What do you serve at a £1,000 ($2,000) a plate fund raiser for the Soil Association? It's Britain's esteemed charity promoting organic farming and the crowd will be hot, rich and so environmentally correct. Annie Lennox will be performing and auction items will include a masterclass with Monty Don, a carbon offset holiday in the Himalayas, a tour of Prince Charles' garden and dinner for 10 at Arundel Castle. The flowers will be local, the champagne will be flowing, the conversation scintillating and the clothes expensive.
All of the food will be sourced from within 50 miles of St. Paul's cathedral and it will be transported with zero-carbon impact: organic vegetables will be rowed down the Thames, purple sprouted broccoli will be delivered from 50 miles away by a convoy of bicycles, the nettles for the soup picked at near-by Hyde Park and the venison will be from Windsor Great Park. The meal will be cooked by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef/national treasure and the theme will be "Best of British". With 400 of the great and good of London present and a few celeb's thrown in for flavour, it had better be sublime.
Here's the "Best of British" menu: be prepared for some very odd dishes.
First course: pickled Thames Bay herrings with Romney Marsh beetroot, crispy pig's head salad (free-range pigs from Hampshire), oysters from a river in Essex, purple-sprouting organic broccoli from a Berkshire farm.
Middle: nettle and garlic soup (garlic from the chef's garden)
Main: roast venison fillet, braised shoulder and a faggot with bay and juniper sauce
The champagne: Perrier-Jouet 1996 Belle Epoque
It's all for a fine cause (thank goodness for that): the Farm School. The Soil Association has a network of over 100 organic farms throughout the country offering school visits. As well as allowing children to experience nature close up, the visits create links between the schools and farms which can be fostered and maintained. :: Soil Assocation Via :: Evening Standard