Forage for your own dinner at these cosy British escapes
On the shore of Loch Fyne, The Creggans Inn is a cosseting, family-run hotel with stellar views and plenty of home comforts (bowls of porridge laced with cream, for example, and the snap and crackle of a proper log fire).
Foraging breaks here are informal: owner Gill MacLellan takes guests out, on request, for a couple of hours’ foraging in search of brambles, blueberries, wild yellow raspberries, elderflowers, chanterelles, wild garlic or whatever else happens to be in season.
Back at the hotel the kitchen uses your foraged finds in its dinner menus (try homemade seafood pies and a classic British pud). The next day, borrow fishing rods and cast off from the hotel’s little pier, or carry on eating your way around the coast (see Omagazine.com for more on local destination restaurant, Inver). From £130 for two,
including one night’s accommodation with dinner and breakfast; creggans-inn.co.uk
Head to the Brecon Beacons if you want to include the whole family on a foraging adventure. Here, the elegant
Angel Hotel in foodie Abergavenny (don’t miss a visit to the excellent Kitchen at the Chapel, tucked behind the town’s market hall) has recently launched specialist Foraging Fun weekends. They’re led by local guide Adele Nozedar, who has recently published a book about foraging with children.
Head out on a gentle three-hour walk, through urban and rural terrain, to track down fungi, berries and nuts, then return to the hotel to feast on chargrilled lamb with new potato and pea ragu, or herb-roasted fillet of cod with squash gnocchi. After an overnight stay, wake up to eggs benedict or french toast with bacon and maple syrup before heading home. From £239 for two adults, including halfboard accommodation and a three-hour foraging experience (£38 per additional child); angelabergavenny.com
Surrounded by woodland and walking trails, Lee Byre, outside Okehampton, is a true rural retreat. Stay in a smartly converted barn and feast on warm banana muffins and fresh bread spread with honey before heading out to forage with owners Guy and Kathrin Barnes. Exploring the bucolic patch of West Country terrain that surrounds the b&b, you might find wild garlic, pennywort, Jack-by-the-hedge or sorrel, depending on the season. All are used in Lee Byre’s kitchen, where chef Nina creates dinners of wild salads, courgette cannelloni with parmesan cream, and lamb and mint pies with new potatoes and pennywort. If all that indulgence leaves you hungry for more, you can head out for a stargazing stroll after dinner. From £369 for two people, including two nights’ accommodation with dinner, a day walk and dark-sky walk; leebyre.com