This spring, Buck and Birch – the team behind Aelder wild elderberry liqueur - is set to launch a unique communal fine dining experience in Portobello

For anyone that loves a meal of locally sourced ingredients, then Buck and Birch’s pop up dining experiences in and around Edinburgh will appeal.

The idea came from Rupert Waites and Tom Chisholm, who use who use their extensive foraging knowledge and hospitality experience to host occasional dining experiences inspired by nature throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Due to the success of these events the duo are set to launch a series of communal dining events in Portobello in Edinburgh, the first of which starts tomorrow (23rd March).

Edinburgh pop up

Picture: guests can look forward to six courses and petit fours, supplied

Titled Nurture, Nature, Eat, the nine dining experiences will celebrate Scotland’s natural larder.

Located at Dalriada on Edinburgh’s Portobello Promenade, diners who book into Nurture, Nature, Eat can look forward to a six-course, wilderness menu that will showcase the best seasonal ingredients from Scotland’s coastlines, hedgerows, fields and forests.

Edinburgh pop up

Picture: bacon crisps may be on the menu, supplied

Dishes may include game, fish and plenty of wild surprises – the menu being the main one as it won’t be decided until the day of the event.

Edinburgh pop up

Picture: Aelder liqueur, supplied

Drinks will also be wilderness-inspired and will range from wines to spirits, liqueurs including the duo’s own  creation, Aelder – a wild elderberry liqueur with a whisky base which was officially launched in November 2016.

Our night of foraged food started with a Aelder prosecco cocktail before we tucked into starters of:

Venison fenalår with dandelion caper; oysters and pearls – oyster with pickled wild leek pearls, flower buds and stems and a coastal consommé of razor clams and mussels, seaweeds and scurvy grass served with a smoked seafood consommé.

Edinbugh

Picture: oysters and pearls, TSPL

These were then followed by a meat feast, which included Wood pigeon and what it likes to eat – wood pigeon breast on sprout tops with game stock orzotto served with a Korean raspberry vinegar and bramble sauce, and Hare, jerusalems and mushrooms – braised hare leg and roast loin served on roast jerusalem cream, sautéed wild mushrooms and wild garlic, and served with a smoked cep powder.

Picture: the foraged salad, TSPL

After all this meat a refreshing salad of ground elder, dandelion, cow parsley, Himalayan balsam cress, wild leek, dead nettle and bramble buds served with chopped hazelnuts, cold pressed rapeseed oil and elderberry shrub.

All these herbs were collected on the day along the Esk and in Edenhall Hospital.

Finally a dessert of  malted parsnip and hogweed seed cake with birch syrup and a rowan shoot infused cream was followed by salted Birch syrup and sweet woodruff caramels.

Drinks during the meal were paired red and white wines, an Aelder Negroni and birch sap water.

For more information on the events, dates and how to buy tickets (priced at £54.49) please click here.

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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