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The first of the autumn dishes

Hearty soups, meaty pies and, of course, the traditional roast. As the clocks change, the salad takes a backseat to a traditional autumn dish or two. After days out in the crisp autumn air, nothing is more satisfying than warm, filling meals to give you a cosy feeling, inside and out. 

While you’re enjoying an autumn break in the forest, it’s a great opportunity to discover some delicious local produce. We stock local foods in our Forest Retreats, you’ll find plenty of farm shops near to each of our locations, and of course every part of the country has its specialities. 

Eating in

With your fully equipped kitchen, cooking in your cabin is easy, so you can be as adventurous as you like. The autumn is a wonderful time for game such as grouse or pheasant, and using a local recipe will give it an authentic regional twist. What could be more Scottish than enjoying a Roast Stuffed Pheasant while overlooking the loch at Ardgartan Argyll or Strathyre!

At this time of year, a hearty breakfast is essential to set you up for a day of outdoor adventures. All our Forest Retreats stock breakfast essentials from local suppliers and at Forest of Dean, Wye Valley Bacon and Sausages have been our suppliers for years. You can enjoy a delicious Ranger Breakfast in the Forest Retreat or buy a Local meat breakfast pack and cook up a feast back in your cabin.  

Farmers’ Markets are another way to find fresh, local produce. The award winning markets at Wincanton, near to Blackwood Forest, run every fortnight, with over 90 stalls providing meats, vegetables, local wines and chutneys, cakes and more. In fact, once you’ve picked your pickles and chosen your flans, there won’t be much cooking left for you to do. 

Autumn dishes don’t have to be complicated to be family favourites. While you stay at Thorpe Forest, try fresh-picked cauliflower topped with rich Suffolk Gold cheese – both available from the Elvedon Courtyard food shop - for a simple cauliflower cheese with a local twist. Another snack perfect for the season is a fresh corn on the cob, dripping in butter. It’s quick, simple and fun to feast on. 

Eating out

At this time of year, the fabulous Sunday roast comes into its own. Although, while roasting a joint may be straightforward, all the extras can end up taking far too much time that is better spent wandering the woodland paths. Why go to that effort, when you can enjoy a roast with all the trimmings at the local pub? In cycling distance from Sherwood Forest, Rose Cottage has a lovely menu, including Sunday roast, and just a walk away is the newly refurbished Dog and Duck for a range of mouth-watering meals (reopening November 2018)

Staying at Cropton or Keldy? After cycling across the North York Moors, you deserve a pint and a bowl of warming soup. There are plenty of local pubs and restaurants to try, from the Coach House Inn to the Blacksmiths at Hartoft

In Cornwall, they may be famous for their Cornish Pasties, but there’s plenty more to taste while you’re staying at Deerpark this autumn. Stop by the Jubilee Inn for fresh caught local fish, straight from the harbour at Looe, and Cornish Yarg – a local cheese, traditionally wrapped in nettles and served with port - the perfect winter warmer.

The best of both worlds

If you’re too busy gorge walking and mountain biking through Snowdonia to cook, and too tired afterwards to eat out, then treat yourself to something a little special. Our personal chef will bring the meal to you, cooking from a choice of menus, including our Forager’s tasting menu using ingredients typically found in the forest, so you can still enjoy an authentic local taste, without the clearing up afterwards.

Whichever location you stay at this autumn, there’s a choice of eating and drinking options covering everything from deliveries to your cabin to local pubs and restaurants. Our teams are full of local knowledge, so no matter which location you stay at, we can recommend lovely places to shop and eat, or you can come and join us at the Forest Retreat. With so much fresh choice coming into its peak, autumn is a wonderful season for foodies. 

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