LAMBAY FORAGE & FEAST

 

An unforgettable three-day experience on the private, off-grid island of Lambay. Walk with the kind and gentle, encyclopaedic knowledge of Monica Wilde - along the shores, through the fields and under the sycamore trees as she guides you to a healthier, more holistic approach not just to eating, but to living.
 
Come away with the knowledge and techniques to responsibly and safely forage nutritious and delicious ingredients from the natural environment around you. The perfect antidote to supermarket shopping!
 
2020 DATE: Friday 17th to Monday 20th April

Monica says:

 

"I am excited and delighted to be the "resident forager" for this magical and inspirational place, where I host intimate residential weekends - each one a circadial retreat to celebrate a different season and encourage people to re-wild.

 

For just 10 guests, this is an intimate and full immersion in nature to restore the soul and liberate the mind, while staying in the exquisite Lutyens-designed Whitehouse. Your every need will be catered for by private chef Lottie Brook and you will be personally hosted by Millie Baring of Lambay.

 

Lambay is just a 20 minute boat ride from the mainland, and yet it feels like a lifetime away. You’re collected from the marina at lunchtime on a Friday; by the time you return on Monday it feels as if you’ve been away forever. Time passes at a different pace on Lambay. You can breathe again!"

REGISTRATION & COST

Included:

  • Foraging workshops, walks and advice sessions with Monica

  • Luxurious island accommodation for 3 nights/4 days

  • All your meals: 3 breakfasts, 2/3 lunches, 3 dinners

  • Morning and afternoon refreshments (tea, coffee, cake, fruit)

  • Use of island wi-fi, sitting rooms, library, gardens, and local know-how

 

Not included: 

Travel to Ireland and transportation to Malahide Marina from where the Lambay boat departs (boat is included); Travel Insurance (highly recommended as there will be no refunds for travel changes); Additional accommodations or personal expenses.

2019 Cost: EUR €750 per person (single occupancy, super-king bedroom) or EUR €600 per person (shared occupancy, super-king or twin beds).

A deposit of €300 per adult is required to secure your space. The balance is due 4 weeks prior to the retreat. 

To register and for questions about Lambay, the region or local travel, please write to  bookings@lambayisland.ie

 

For any other questions about Monica's Foraging Retreat, please write to  monica@monicawilde.com

SCHEDULE

The course schedule runs in accordance with the seasonal tides, and the island eco-system's growth and weather patterns. Activities, foraging walks and workshops will be timed to suit nature's whim and will include most, if not all, of the below.

ACTIVITIES

Foraging for Seaweeds, Wild Herbs or Mushrooms (seasonal)

Walking

Birdwatching

Rewilding*

Hilltop or Seashore Meditation

Optional Fishing, Lobster Potting or Hunting (seasonal)

Slideshows

Fireside Discussions (indoors or outdoors)

Games

*Rewilding means restoring ourselves to ways of living that give us greater mental and physical health and return a natural balance to our bodies and our relationship with the earth’s ecosystems. Rewilding teaches us how to return to using all of our senses to discover ways of living in a natural world that many people are disconnected from in their daily lives. For those that want to, Monica can also share some Shinrin Yoku techniques that help you to relax in nature.

Monica has designed the retreat to give you a truly immersive experience of the island’s ecology and the abundance of wild food and herbs growing there. Foraging walks will cover the different habitats on the island. Together, you will  visit the seashore for coastal plants, go inland to find wallabies and deer, watch the seabirds that fearlessly breed on the cliffs, and gather food and herbs from the castle’s beautiful organic walled garden and woodland.

