LDE LONDON EDIBLE TOURS 2018
LDE LONDON EDIBLE TOURS 2018
We’re delighted to report that Edible London 2018 was a raging success and the feedback from our guests has been 100% positive. As Edible London and other tours are a major fundraiser for the chapter this gives us a considerable input into our bursary funds.
As you’ll see from the many photos below, our guests managed to keep up with a hectic pace over the four and a bit days they spent with us in May. Credit for the photos goes to Dame Chrissie Walker and Mike Mathes – husband of President Hayley Matson Mathes and First ‘Dude’!
Wednesday 16th May – Welcome Reception
We welcomed our US guests at Parabola Restaurant in the Design Museum – this gave us plenty of room for London Dames to join us and meet our dynamic guests.
On Thursday our visiting Dames went to the amazing School of Artisan Food at the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire where they were the guests of Dame Alison Swan Parente (MBE). They were treated royally by the school, and ended their visit with a personal tour of private rooms at Welbeck Abbey followed by tea. On arrival back in London we whisked them to the lovely Honey and Smoke where Chef/Patron Sarit Packer and her mostly female crew gave them an Eastern Mediterranean feast par excellence.
Friday started with Culinary Tours of several areas of London – our visitors were split into groups to wander the streets of: the City of London (Leadenhall Market) led by City of London Blue Badge Guide Tina Baxter; Soho led by expert guide Peter Berthoud whose historical knowledge of the area was key; Portobello Road and surrounds led by local resident and London Dame Caroline Hope; and, especially for the gardeners, a tour of the Chelsea Physic Garden by docent Annabel Allott followed by a quick whizz around Fortnum and Mason. All the tours included a lunch stop – the Lamb Tavern in Leadenhall Market, Brasserie Zedel in Piccadilly, GinTonica in Portobello, and Cafe Murano in St. James’. Sadly we only have photos of the Portobello tour which included a pre-lunch gin tasting at The Distillery – lucky things!
After lunch the group headed to 67 Pall Mall, the Private Member Wine Club, where a comparative (blind) tasting of English Sparkling Wines and Champagnes was presented by Steven Spurrier MW – well-known to most of our US guests as the host of The Judgement of Paris, the famous tasting where California wines were pitted against the wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux and won. This time the Champagnes came out on top, though the English sparklers gave them a run for their money!
The Innholders Livery Company, with Chef Herbert Berger, was a special destination for dinner, so special transport was laid on – an original London Routemaster, complete with ‘clippie’, made short work of the journey from South Kensington to College Street, south of Cannon Street. A perfectly executed dinner was accompanied by baroque music from a lutenist in the gallery and our guests were thrilled to be dining in such prestigious surroundings.
Saturday is always market day during our Edible London tours, and this was no different – on arriving at Borough Market our early birds split into two groups with those more intrepid Dames following Jacqui Pickles and Meredith Whitely to Maltby Street and Spa Terminus. While the groups were exploring, our London team was busy shopping the market for a special picnic lunch which was served at the Globe Tavern – as this was also a certain Royal Wedding Day, we’d gone to town decorating the space and staff with Borough Market had assisted with providing a tv screen and bubbles from Nyetimber to toast the happy couple. There were a few tears and lots of laughter as all eyes were glued to the screen until the ceremony was over before tucking in to a veritable feast of seasonal fruit and veg, delicious cheese and charcuterie and a delightful cake from Luminary Bakery.
Some of our London teaching Dames had agreed to share some their skills and expertise with our guests, so on Sunday morning we convened at Our Table, a multi-kitchen cooking school in Farringdon. The US Dames cooked, learned some new dishes, and in doing so provided lunch for the group. Dames Silla Bjerrum and Angela Malik started their group on making paneer – a completely new adventure for them – which was to accompany a lentil salad and samosas for the first course. Meanwhile Dame Valentina Harris’ group, ably assisted by Dame Jacqui Pickles, were learning the finer points of pasta. They turned out ravioli staffed with spinach and ricotta, tagliatelle with a classic tomato sauce and rotolo stuffed with wild mushrooms for the main course. To close with a bang, Dames Miranda Gore Browne and Rachel Davies presented a triple layer sponge with fresh whipped cream and strawberries, and a classic Bakewell tart for dessert.
As the lunch drew to a close, Dame Julia Platt Leonard interviewed Honorary Dame Sheila Dillon about her lifelong love of food and how it led to her becoming the ‘voice’ of food on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.
