Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Foraging in Epping, with Caorunn Gin

It’s good to get outside sometimes, away from a life spent wedged behind a screen. In London, that usually means somewhere just as noisy, mind you - a park full of tourists or one by a main road.

Epping Forest doesn’t suffer from either of those problems. It’s huge, so you can get as far away from people and roads as you like. It has full 4g connectivity too, just in case you do want to answer an email or three.

I was in Epping Forest to forage for edible plants. Don’t worry, this wasn’t for my dinner - times aren’t that tough. In fact, we weren’t actually allowed to pick anything at all. I had to make do with a bag of dried fruit pieces for kids. That’s another story.

Hold on, rewind a bit - I can hear all three of you saying - foraging? Why?

Well the good people at Caorunn Gin - cheers guys! - took me and a few others to the woods to learn more about where their ingredients are from: being as six of their eleven botanicals are foraged from the Scottish Highlands. See, to all those PRs out there, I do pay attention!

The guy in charge whose name I forget (but he’s soon to appear on Netflix wrestling crocodiles - I kid you not), marched us around the wood, showing us plants that taste nice, plants that don’t, and plants that will kill you. Disturbingly, there were quite a few of the latter and all within easy reach of ignorant fools like myself. The government should really put up some signs.

I promised the PR folks that I wouldn’t dwell on the deadly plants too much, but they did seem to attract the most interest. What can I say? Give the people what they want!

A proper review of the day will appear on another blog soon - a good full foodie write-up - plus some comments on the meal they fed us afterwards. And no, it wasn’t just made from foraged ingredients, only some. I wanted to share a few pictures of the woods though and what with Bank Holiday coming up and all, some of you might be looking for inspiration as to what to do.

Head to Epping Forest then! Just don’t pick any of the plants - they might do you some harm. I ain’t kidding!

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