SKILLS

 

Throughout the weekend, you will learn various skills that you can take with you and continue to use at home. Learning to safely identify and responsibly collect seasonal ingredients is a key part of this workshop, as well as learning how to prepare and cook the harvest. Masterclasses will include:

Making Wild Mushroom Paté

De-boning a Wallaby

Monica's Signature Stew with Nettle Dumplings

Laverbread from Lambay Seaweed

Pepper Dulse Butter

Irish Soda Bread with Seasonal Herbs

 

DELICIOUS ISLAND FOOD

Your menu on Lambay will be shaped around the natural seasonal produce available at that time of year, each meal including fresh ingredients foraged and collected by you on Lambay.

Starters (Seasonal)

Wild Leek and Nettle Soup with Crusty Bread and Pepper Dulse Butter

Celeriac and Hogweed Soup with Spring Herb and Wild Garlic Bread

Porcini Soup with Horseradish Cream with Seaweed Bread and Truffle Butter

Apple and Cider Potted Mussels with Seaweed Bread and Wild Island Salad

Wild Mushroom Pate with Homemade Spelt and Seed Crackers

Potted Winkles

Cured Sea Trout with Rhubarb with Seaweed Oatcakes and Green Salad

Smoked Haddock and Dulse Tart with New Potatoes and Ground Elder

Fried Laverballs with Celeriac and Wild Carrot Coleslaw

Homemade Wild Herb Hoummous with Carrot & Celery Sticks and Homemade Pitta Bread

Hogweed Tempura with Oarweed Shirodashi Sauce and Scurvygrass ‘Wasabi’

Main Courses (Seasonal)

Brill with Wild Sorrel Sauce, Creamed Sea Beet & Kale with Nutmeg and Smashed Potatoes

Wallaby Stew with Nettle Dumplings, Celeriac Dauphinoise and Wild Herb Salad

Roast Lemon & Thyme Chicken with Ground Elder & Wild Leek Tabbouleh and Asparagus Spears in Sorrel Butter

Venison Medallions with Haw Pontack, Sorrel & Ground Elder Champ and Buttered Sea Beet

Organic Lambay Beef Steak with Laver & Royal Fernweed Gnocchi and Crispy Hogweed Shoots

Slow Cooked Soy Pork Belly with Stir-fried Sea Beet and Noodles and a Sea Rocket ‘Wasabi’

Desserts (Seasonal)

Avocado, Chicory and Dandelion Root Coffee Ice Cream

Poached Pears in Ginger and Hogweed Spice

Gorse Flower, Ground Ivy and Seaweed Blancmange

Elderflower Delight

Grilled Lambay Figs in Rosemary Honey

Rose and Elderflower Carragheen Pannacotta

Sea Buckthorn Berry Posset

Fresh Fennel & Rhubarb Oat Crumble

Tea/Coffee is available throughout the day on a self-service basis. Please inform us in good time of any allergies or dietary requirements. Hypo-allergenic bedding is also available on advanced request.

LUXURY COSY ACCOMMODATION

Each bedroom has a super-king bed capable of conversion to two single beds, with mattress protectors, duvets and two pillows per bed. Extra blankets are available should they be desired. Electric blankets are not permitted on the island's off-grid energy supply, however hot bottles are provided in case of cold weather.

 

The central and upstairs bathrooms have showers; the corner room en suites have bath-shower combinations and the end room luxury en suites have freestanding baths and separate showers.

 

Please let us know if you would like to request a particular bedroom.

The White House is an original Lutyens design, completed in 1933 the year before Cecil Baring’s death. It was the last building to be commissioned and executed by Cecil and Lutyens and was built for the enjoyment of Cecil's two daughters, Daphne Pollen and Calypso Liddell, who by then both had large families. It is still used as a holiday home during the summer by their descendants.

 

With its large Dutch-tiled fireplace, south facing sitting room, original furniture, family murals and collections, it is a unique and welcoming house comprised of a shared central section and two wings. There are glorious views over the sea to the mainland from the West Wing and from the south facing gardens in particular. There have been no major alterations to the building, so it remains an authentic example of this period of Lutyens’ work.