Sunday evening was a time for thanks and farewells at Chef Phil Howard’s Elystan Street restaurant which he had kindly given us for the night. Speaking eloquently of his culinary ethos – seasonality and sustainability – Chef Howard welcomed the group before letting his food do the talking. The meal was peppered with a few speeches and presentations and then, suddenly, Edible London was over for another year.
With many thanks to all those London Dames who helped make this event possible:
Event Organisers: Sue Carter and Jacqui Pickles with much help from Valentina Harris
Volunteers: Silla Bjerrum, Rachel Davies, Sheila Dillon, Anne Dolamore, Miranda Gore Browne, Caroline Hope, Angela Malik, Giselda Parkin, Mary Pateras, Julia Platt Leonard, Chrissie (and Graham) Walker, and Meredith Whitely
Donations to Goody Bags: Dames Chantal Coady (Rococo Chocolates), Anne Dolamore (Grub Street Books), Clare Marriage (Dove’s Farm Oat Bars), Giselda Parkin (Home Made Fudge), Alex Robson (King of Soho Gin), Meredith Whitely (Food at Heart Cocoa) and Friends: Bonnie Brulee (MisoTasty Miso Soup kits)
Thanks also go to our hosts at many venues, especially Dame Alison Parente.
PLEASE NOTE – May 12-16 is SOLD OUT
Monday 21st May
Travel by train from London to Edinburgh and to the lovely Dunstane House boutique hotel in the centre of the city. This will be your base while in Edinburgh. There will be time to explore the city before the first event of the tour.
Dinner at Cafe St. Honore
Tuesday 22nd May
Country Estates of the Borderlands
Carmichael Estate: here you have the opportunity to meet Clan Chief Carmichael. There will be a tasting and talk about his venison and estate with a light lunch in their tearoom … passing through magnificent countryside to….Mochrum Estate – this stunning castle is not open to the public and a private visit has been specially arranged with a rare opportunity to see the original and very rare Belted Galloway Cattle on Slow Food Ark of Taste.
Time to see pretty rural towns en route to dinner by Castle Douglas…
Reception followed by Dinner at Craigadam, cooked by the lady of the house, Celia, who, with her husband Richard owns the farm, shooting estate and country house. Dinner is served in their gracious dining hall with all the appointments one would imagine in a gracious Scottish country mansion.
Wednesday 23rd May
The Kingdom of Fife
We visit the multi-award-winning Ardross Farm Shop home to the Pollock family, by the pretty seaside village of Elie.
Meet Jane Stewart, of St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company and taste her award-winning raw milk cheeses using old heritage cultures that are on Slow Food Ark of Taste.
Following Jane’s lunch we shall explore Fife’s famous East Neuk fishing villages.
Reception at Scottish Food Studio: Meetings & Greetings with a Feast of Produce.
Visit Wendy’s seaside studio on Fife’s Coastal Path along with invited stars of Scotland’s Food & Drink. https://www.wendybarrie.co.uk
Thursday 24th May
The Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh is an organization steeped in tradition and history dating back to medieval times, led by an elected Deacon and Boxmaster. There will be a short presentation on the Baxters the original name for the artisan bakers of the city. This fascinating museum is not generally open to the public so you will receive a private viewing.
Visit to Prestonfield: built in 1687 for Sir James Dick, whose grandson was first to cultivate rhubarb in Scotland. Prestonfield is now a glamorous hotel still with Prestonfield Rhubarb we shall see in their walled garden and peacocks on the lawns! Prestonfield Rhubarb is on Slow Food Ark of Taste. Luncheon will be served in their exquisite private dining-room.
Time to explore and shop in Scotland’s capital in the afternoon.
Whisky Tasting in Glengoyne Room followed by Dinner at Contini Cannonball Restaurant.
Friday 25th May
Depart Edinburgh after breakfast and return to London.
Edible Scotland Pricing
Includes all transport within Edinburgh and surrounding countryside, meals and beverages, room and breakfast for 4 nights. Maximum attendance – 14
Full participation x 1 single £1900
Full participation x 1 couple £2900
Dames sharing a room £1490*
*small supplement due to room pricing
Notes: it is expected that guests will make their own travel arrangements to and from Scotland.
