The Trust gave us only a few parameters in which to work. As an organisation that is very conscious of its carbon footprint, we were asked use local produce as much as possible – music to our ears as we always aim to source ingredients locally. More unusually, SWT would supply their own meat, and marshmallows had to be on the menu! Other than the requirement for all items to be easy for guests to eat whilst chatting and circulating, we were free to get creative.
The centre is set in 80 acres of beautiful and ancient oak woodland, so we took inspiration from the environment itself and based the menu on a woodland theme.
Mini beltie burgers anyone?
Surrey wildlife trust has its own herd of belted galloway cows. They were introduced to the reserves in 2007 as a really effective way of looking after the land by grazing. Needless to say, the meat produced from naturally reared animals is the very best quality and full of flavour. We were delighted to have it on the menu and used the meat to create mini beltie burgers, small enough to be dainty and big enough to provide a satisfying taste of that delicious beef.
and to dessert…
We created a dessert station, which included a tree of homemade candy floss, chocolate-covered strawberries and homemade marshmallows. And the reason behind the marshmallows? Guests were invited to toast their own over an open fire in the woods, a perfect way for everyone to feel connected to the surroundings. As well as providing a little fun, our marshmallows proved a melt-in-the-mouth success.