Towards the end of the summer this year I was asked to meet a Hen party as they were making a trip via canal barge for a night out.
There was a number of options we could have done:
- Met them by a local wood and taken them off the barge to explore the woods for a forage, where we could make up a wild lunch.
- Meet them on the barge to discover what’s growing all around the canal as we venture further on the barge, collecting eating and cooking along the way.
- A mass variation on these….
Finally, due to time and weather on the day, we decided to meet on the barge and stay on board whilst jumping off every so often to collect and taste some interesting wild ingredients.
Over the hours I cooked up a wild food inspired lunch for them to enjoy in the warmth and dry of the barge, until the weather cleared and I persuaded them off the barge with the promise of collecting ingredients for our wild cocktails. We departed the barge and headed down the canal to discover what wild infusions we could incorporate in to our fresh wild inspired cocktails. We found a huge range or botanicals and made a number of cocktails back on the barge. My favourite was definitely the beech leaf gin and fresh Mugwort concoction we crafted – it was delicious – and if I wasn’t driving home I would have definitely stuck around to sink a couple of them with the group.
As we parted ways at the next canal bridge I left the group with their third bottle of Elder Flower Sparkling wine and half a bottle of Beech Leaf Gin to see them through to arriving at their destination.
A brilliant and fun day!