"Magical, soulful, truly inspirational, absolutely delicious"... A few of the words from our guests last night describing our evening with Anna Potter from Swallows and Damsons as we celebrated her latest book Flower Philosophy through feasting, cocktails and chat.
From the heart and mind of The Mowbray's Head Chef - Emma Tophill Reed. A hyper seasonal menu which was inspired by the chapter titles and musings from Anna's book.
A personal and thoughtful menu - the Friselle Wreath was something that Emma and Matt enjoyed on their honeymoon in Puglia - and one stacked with, not only delicious ingredients - but vital, nourishing and sustainable ones too...
From pickled magnolia leaves, Hogget, amaranth to sea purslane and an insanely good home cured chalk stream trout - it was a wonderful menu packed full of thought, reason, knowledge, seasonality and beauty.
We enjoyed a wonderful chat with Anna - from beginnings to global adventures - and the deep rooted theme of wellness and wellbeing that runs through the book. We also chatted about the deep learning that the seasons remind us of - if we choose to listen.
We invited the room to ask Anna questions and thoroughly enjoyed the discussion topics of place, wellness, sustainability and gardens that sprang up.
Anna created in front of our eyes the most beautiful Spring creation - with plenty of tips on preparation, shape making and the type of blooms she likes to work with. A glorious arrangement that Anna gifted to one of our guests. Book signing followed.
Flower Philosophy as a Feast
Quail’s eggs & asparagus, radishes with parsley salt & tarragon mayonnaise (v)
‘Bloom & Fade’
Friselle wreath; marinated tomatoes with wild garlic flowers (v, g)
Chalk stream trout with pickled magnolia petals, sea purslane, rhubarb & sesame
For our vegetarian guests - beetroot carpaccio with pickled petals & rhubarb
Quail & damsons with Moorland Cloud salad; heather honey dressing & puffed amaranth
For our vegetarian guests - shiitake & chestnut mushroom pithivier (v, g)
Hogget chop, with spiced heritage carrots & chervil
For our vegetarian guests - potato gnocchi with heritage carrots & creme fraiche (v, g)
Jersey Royals roasted over the fire with butter & chives (v)
"This transitioning time from spring to summer sees blossoms fleetingly fall and new growth strengthen…This is the time to give thanks for all the wealth that is to come.”
Lavender cherry & yoghurt pavlova (v)
Honey & chamomile cheesecake (v)
“The summer solstice is a time for honouring our inner light…we use symbolic midsummer herbs to crown ourselves in nature, to honour and connect to the season and its warmth.”
(v) = vegetarian (g) = contains gluten
The Mowbray's Head of Bar - Tash - created a soulful clutch of cocktails that were based on more of the chapter titles from Flower Philosophy. Dance of Duality was the top favourite of the night!
Dance of Duality
Mowbray made Blueberry puree, London Dry Gin, Citrus topped with foamer
‘A Study of light and dark’ - This sipper is a fruity little gin sour with a light fluffy creamy head
Parking Lot Weeds
Camomile infused white port, Topped with light tonic water and orange bitters
‘A celebration of the overlooked and unwanted’ - A simple yet delicious addition to delightful port and tonic.
Chestnut infused whiskey highball - topped with soda water and fresh rosemary.
This warming nutty whiskey infusion lengthened with a soda sparkle and some fresh rosemary.
A Daffodil Revival
Tequila Blanco, Lemon & Grapefruit juice, Simple Syrup & Orange Liqueur - served on the rocks with a dehydrated orange salt rim
A special Swallows & Damsons spin on a tommy’s Margarita with some bright lemon and grapefruit flavour to really give it some clout.
Mowbray Marmalade Sodas
Booze free, House Made Sodas
Wild Blueberry Conserve Syrup, Lemon & Sage
Orange marmalade Syrup, Lemon & Thyme
An absolute joy to have with us to capture this special evening - Mirlah Richardson. So lovely to see how effortlessly you balanced being a charming dinner guest to expert photographer. Thank you for being part of it.
Special Thank You!
Thanks to Sal Green of Green & Gray for the most sublime home garden grown tulips... Heaven!