Where the Wild Things Are: Eight Outdoor Dining Adventures in the UK

Where the Wild Things Are: Eight Outdoor Dining Adventures in the UK

Dig out your wellies and meet the modern-day hunter-gatherers who are protecting the land and offering sustainable, back-to-nature adventures that end with a slap-up meal

Read more about feasting in the great outdoors in Volume 38: Flavour.

things are more satisfying than feasting on food you’ve
collected with your own bare hands. Foraging in the unspoilt
British countryside, dining in the woods, shucking oysters on the
seashore – such activities offer a precious
connection to the land that enriches the soul as well as filling
the belly.

One big silver lining of the pandemic was that it saw a revived
appreciation for the healing power of nature and the importance of
community, along with a greater desire to know where our food comes
from. Now, exciting outdoor dining experiences are rising to meet
the demand, bringing guests directly to where their ingredients are
grown, reared, hunted, fished and foraged.

We roll up our sleeves and visit eight UK operators dedicated to
preserving our rugged landscapes and reconnecting people to nature
through food – where eating (and, fingers crossed, drinking wild
cocktails) together is an essential element of the whole

Forage for your supper: eight great outdoor dining adventures
to explore

A man sits on the edge of a canoe, holding seaweed
Photo credit: Charlie Wild and Jess Last

Fore Adventure


Dorset-based Fore Adventure is run by husband-and-wife-team Dan
and Jade Scott. The business model evolved when the pair realised
the coastal foraging Dan was doing to entertain their kids could
provide something unique to others. Their Kayak, Fish, Forage &
Feast experiences offer outdoor adventure to foodies and food to
thrill-seekers. When on the water with Fore, shimmering Studland
Bay – a Marine Conservation Zone – turns from a beach destination
into an edible landscape. Flowing strings of sea spaghetti and
leather-like kelp turn from ocean oddities into potential umami
seasonings for your fish dinner, which you’ll cook over fire back
on the golden sand.


Gathering greens to eat at Hunter Gather Cook
Photo credit: Charlie Wild and Jess Last

Hunter Gather Cook


Foraging and cookery school Hunter Gather Cook specialises in
game butchery, cocktails strong on natural ingredients and fire
cooking – discovering what can and can’t be eaten in our wild
spaces is a great way to become more familiar with local flora and
fauna. Its Seasonal Day course is centred around ingredients
sourced as close as possible to the company’s flintstone HQ,
Shepherds Barn, located at the base of Firle Beacon. Participants
are put to work in preparation for a five-course lunch, learning
how to butcher the first half, forage the second, spark fire from
friction and mix wild cocktails. Your reward? Dishes such as rabbit
saddle wrapped in pancetta and served with nettle pesto balls, wood
pigeon “lollipops”, battered hogweed shoots, rabbit quesadillas and
nettle cocktails that taste like peach iced tea.


People dine outdoors on a wooden table
Photo credit: Charlie Wild and Jess Last

Nancarrow Farm


At Nancarrow Farm, set in the countryside outside Truro, you
don’t just get to see where your ingredients come from; you learn
why they’re farmed that way. Nancarrow’s feasts, suppers and Sunday
lunches are a form of educational storytelling. You dine next to
the fields where your meat is reared and vegetables grown.
Innovative fine-dining dishes are set out on long tables in a
wooden barn and on benches in a courtyard framed by climbing roses.
Beef, lamb, hogget or pork is paired with elderflower champagne
from the hedgerow or cider from the orchard. Nancarrow shows guests
that if you tend the land, it will care for you in return. Even the
charcoal used for fire cooking is made on-site from its own wood,
while wool from the farm’s sheep fills the mattresses in its double
bedrooms and shepherd’s huts, which can be booked for its Dinner,
Bed & Breakfast events and weddings.


Four artichokes on a metal tray
Photo credit: Charlie Wild and Jess Last



Supporting a local community spurred Rosie and Tom Barclay to
start Neetfield, a postcard-perfect 0.2-hectare no-dig market
garden. The couple knew something had to shift in their lives when
they couldn’t access seasonal ingredients grown locally for their
home cooking. If they couldn’t, neither could others around them,
so they started Neetfield to build a sustainable food culture in
Bude. They now deliver seasonal boxes containing hyperlocal,
super-varied produce, from fresh herbs to artichokes, multicoloured
tomatoes and kohlrabi. Inspired by their time in Italy, the couple
also started Saturday pizza nights in the warmer months, offering a
cuisine that’s affordable, accessible and fun for all. “Everyone
loves pizza,” says Tom. “We want people to get as much joy from
food as we do.”




Nomadic is a restaurant with no walls, offering immersive fine
dining in a private forest glade in Buckinghamshire. The business
aims to use food and nature to reconnect guests with the world
around them. Dishes tell the story of the surrounding ancient
bluebell woodland and the wild ingredients you can find within it.
Dine with friends on a table carved from a birch tree and enjoy
expert cuisine from leading professional chefs.


A person holds seaweed in their hand on a beach

The Wild Kitchen


The Wild Kitchen is led by Lucia Stuart, a foraging expert and
innovative chef based in Deal. Stuart links the landscape to the
table, hosting foraging adventures on the Kent coast. Shuck oysters
directly where you find them, or step out of your culinary comfort
zone and try unusual snacks made from ingredients such as acorns,
algae and sea buckthorn.


Fat Hen


Caroline Davey founded her wild cookery school in 2007,
combining her love for people, food and nature. This project aims
to break down the barriers between the kitchen, the outdoors and
the dining table. Forage wild plants along the Cornish coast, then
explore the options of eating your bounty in a picnic or lunch at
local stalwart The Gurnard’s Head. Those wanting to learn how to
cook up their finds can opt for a private lesson at the Fat Hen’s
holiday let.


Photo credit: Daisy Wingate Saul

Fire + Wild


Fire + Wild hosts elaborate outdoor dining experiences in an
undisclosed woodland location near Lewes. The dinners, events and
workshops focus on wild food, cooking over fire, foraging and
cocktails. Eat squirrel, wood pigeon and whatever else you’ve
gathered in the surrounding Sussex landscape, while making new
friends under the stars.


Discover more stories from the Flavour issue here.
Main photo credit: Charlie Wild and Jess

The Lowdown

Photographers Charlie Wild and Jess Last are behind the
Instagram account @the.travel.project, which chronicles achievable
adventures within the UK and showcases the excitement of discovery
in your own backyard.

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