Calling All Foodies: Mushroom Foraging in England
You can have your dream and eat it too. Lovers of the countryside and fine food will have a literal field day on October tenth during a Mushroom Foray at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel , Restaurant and Spa in Dorset, England. The cost is free, but you can stay for the mushroom eats for a fee.
Guests will accompany celebrated wild-mushroom hunter John Wright as he forages for edible delights in the chalk downlands and leafy woods.The rolling hills of Dorset provide some of the best mushroom hunting grounds in England, and there's no better guide than John. As well as writing the River Cottage Mushroom Handbook, he has led around 250 fungi forays over the years and is a wonderful ambassador for the joys of this fascinating pursuit.
Two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, promise to be intriguing. In the morning at 9.30, John takes enrollees exploring and foraging in the chalk downlands just a few miles from the hotel. Once everyone has worked up a hearty appetite, they'll retire to the traditional Acorn Inn for a well-earned pub lunch and to enjoy mushroom dishes such as Chanterelles, Leek, Parmesan Gnocchi, Artichoke Cream and Celeriac and Spinach Risotto, Roasted Ceps and Tarragon, starting from $21 US. Before everyone tucks in, John will review the morning's harvest - some of which may then be cooked up and devoured on the spot.
LEARN ALL ABOUT IT
The afternoon session will again start with a talk from John at 2.30 p.m. Then, he'll take his merry band of foragers away from the downlands, into the woodlands where several other varieties of edible mushrooms can be found.
At 6.30, all gather in the hotel to examine the different types of mushrooms, toadstools and fungi collected during the day. John will identify the mushrooms and discuss each in turn, before dinner is served in the Conservatory.
Steven Titman, the Head Chef, is preparing a special mushroom-themed menu that may well include some of the specimens collected during the foray.
Depending on the day's harvest, he may be able to include Ceps, Black Trompettes or Chanterelles, or perhaps even rarer varieties. A mouth-watering five-course fungi extravaganza at Summer Lodge is priced at £65 or $105 per person and will showcase dishes such as Roast Breast of Wood Pigeon with Caramelised Shallot Tart, Shallot Puree and Black Trompette; and Loin of Venison with Chanterelle Risotto, Roasted Butternut Squash and Madeira Jus. Eric Zwiebel, world-renowned Sommelier and 'Best Sommelier of The World Competition' runner-up, will also team up with Steven to give a short talk about which wines are most appropriate for the feast that awaits.
Any guests staying in the hotel on Friday or Saturday night are welcome to come on the forage; both sessions are complimentary and open to non-residents. Participants may decide to forage in the morning, or the afternoon, or both.
Lunch and dinner are optional, but as they will be very much part of the experience it is expected that most will decide to sample the delights of the Acorn Inn and Summer Lodge's highly regarded kitchen and wine cellar.
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, set in four acres of perfectly maintained gardens, is the epitome of the English country house in the picturesque Dorset village. This luxurious 24-bedroom 5-star hotel has swiftly earned a reputation as one of England's finest country house hotels . Prices for overnight stays at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel and Spa start from £264 or $430 US per room per night, including VAT at 15% and Full English breakfast.
For more information on John Wright visit www.mushroomhunting.co.uk
To book, contact the hotel directly on +44 (0) 19...
[Back to Top] [Back to Index]