Indulge me for a moment, dear Reader. Picture a beautiful sunset falling into the water at the end of the jetty, wild ponies grazing in the distance, a winding pathway lit with candles and lanterns. We are met by a lady who hands us a small key. A key that will lead us into the Secret Garden.
Jerry and I have had some wonderful invitations to events in the past but when Emma Forsyth of Rock & Roam, a new style social club for New Forest residents and weekenders, invited us to her launch party at Gins Barn, near Beaulieu (one of New Forest Escapes’ luxury lets) I jumped at the chance to attend.
A Secret Garden supper crafted by Emma’s team and the fair hands of critically acclaimed London chefs and designers, Edible Stories – just the sound of it was enough to take me back to reading Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s classic for the first time as a little girl.
What a garden it was too, dear Reader. With such a stunning venue styled with flowers tumbling from the rafters, branches and leaves strewn across tables, candlelight, superb theatre created with sumptuous course after course and even a singing canary in the corner too, the story of little Mary Lennox and the magic of the Secret Garden unfolded.
From Mary’s days of the Raj with a taste of India served in tiffins, followed by a Bitter Mary to depict orphan Mary, sour and rude, leaving her home to come to England….
to the loneliness Mary experiences at Lord Craven’s Misselthwaite Manor where she meets a robin, as she explores the grounds, who will lead her to an overgrown doorway
to reveal the untouched beauty of the deserted garden behind the walls as Mary turns the key
and the final joy of making the garden bloom with her own hands, bringing her uncle and cousin together again.
I’m still hoping that every supper I go to is as beautiful as this was. Judging by the oohs and aahs in the room coming from Emma’s other guests, I imagine that I am not the only one! Truly a magical evening – a feast for all the senses. Wonder if the team from Edible Stories would like to set up camp in my kitchen, dear Reader?
Rock & Roam’s aim is to host pop up events, tastings and experiences that are imaginative, informative, fun and unique so that members and their guests can enjoy the best of New Forest with like-minded locals. From beekeeping to field photography, gin masterclasses or wild sea swimming, Emma works with a varied team of specialists to put together a calendar full of workshops throughout the year too. To be honest, dear Reader, if Rock & Roam’s Secret Garden launch supper is anything to go by, then the club’s members are in for a real treat. This is one for the black book list of Margot loves.