The Medicinal Roots of Cocktail Bitters

A brief history of cocktail bitters and the medicinal plants that make them. First printed in the book Kew’s Teas, Tonics and Tipples. According to its most basic definition, a cocktail is simply a mix of two or more drinks, one of which contains alcohol. This simple premise proves to be an endless source of intoxicating concoctions…

Photos of stages of Nettle & Feta Sigara Borek recipe

Nettle & Feta Parcels Recipe (Sigara Börek)

Nettles embody the vitality of spring – their small leaves pack a powerful sting and are filled with a whole range of vitamins and minerals, as well as being high in fibre and proteins. They are traditionally used as a spring tonic, providing a nutritional boost after a winter diet of dried meat and grains.…

5 Delicious Wild Winter Greens

Many people assume there is little wild food to be found in the winter months, but if you know what you are looking for there are still some tasty pickings to be had. Though the choice may be more limited it is still great fun to explore the apparently bare landscape and see what survives…

Mussels, Alexanders and Crow Garlic

I cooked up this dish back in February when the snow and frosts were making foraging rather difficult. Walking in my local park in London the only plants that seemed to have enough foliage for me to take a little bit were Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) and Crow garlic (Allium vineale).

Sweet Violet Syrup

 Sweet violet (Viola odorata) Violet flowers first sprung up in London well over a month ago, and have doggedly persisted ever since, refusing to accept that spring is late in arriving. Frost hardy to -7°C, the unique colouration of their flowers make them easy to spot at this time of year amongst the sparsely populated…

Hedgerow Sorbet

This is far from the best year for wild fruits, but there are still some ripe pickings out there. Hawthorn berries and rose hips can be found in abundance, but I have struggled to find decent patches for elderberries, sloes and cherry plums in London.

Chicken of the woods pie

Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) When I was out collecting elderflowers for cordial the other day, I caught a glimpse of bright orange in the bushes. After carefully squeezing past the nettles and brambles to investigate, I found myself standing on a pile of old logs.

Hogweed and cheese

Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)  Caution: Hogweed is a member of the carrot family which contains several highly poisonous species. Direct contact with the raw plant can cause phototoxic effects, so always wear gloves and long sleeves when handling.   Hogweed is very widespread, growing in meadows, hedgerows and along the edges of fields. It has large pinnate…