Wild Dining with the Mad March Hare is more than just eating outside, it’s innovative and contemporary dining at its best. Created by Amanda Farnese-Heath, the Wild Dining experience was inspired by Amanda’s passion for bringing people together, to eat, at a long table, in beautiful places.
Food has always been a mainstay in Amanda’s life, brought up in an Italian household, everything happened around the kitchen table. A culmination of years in a busy kitchen led to the Mad March Hare pop-ups. The idea was to find redundant kitchens and set up camp for as long as they were allowed. Amanda explains “Mad March Hare was conceived in a pub kitchen, we had no name and no idea how many folk were going to turn up to as we did not take bookings. It was the maddest opening evening you could imagine and was completely heaving, myself and the guys in the kitchen just managed to pull it off! Hence the ‘mad’, the rest; in the Chinese horoscope I am a Hare and I was born in March. Mad March Hare was born!”
Mad March Hare organises magical foodie events reminiscent of Amanda’s childhood days. They focus on small specialist food and drink launches and long table dinners which are mainly outdoors in secret, beautiful, unusual and remote locations, where you share big plates of rustic, delicious food. Amanda says “When I started popping up in kitchens with bad lighting, (strip lighting really effects my mood), I loved the idea of what I was doing but it never felt like it was completely me. It took time to realise that somewhere in my Italian make up, was the joy of being outdoors, in a warm climate at a long table set out in an olive grove, enjoying a rustic feast with friends. But I live in Scotland and it’s cold, yet I thought, why not? Let’s give it a go.”
The first Wild Dining event launched last October, with a seven-course meal served over four hours in a chilly, yet beautiful, autumnal forest. Amanda adds “The ground covered in pine needles was soft and smelt divine, the tall trees protected us from the westerly wind and even the candles stayed alight. There was no kitchen or walls to restrict me and the whole evening felt like a dream.”
Each menu is planned around the seasons, the location and the tastiest ingredients Amanda can find. There is always something extra to make each event magical and memorable; be it a forage along the seashore, screening an outdoor movie, or a classical ensemble. Amanda explains “If there’s a forage beforehand, for say, seaweed, we will make sure one of the dishes includes that ingredient. Although, I’m mindful that not everybody will enjoy a whole menu of seaweed because it might be a first taste for some people.”
The food is not fussy, it’s simple, delicious and tasty. It is mainly cooked over fire to enhance flavour and is served slowly throughout the evening so guests can enjoy each course and the magical experience. And it really is magical – long tables beautifully decorated, stunning locations – Scotland and Wild Dining works, you just need to wrap up warm. Although Amanda can help with that as well “For our first event, I made some cashmere pockets from an old jumper with hand warmers inside if anybody needed them!”
WILD DINING | www.themadmarchhare.com | follow us on Facebook page The Mad March Hare | t: 07809 895 469