I do love living in the city. But sometimes I don’t realise how much I need the quiet until I get to a quiet place. Tudor Farmhouse, out near the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, was exactly the relaxed mini escape I needed.
When I arrived with friends and fellow bloggers, Mona and Lori, I did want to ditch the itinerary in favour of the free standing bath! The rooms at Tudor Farmhouse are ever so cosy, beautifully decorated and each with their own style. I instantly felt at home.
All of us checked in, it was time to put wellies on for a little foraging adventure with Raoul van Den Brouke. His foraging journey began at the age of just four with his Grandmother! Seems I’ve got some catching up to do. He’s such a character, full of charm and wisdom. I quite like to think of him as the Yoda of foraging, there was so much to learn from him.
At the time of the trip, the foraging season here was just coming to an end. There were still some delightful discoveries to be made though. We wandered over the hills and through the trees, hanging onto every word from our foraging Yoda, collecting our findings in the wicker basket.
What did we find?
Berries from a Yew Tree, sweet like raspberries (be warned though, the rest of the tree is toxic). Never noticed these trees before but have since lost count of how many I’ve seen back in Bristol.
Jack by the Hedge, otherwise known as Wild Garlic Mustard. Used to season and flavour food, offering a taste not too dissimilar from yep, you guessed it, mustard and garlic!
Sorrel, a bit tricky to find in amongst the weeds and grass in a field. I think I’ve got this one down now though. It’s easily recognisable by the little ‘V’ shape at the bottom of the leaf. Sorrel can be used in cookery in a number of ways, often treated as a herb. It has distinct sour and lemony flavour, lending it to all kinds of dishes.
Wild Garlic, not the season, I know. You can dig for it out of season and use the little roots too! Great news for me, wild garlic is my favourite thing to forage for and I’ve done a few recipe posts with it already.
Christmas tree, the pine needles can be brewed into a tea. Apparently contains more vitamin C than an orange. So now you know what to do with your leftover Christmas tree in the New Year!
Wild Bittercress, just like watercress. And what a cheap alternative as well! Perhaps my favourite find of the day.
You can book a foraging trip too
If this is out of season, imagine what you’d come away with back in season early March! Tudor Farmhouse are offering foraging breaks in the New Year, from £50pp (including 3 hours of foraging plus lunch) and run on 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th April and 5th May 2018 or Individual foraging is available at £125 for up to four including lunch (with additional guests costing £25 each). Overnight packages including 3 hours of foraging, lunch and a dinner are available from £300 per couple (based on group foraging) or £365 per couple (based on private foraging). This would be my ideal Christmas gift. Hint hint Santa, if you’re listening.
The real treat of the stay was our 5-course tasting menu, prepared by chef Rob Cox, with a specially chosen flight of matched wines to pair with each course. A beautiful menu enriched by the flavours of the season. My favourite course was a stunning dish of white onion soup, duck egg, oats and smoked prunes. Or perhaps the roasted partridge, pear, parsnip, walnut. I can’t decide! My mouth is watering for a repeat of the same now though.
Prices available from £130 per room per night based on two sharing a Hatchling Double Room on a B&B basis.
Tudor Farmhouse kindly covered the expense of my stay but as always, all words and opinions are of course my own.