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LIVE 24-SEVEN


FORAGE AND FEAST 76


THROUGH THE COTSWOLDS LewisLoves.com is a Cotswolds and South West lifestyle blog run by Adam and Sarah Lewis, sharing the very best the area has to offer. “Food is a particular passion of ours, and we can't wait to share our hidden gems with you. You can also follow us over on Twitter @adamlewisloves and Instagram @sarahlewisloves for foodie inspiration and much more besides."


If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise. Rob Gould, aka The Cotswold Forager has recently started a series of Forage and Feast walks in the Cotswolds area, hooking up with The Looking Glass in Charlton Kings to showcase the morning's bounty. We went along to check it out!


After a welcome coffee, we gently strolled around Dowdeswell Reservoir for two hours. Although I would have unwittingly walked past everything except perhaps blackberries, Rob found a fantastic array of wild herbs, nuts and berries. From Herb Robert to silverweed, he kept producing the goods like we were in a rather leafy supermarket. Who needs Waitrose?


Handily, Rob is also an accomplished home cook and had plenty of recipes to bring out the best in the foraged finds, including pickling and making your own alcohol. By the end, he'd taught us enough that we were finding goodies for ourselves to take home and try out in our own recipes.


Whatever your level of expertise, Rob's passion for sharing his extensive knowledge shone throughout. He actively encouraged questions and gave insightful, non-patronising answers. The conversation flowed freely throughout the walk and covered all sorts of foraging issues such as the legalities, and useful books and resources.


We then headed back to The Looking Glass in Charlton Kings. Although it only opened a year ago, it has fast developed a strong reputation for excellent and interesting cooking. Leon, the head chef and owner, prepared a fabulous feast showcasing some of our foraged finds. We enjoyed bread with wild garlic and Herb Robert emulsion, followed by six courses of utter delight. It's hard to pick a standout dish, but for me the roasted onion in wood aven with preserved onions, malt vinegar and silverweed salad was exceptional. Simple, sweet but with a bitter caramel depth, I could have eaten it again.


Perhaps the most interesting thing, as someone who eats out a lot, was to try so many new ingredients. The Looking Glass works with Rob to find local additions for their menu giving the more adventurous eater something to look forward to. There are also plans for foraged spirits and kombucha in the future. Cherry plum gin anyone?


The Cotswold Forager offers a unique experience whether you like the idea of being more sustainable or just fancy a walk in the woods. It's suitable for all ages and abilities and, when you throw in the superb foraged tasting menu at The Looking Glass, incredibly good value; it cost just £55 all in. If you are interested in finding out more, check out his Facebook page for more details of upcoming events.


LIVE24-SEVEN.COM


WINING & DINING L EWI S LOVE S


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