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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Back in June, Hannah Morris hosted a magical evening at Feed Bristol, inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A truly dreamy looking feast that involved foraging, cooking on an open fire and above all, enjoying those first Summer evenings. Hannah talks to Table, to tell us more about the evening.

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For Summer Solstice on 21st June, I arranged an event during Bristol’s annual food festival. Bristol Food Connections features events put on by communities and restaurants, as well as food demos and talks from well-known chefs. The invitation to my event was for people to get off work early and welcome in the summer. I took A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a theme to style with, working with florist Jennifer Owen and prop hire company, Rustic Rentals.

We began at 3pm with James Wood, of Totally Wild UK, exploring Snuff Mills woodland for edible treasures, especially those that could be picked and taken back to be used in cocktails. While the group of 15 were away in the woods, we got busy prepping the space in the willow circle at Feed Bristol, an Avon Wildlife Trust site. At this time of year everything is green and in full bloom, so you quickly forget that the motorway and bus stops are mere metres away. I used wooden pallets on site for the tables and cushions and rugs for seating. Some of the guests brought extra blankets and cushions with them. The tables were filled with medicine bottle floral arrangements and golden ferns and ivy collected from the local woods. 
Back at Feed Bristol, the sun still shining, and the fire being stoked, James took the group through making various cocktails, some sweet, others more herby. This raspberry shrub cocktail was one of the ones we made on the evening.

Raspberry Shrub + Prosecco Cocktail recipe by James Wood

In a tall champagne glass pour in:
25ml raspberry shrub, top up with prosecco and enjoy with a frozen raspberry.
To make the raspberry shrub, blend 100g raspberries and pass through a fine sieve. Add 50g white sugar and 50ml good quality apple cider vinegar and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

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The dinner started with an introduction from Sean Williams. Sean cooks at many outdoor supper clubs and has recently bought his own woodland to offer more of the same on his own turf. He combines a Michelin star background with a love for gathering people together around food in a relaxed style. We were instructed to take a handful of dough, stretch it out a bit, and then throw it straight onto the charcoal. It was very quick to cook and there were several homemade dips (with chargrilled vegetables blended in) to enjoy it with, as well as various salads and sweet potato. The final element was a home-cooked pavlova and foraged berries. 

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Hannah organises events in and around Bristol inspiring people to mark the seasons and grow skills in cooking outdoors and foraging - while enjoying meeting new people in a magical atmosphere. She is planning some more for Autumn 2019, one of which will be a Winter Solstice event. Hannah is experimenting with how to offer the events at an affordable price and to include children where possible. She host the events under the name ‘Wild Folk Events’. Hannah also owns Enamelware Events which she set up to hire out enamel dinnerware after planning her wedding back in 2017.

Credits
Words by Hannah Morris
Photography by Gem Hicks
Flowers by Jennifer Owen
Props and styling Rustic Rentals
Food by Sean WIlliams
Foraging and cocktail making workshop by James Wood at Totally Wild UK
Foraging bags supplied by Bric
Dinnerware Enamelware Events
Event promotion Bristol Food Connections
Venue - Avon Wildlife Trust Feed Bristol