerow Forage (ALL YEAR)
I will lead you on a guided tour of an outstandingly rich and biodiverse site along the Severn Estuary, close to Chepstow, where we will cover edible meadow, hedgerow and estuarine species. You can expect to be introduced to around 30 edible species on any given day of the year, which you can pick a basketful of, to take home and experiment with and enjoy!
£45 per adult
All Day Forage & Feast (10.00am until 3.30/4pm) (SPRING to AUTUMN)
This is an extended all day foraging experience, incorporating multiple sites to show you as wide a variety of edibles as possible, with a fabulous feast at the end in the heart of the ancient forest or along the coast. We will pick wild edibles from one or more sites along the Severn Estuary then we will head to ancient woodland just a short drive away, close to Chepstow, a foraging safari! I will introduce you to edible hedgerow, woodland, meadow and estuarine species. We will then dine together in the wild and feast on our foraged bounty and a myriad of other wild food dishes which I will prepare freshly in advance. You are also welcome to pick for yourself along the way and take home a basketful of wild edibles to share with family and friends!
~Roe buck venison broth
~Freshly picked porcini, hedgehog, golden chanterelle, winter chanterelle & amethyst deceiver wild mushroom puff pastries
~Venison liver & brandy pate
~Wild garlic pesto
~Freshly baked rosemary focaccia
~Wild salad picked along our forage tossed in walnut oil
~Mugwort crumbed puffball mushroom burgers with blue cheese & caramelized onions on brioche buns
~Slow-roasted juniper & cider pulled venison wraps with celeriac & fennel slaw & rowan berry jam
~Lavender shortbread & vine blackberries
Any guests with special dietary requirements will be catered to, I will ask when I receive your booking.
PLEASE NOTE THIS EXPERIENCE REQUIRES A MINIMUM OF 2 ATTENDEES TO BE BOOKED IN ORDER TO RUN ON A GIVEN DATE. IF YOU BOOK FOR LESS THAN 2 PEOPLE AND NOBODY ELSE BOOKS ON THE SAME DATE UP UNTIL APPROXIMATELY TWO WEEKS BEFOREHAND, YOU MAY BE ASKED TO ATTEND ON ANOTHER DATE. A CHOICE OF DATES WILL BE GIVEN TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR AVAILABILITY. THANK YOU.
£120 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 in a miniature copper still, to take home and enjoy!
This is a 4 hour afternoon experience, beginning at 2pm 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 gin-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!
Once we have collected our freshly foraged ingredients, we will take a short 5 minute drive to Silver Circle. Upon arrival you will enjoy a refreshing gin & tonic from their fabulous in-house cocktail creations, expert distillers will then explain and demonstrate how gin is made and you can sample several varieties of their award-winning craft gin, whilst learning about botanicals and how to create an original and tasty gin 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 & gin discovery in the Wye Valley!
Saturday June 11th
1 adult, 1 still, 1 bottle to take home: £150
2 adults, sharing 1 still, 1 bottle to take home: £225
3 Hour Woodland Mushroom Forage (AUGUST to NOVEMBER)
We will wander through ancient woodland and meadows close to Chepstow, baskets in hand, spotting, identifying and harvesting the UK's finest edible wild mushrooms! I will take you to some of the richest mushroom grounds in South Wales where we might encounter Ceps (Porcini), Chanterelles, Chicken of the Woods, Boletes, Deceivers, Hedgehogs, Oysters, Waxcaps & field mushrooms & more!
£60 per adult
Up to 2 children 14 years and under may attend for free on any foraging course with a paying parent/guardian!
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 corporate excursion, 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 with any special requests for Gourmet Gatherings!
Up to two children 14 and under may attend for free with any paying parent/guardian!
Please bring along a basket or cloth bag to collect some edibles to take home with you!
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 gentle and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. 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 and beyond, just get in touch!
I usually limit my groups to 10 adults maximum, 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 other than poor weather.