By Air: while airlines fly direct to Edinburgh from the US east coast, you should think about making this either an open jaw (ie inbound only and fly out of one of the London airports) or fly through London, connecting there for a direct flight to Edinburgh. BA flies to Edinburgh from Heathrow and Gatwick, and flights can be as little as £70 one way. www.ba.com
Because of the nature of this tour we are unable to offer a non-participating spouse option.
For any enquiries relating to the itinerary please contact Wendy Barrie at firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other enquiries, such as reservations and payments, please contact Sue Carter at email@example.com
With Dame Jacqui Pickles
Monday 21st May – Thursday May 24th 2018
Following the pleasure of introducing a fabulous group of US Dames last year to the culinary delights and villages of The Cotswolds, I am thrilled to be offering another “forage” into this beautiful area of England. We will head west of London, passed the “dreaming spires” of Oxford and into the quintessentially English countryside where we can explore some of my favourite places and enjoy the company of some wonderful people in our world of food in every format. I am currently working on some aspects of the trip – it is, after all a “moveable feast”!
Day 1 – Monday 21 May
Out of Paddington railway station to the village of Kingham from where we will be transported for a relaxed lunch in the most famous of “farm shops” in England. Daylesford Organic is one of the most sustainable farms in the UK owned by Lady Carol Bamford – her style and principles have made this a very special place to browse, shop and eat.
After visiting one or two of the producers in the area we will arrive at The Plough in Kingham where your rooms will be ready for your arrival. There’ll be time to wander the village or take a break before a special dinner devised and cooked by Emily Watkins, chef proprietor.
The Kingham Plough, an old coaching inn, continues to win prestigious awards under the ownership of Emily whose training took her to Florence and then to work alongside Heston Blumenthal.
Day 2 – Tuesday 22nd May
I am developing a day of exploration visiting suppliers and farmers along the scenic routes and via the thatched villages – stopping for a traditional country lunch of the highest standard. We will be making time to stop and admire the history and beauty of the market towns of the area.
There are many fabulous artisan drink suppliers known to Emily some of whom we hope will join us to tell their story before supper that night – with a little light entertainment in true English village-pub style thrown in!
Day 3 – Wednesday 23rd May
We say goodbye to Kingham and travel further west for the rest of our Cotswold stay. We head for Southrop Manor Estate, mentioned in the Doomsday book, where I have found on the edge of the village, the most extensive and beautifully arranged herb garden.
Judith Hann, once better known as a scientific journalist and television presenter, bought this farm nearly 20 years ago and in the derelict pig yard began to plan her amazing garden. In the shadow of her beautifully converted Cotswold stone barn, she grows over 150 culinary herbs today and is President of the Herb Society. The idea of being there in May with the early summer growth is very exciting. She will share her bountiful garden and knowledge with us before we make a short walk through the meadows back to the village and the spacious and light-filled Thyme Cooking School to prepare lunch together, ready to savour the results in the stunning Tithe Barn.
I am particularly pleased to invite you to experience the afternoon, evening and night with me at Little Sodbury Manor, a Grade 1 listed property celebrating its 600th anniversary next year. This will be a unique experience and we will have the freedom to explore the property where the first English translation of the Bible was penned in 1536. We can even play croquet on the very same lawn where Henry VIII watched a game of bowls with his new bride Anne Boleyn! After drinks on the terrace, we will dine in the timbered banqueting hall and then retire upstairs to bed.
Day 4 – Thursday 24th May
For our final day, we are hoping very much to visit the Gardens at Highgrove, the 30 year project of HRH The Prince of Wales whose environmental philosophy of “it is better to work with nature than against it” shows at every turn.
It is heralded as one of the most creatively inspired gardens of today with a series of interlinked areas each with their own character and purpose. Last year our group were in awe of what they saw there.
We will lunch before heading back to London by train late afternoon.
Edible Cotswold Pricing
Includes first class rail from and back to London, minibus transport, all meals and accommodation, tutorials, tastings, garden visits and the special Little Sodbury Manor experience. I am renting the property, Little Sodbury Manor for our final night, so the cost of the accommodation there has been divided per person and not per room.
Single occupancy – £1,950 pp
Double occupancy – £1,800pp
Being based in small villages, we would expect spouses/partners to participate in our programme – as “doing one’s own thing” may be tricky without transport in the villages where we stay. Having said that, of course, anyone can choose to “sit out” now and then!
There are 14 places available.
For any enquiries relating to the itinerary please contact Jacqui Pickles at firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other enquiries, such as reservations and payments, please contact Sue Carter at email@example.com