Every traveller worth their salt knows that one of the best – and most enjoyable – ways of getting to know an area is through its food. Luckily here in the North of England and the South of Scotland we’re spoilt for choice with a mouth-watering array of epicurean experiences. From cookery classes and wild dining experiences to stargazing suppers and cocktail masterclasses held high in the Northumberland moors, we’ve cherry picked a handful of experiences to suit every appetite.
Scottish cookery & dining experience
At Crabtree & Crabtree, we’ve always believed that one of the best ways of getting to know a destination is through its food. Working together with a local cookery school, C&C guests based in East Lothian and the Scottish Borders can get a flavour of their locality by learning to cook a delicious two- or three-course menu from the comfort of their C&C holiday home. Using the best local and seasonal produce you can expect to whip up dishes such as venison wellington, wild mushroom ravioli and raspberry soufflé before sitting down to enjoy your culinary creations.
Paired wines can also be added to accompany your delicious meal.
Prices start from £450 and vary depending on number of people and menu choices.
Crabtree & Crabtree is all about rewilding luxury, so sharing nourishing meals of organic, foraged food is our idea of perfection. Working together with Buck & Birch, a pioneering wild dining outfit based on the east coast of Scotland, C&C invites guests to rewild their culinary expectations with a curated menu of the finest, ultra seasonal produce. Comprising delectable dishes created from ingredients such as wild game, the freshest seafood and foraged delights, each meal is served with the theatre, elegance and creative flair of a fine dining restaurant. Expect a feast for the eyes and the senses with exciting cocktails and flavour combinations, each created to highlight the best of the season.
Prices start from £90pp, or £110pp with drink pairings, based on a minimum of six people.
A taste of Northumberland
From pasture-fed beef and venison slowly reared in the Cheviot Hills to heather honey, hand cured fish and the freshest oysters scooped straight from the cool waters surrounding Holy Island, Northumberland is home to some of the best produce in the UK. C&C invites guests to sample the best of the region’s larder through a culinary workshop led by an award-winning professional chef. During the course of the workshop, you will create several delicious dishes while learning about the provenance of the ingredients.
Prices from £400 for a group of six, depending on menu choices.
Crabtree & Crabtree invites you to dine beneath the stars with an intimate moonlit supper and stargazing experience. Held in the garden of your C&C holiday home you’ll be treated to an illuminating session by a local astronomer who will reveal the sights of constellations, planets, shooting stars and the Milky Way to you as you enjoy a three-course 'dinner in the dark' menu. Specially created to be enjoyed in the inky dark, the menu comprises dishes that masterfully balance taste, texture and aroma using ingredients such as chicken liver parfait, crispy shallots, torched mackerel, tangy gooseberries and popping candy.
Prices from £80pp, based on a minimum of six people. Only applicable to stays at certain properties that are remote and large enough to host an al fresco dinner and astronomy session. Available to guests staying at Northumberland properties only. Weather dependant.
Sommelier-led cheese and wine tasting evenings
Indulge in an evening of great wine and delicious artisan cheese in your C&C holiday home with a sommelier-led masterclass brought to you by one of our favourite local delis. Over the course of the evening, you will enjoy sampling an array of wines ranging from rich and exuberant reds such as Pomerol and Châteauneuf-du-Pape to light and elegant options including Albarino or Montauberon rosé, alongside a handpicked selection of wonderful cheese. Tasting sessions typically last for two hours and can be tailored to your choice of wine, cheese or budget.
Prices from £30pp based on a group of six tasting six wines. Available to guests in the Scottish Borders.
Cocktails in the wilderness
Rewild your drinking experience on your next visit to Northumberland with a trip to Hepple Spirits. Exclusive to C&C guests, you’ll be taken on a private tour of the Hepple distillery, followed by a fragrant botanical walk around the estate looking at the wild juniper bushes and Douglas Fir trees that give the spirits their unique flavour, before heading to a secret, hidden bar in the moors where you’ll enjoy a tasting, a cocktail or a classic gin and tonic.
Should you prefer to transport your tastebuds from the comfort of your C&C holiday home, you can instead opt for a cocktail and oyster masterclass, whereby a local bartender will show you how to serve up a perfect Hepple martini, which you can enjoy alongside a plate of fresh oysters.
Prices from £25pp for groups of 10-15 guests for the Hepple distillery and estate tour. Or, POA for tastings held at your C&C holiday home depending on travel and group size.
Coastal foraging and feasting
Savour the very best of the seaside with a coastal foraging and feasting experience led by wild dining experts Buck & Birch. Taking place on a scenic stretch of sand along the coastline between Seahouses and North Berwick, you will first forage for wild rocket, seaweed and shellfish such as razor clams, mussels and oysters as the waves lap around your feet, before sitting around an open fire to enjoy delicious canapés and a dinner of fresh seafood – which will be finished with your foraged findings – cooked over the flames.
For those really looking to get in the spirit of things, you can add on an additional Buck & Birch spirits tasting whereby you can sample a range of their wild botanical spirits and liqueurs from hip flasks while wrapped in blankets.
Prices start from £90pp, or £110pp based on a minimum of six people. Smaller groups are welcome but will need to cover the six-person base rate. Guests are encouraged to wear wellington boots or suitable footwear if they do not want to forage barefoot. This experience is not suitable for those with a seafood allergy.