 

However, bathrooms have been carefully modernised with conservation in mind and curtains, carpets and new beds were installed in 2016. The heating and hot water systems have also been revamped, providing a level of luxury that does Lutyens’ designs great justice.

OUTDOORS ON THE ISLAND

Apart from the farming activity, Lambay is host to a wide variety of wildlife, including fallow deer, wallabies, rabbits, and notably, Atlantic Great Grey seals.

 

The island is also one of the most important sea bird nesting colonies off the coast of Europe and has been designated a Special Protection Area. Cormorants, shags, guillemots, razorbills, puffins, kittiwakes and fulmars can be observed at close quarters with ease.

 

The glories of the island are the 16th-century castle, modified and extended by Edwin Lutyens in 1908-1910, and the gardens, originally designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Massive rampart walls encircle the castle, together with its terraced gardens.

 

In addition to the castle, Lutyens modified the farm buildings, bothy, chapel and Coastguard Cottages, which were built from local stone. In the 1920’s Lutyens was commissioned to build the Real Tennis Court on the sea front and finally, the White House in the 1930’s. Together these buildings form a harmonious architectural complex that complements the natural landscape. 

 

The island offers good walking with impressive views and, in the harbour, low tide reveals a large sandy beach, rock pools and a swimming area.

 

BOOTS - There is a large number of Wellington boots in a range of sizes, which you are welcome to borrow during your stay.

  1.  16th Century Castle and grounds

  2.  Real Tennis Courts

  3.  Horbour with sandy beach

  4.  Site of Bronze Age finds and Hiberno-Roman finds

  5.  Chapel

  6.  Fosse of Norman Fort

  7.  Cottage and residential complex

  8.  Seals

  9.  Shags, cormorants

  10.  Seals

  11.  Promontory fort

  12.  Promontory fort

  13.  Guillemots, fulmars, puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills

  14.  Neolithic tumulus

  15.  Axe-head sites

  16.  Seals

  17.  Shags

  18.  Seals

  19.  Kittiwakes, fulmars, shags

  20.  Seals

  21.  Tayleur Bay, scene of the wreck of RMS Tayleur

  22.  Razorbills, guillemots

  23.  Kittiwakes

GETTING THERE

Please make your way to Malahide when you arrive in Dublin. 

 

Dublin Airport to Malahide

Malahide is approximately 20 minutes by road from Dublin Airport; a regular size taxi costs approximately €15-18.

 

Dublin Ferry Port to Malahide

Malahide is approximately 35 minutes by road from Dublin Ferry Port; a regular size taxi costs approximately €30-35.

Directions to Malahide Town Centre

The meeting point is Gibney's of Malahide on New Street, a traditional local pub in the centre of Malahide town. This is well placed if you wish to collect supplies before travelling to Lambay. The Marina Centre is a five minute walk from Gibney's and the town centre.

 

If heading straight for the Marina, tell your taxi driver to drive through the Marina Village (under the arch) and straight to the end where you will see a giant anchor sculpture by the Marina Centre, and your skipper will meet you outside White’s Laundry. If it is raining you are welcome to wait inside the Marina Centre, which can be accessed through the double doors to the left of the giant anchor.

The boat transfers to/from Lambay adhere to the tides and, as such, must depart promptly at the scheduled time.

For those with flights, we strongly recommend flights leaving a minimum of 4 hours (preferably 6 hours) between your flight arrival/departure times and the scheduled boat transfer time.

20kg limit on luggage per person on the boats.

WEATHER

The weather on Lambay is generally milder than on the mainland, with plenty of sunshine. However, the island is also open to the elements and can be very windy. Out of the sun this can make it quite chilly! and weather on the island changes fast so you must be prepared for rain and sun.

 

We suggest bringing plenty of layers and a light water/wind proof jacket to enjoy Lambay outdoors; cosy slippers or socks and a favourite wooly jumper for indoors, where you can warm up by the cosy open fire in the White House.

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