Fancy dinner in a woodland as dusk is falling? Then bag one of this summer’s hottest tickets.
Edinburgh-based chef, Barry Bryson, is cooking at a series of atmospheric wild-dining events, which are scheduled to take place at Jupiter Artland, Wilkieston, in July (1, 15, 22 and 29) and August (5, 12, 19, 26 to 28), from 6.30pm until 10pm each evening, £55 per person.
Spaces can be booked for a maximum of six guests (from up to two households), and dinner will be served at a flower-festooned communal table to seat 20, with the appropriate social distance of one metre between each group.
The menu has been created to suit the surroundings of this sculpture park, which includes site-specific artwork by Phyllida Barlow, Charles Jencks, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker and Antony Gormley. This year, there’s also an exciting new installation, Mimi, by young Scottish artist, Rachael Maclean.
(If you’re attending the dinner, you can arrive from 5.30 to explore the grounds).
Then there’s the natural environment, with the mature trees and fields beyond.
Bryson will be presenting his dishes in a suitably artful manner, but also using wild spoils from 100 acres of meadows and woodlands, which he knows well, having managed and developed their Cafe Party from 2009-2014.
“All my dishes will be garnished and presented with wild edibles that have been foraged from the grounds, so I’ll be bringing the natural surroundings and elements of the sculpture park together in a creative and visually appealing way,” he says. “It’ll be a perfect complement to the amazing outdoor art and sculpture on display”.
The set menu will include parsley, apple and lovage soup; ham, wood-sorrel and crowdie dumplings with dandelion; smoked organic chicken with lemon bergamot dressing, candied walnuts, carrot and chicory puree; barbecued turbot with nettle salsa verde and wild salad; and a pudding of rose ice cream, honeycomb, ginger meringues, rhubarb, cardamom and strawberries. Vegetarian alternatives for the second and third courses are cauliflower and wood-sorrel tortellini, and smoked summer squash and barbecued field mushroom with pak choi. There will also be a small wine list, cocktails and beers, herbal soft drinks and bottled water.
On arrival, guests will be met outside Jupiter Artland’s Cafe Party and taken to their dining spot, which will be strung with fairy lights. If it starts raining, the trees will provide some shelter, but they’re hoping the weather Gods will be kind for once.
“One of the main challenges of catering outside is taking care of everyone’s comfort”, says Bryson. “Our dining table will be beneath a dense canopy of woodland branches, so this will offer some shelter from the elements. Although it will be midsummer in Scotland, we’ll be providing blankets and hot water bottles to those who need them. However, we’re advising guests to come prepared by wearing warm, comfortable and waterproof clothing”.
Wild Dining with Barry Bryson at Jupiter Artland, tickets available at www.jupiterartland.org