Find the Forest was the first of our secret outdoor events put on as part of the Leeds Indie Food Festival. This is an annual event that sees some of Leeds finest foodies putting on an exciting programme of eating, drinking and social gatherings. It gave Forest Found the opportunity to join in as we love creating beautiful spaces for people to relax, play and feast in.

For this event we teamed up with local boys Fiction and Balcombe & Smith and the wonderful folk at Skelton Grange Environmental Centre to curate an immersive, sensory and delicious evening of campfire food in a stunning natural setting. The guys created an exciting menu full of stripped back flavours, simple but creative cooking using organic, foraged and carefully sourced ingredients.

The reclaimed oak tables and long benches were hired from the wonderful team at All Things Borrowed and table decor was inspired by rustic continental dining, with simplistic settings and large vases filled with lush green foliage, elderflower and cow parsley cut from the bordering hedgerows and woodland. The lighting was kept soft and low with lanterns, candles and overhead hung a ceiling of twinkling lights.

As the guests arrived, (having only received the location information the day before), they were lead down a small pathway through an elegant willow archway to a large seating area by a pond. Elderflower and prosecco cocktails were well received and the early evening sun created a warm glow for diners to bathe in.

As the first course was finished and prepped on large charcoal filled fire pits, the guests were ushered down a further path opening out into a magical dining space in-between the trees. The smell of fire smoke wafted gently in the breeze and diners settled into to their first sharing platters of the evening which were complimented with cold glasses of white wine and local craft beers.

The guys cooked up a storm as plate after plate of hanger stake, fire pit onions, smokey potatoes and whole mackerel on beds of samphire spilled out of the forest onto the plates of the happy diners. As the darkness fell, the space came into its element with the firelight and flickering candles lighting up the faces of contented happy people.

It was a true triumph, a physical feat and a feast to be proud of. Hats off to the Find the Forest team!

All photos by  Tom Joy @tomjoyphoto