October Lambay Island foraging weekend with Monica Wilde(price for 2)
I am delighted to be working with Monica Wilde on this unique opportunity to explore Lambay Island and its edible wild foods. I have known Monica for many years and she is the most knowledgeable person on wild food and an expert at preparing and cooking. Her passion, enthusiasm and knowledge is a joy to share. This event is from Friday 5th October 2018 to Monday 8th Oct.
This is a unique invitation to spend a long weekend on Lambay Island with Monica Wilde, one of Britain’s leading foragers. Also a research herbalist, who has run Napiers since 2007, Monica has been leading events in the wild for over a decade. Passionate about showing others the fascinating life of fungi, plants and algae, she explains the inextricable relationship between our planet and your health and happiness. An intimate relationship with the natural world empowers us humans - even once we’re back in the fast lane - like no other experience
The retreats are small. The maximum number of guests is 12 and they take place on Lambay, a privately owned island just a 20 minute boat ride from the coast near Dublin. There are just 4 retreats: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter celebrating the best of each season. Please book well in advance.
Each weekend runs from Friday afternoon until Monday morning. Fly to Dublin and take a bus or taxi to nearby Malahide Marina. A short crossing, with a chance to see porpoises, and just twenty minutes later, you’ve arrived on Lambay in time to join Monica for afternoon tea of foraged nibbles or a botanical cocktail.
Lambay menus focus on using the plants that we forage. As well as your foraging guide, I’m also your ‘head chef’ and will cook you absolutely fabulous food that couldn’t be fresher or more nutritious. And if you’re interested, I’ll also teach you how with wild food cooking classes as I prepare a three course dinner.
The mainland is faint on the horizon. The air is clear. Birds circle overhead. There is magic in the air.
Once on the island, Monica is your host. Activities will include foraging for seaweeds, wild herbs or mushrooms, rewilding education, walking, birdwatching, forest meditation, and optional fishing or hunting when in season. If it rains, we’ll have slideshows, talk around the log fire or play games. You can join in everything, or opt out and relax when you want. The pace is yours.
Monica has designed the retreat to give her guests a truly immersive experience of the island’s ecology and the abundance of wild food and herbs growing there.
Foraging walks will cover the different habitats on the island. We’ll visit the seashore for coastal plants, go inland to find wallabies and deer, watch the seabirds that fearlessly breed on the cliffs and gather food and herbs from the castle’s beautiful organic walled garden.
You will learn how to identify and collect seasonal food and in the evening can help Monica to prepare and cook the harvest. Learn how to make wild mushroom paté, create her signature stew with nettle dumplings, cook sugar kelp crisps, make laverbread from seaweed collected that morning, or bake an honest loaf of bread. Monica has designed a menu so that you eat well in all senses - healthy can also be gourmet!
Rewilding means restoring ourselves to a way of life that give us greater mental and physical health, and restores a natural balance to ourselves and our relationship with the earth’s ecosystems. Rewilding teaches us how to return to using all of our senses to discover ways of living in a natural world that many people are disconnected from in their daily lives.
This weekend is a retreat from your everyday life. As well as learning a lot of practical knowledge, think about your mental and physical health, share stories and have fun. It will give you the chance to ‘come down’, to recollect your thoughts, review your priorities and reconnect with yourself and the natural world.
You’ll be staying in the White House, a beautiful Arts and Crafts Movement building near the harbour, designed by Sir Edward Luytens in 1929. Recently renovated and upgraded it has 10 comfortable double bedrooms.
For early birds, two mornings will start with a guided forest meditation. Simply being in silence amongst the trees in a calm, thoughtful way, without the distraction of phones, can benefit your health and allow you to connect with yourself and your surroundings.
Each guest will receive literature to take home on how to identify and use commonly found herbs and plants. Recipes will also be available and Monica is happy to discuss the direction to take for any health issues but will not be offering private health consultations.
The cost for the entire weekend includes:Boat transfer to and from Malahide Marina to Lambay; three nights’ private accommodation; all activities; all meals; a glass of wine with the evening meal. A small cellar is available at extra cost but do bring your own duty-free wine or whisky. Please let us know well in advance of any dietary needs or allergies. This event is not suitable for children or pets.