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Last Friday we welcomed guests to the Bella Luce for our first April afternoon and evening of wild food and gin. With the hedgerows of St Martins bursting with life and beautiful spring bank holiday weather, there was so much to see, pick, and savour. Led by Luke Wheadon and Head Chef Patricio Filipe, we explored the banks and hedges of the Water Lanes that lead down hill from the Bella’s front gate towards the sea at Moulin Huet, learning about the edible plants that grow here or on the rocky foreshore at Moulin Huet. April is a fantastic season for foraging; we collected wild garlic, Alexanders, magnolia petals, sorrel and nettles along the Water Lanes, and sea beets, sea purslane, sea broccoli, sea kale and rock samphire from Moulin Huet, as well as discussing the various edible seaweeds that can be found on our coast.
We then all walked back up the hill to the Bella, and guests enjoyed a wild gin experience in our small batch distillery with Luke Wheadon talking them through how he uses foraged botanicals such as rock samphire in the creation of his gins. Meanwhile, Patricio and his team in the kitchen got to work with the collected ingredients creating an incredible dinner featuring foraged elements in every course. Once seated, guests enjoyed an appetiser, starter, fish course, meat course and dessert that they had helped to create by collecting ingredients just a few short hours previously:
Guernsey scallop, cauliflower puree, sea purslane, wild garlic flowers and seaweed butter
Stinging nettle soup with 63* Castle Farm egg
Pan seared Pollock, romesco sauce, sea beets and rock samphire
Cured pork chop, garlic potato puree, sweet and sour Alexanders, sea broccoli and veal jus
Magnolia panna cotta, chocolate soil, vanilla ice cream and sorrel flowers
The next “For-a-Gin” Foraging Friday takes place this coming Friday, April 26th. Call us on 01481 238764 to check availability and book your space!