One of Conde Nast Travellers Best Hotels for food in the UKoffers Feast and Forage Adventures

  • Date: Friday, 16 July 2010

Lovers of the countryside and fine food will have a field day as they rediscover the ancient art of foraging at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa. Guests will accompany celebrated food forager John Wright, star of TV show River Cottage, as he searches for edible delights around the gorgeous village of Evershot. The event offers guests and locals alike the opportunity to sample the foraged delights during a three-course dinner and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of this five-star hotel, recently voted one of the best three hotels in the UK for food on the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller Gold List.

There will be two foraging expeditions – the first focusing on the search of wild food on the Hedgerow Foray on Saturday 18th September; the other concentrating on the search for edible and interesting mushrooms on Saturday 30th October. With John leading the foray, absolutely no previous experience is require; he has led over 250 hedgerow, mushroom and seashore forays over the years. Each expedition includes a morning and afternoon session in search of wild delicacies including informative talks and tips by Wright. You will also explore the nearby chalk downlands and leafy woods surrounding the hotel.

In the evening, the Executive Chef Steven Titman - who also led the kitchen to win the ‘Taste of Dorset Best Restaurant Award in 2009’ - will prepare a mouth-watering three-course extravaganza at Summer Lodge featuring some of the specimens collected during the foray. Eric Zweibel, world-renowned Sommelier and 'Best Sommelier of The World Competition' runner-up, will also team up with Steven to give a short talk about wines most appropriate for the feast that waits.

Immerse yourselves in the country experience with the Adventures in Food package including:

  • Two nights in a beautifully appointed room or suite
  • Full English Breakfast daily
  • Complimentary guided forage with renowned forager/author John Wright
  • Three-course dinner prepared by our Chef Steven Titman with several of the ingredients we find during the day
  • Late check-out until 4pm on Sundays

Summer Lodge will also invite hotel residents staying on Friday or Saturday night over the event dates to join the food foray with the hotel's compliments.

John comments, "Foraging for your food is a joyful enterprise, but it is in the nature of such things that sometimes one's prey will not co-operate. The weather may have been too dry or too cold and the fungi may be keeping their heads down. I have chosen the date to give us the very best chance and I think we should do well - my best guess is that we will find around 40 species including up to 10 edible ones."

The five-star 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 of Evershot, immortalised by Thomas Hardy in his Wessex novels. This luxurious 24-bedroom hotel has swiftly earned a reputation as one of England's finest country house hotels. With a world class spa - including indoor heated pool and rejuvenating body and beauty treatments - and award-winning restaurant and world class wine list created by one of the world's best sommeliers, this hotel is the perfect short break getaway. Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is a member of Relais & Châteaux.

The afternoon session will again start with a talk from John at 2.30pm. Then he'll take his merry band of foragers away from the downlands, into the woodlands. At 6.30pm everyone will gather in the hotel to examine all the different types of edible delights collected during the day. John will identify the species and discuss each in turn, before dinner is served in the conservatory.

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa