From pumpkins to plums, fennels to figs, autumn brings with it a glorious list of ingredients to indulge on. It’s the season to cosy up with comfort food, fine wines and roaring fires – and Europe offers some of the most beautiful places to do it. Here’s where to go to taste the season’s finest food bounty.
Autumn and hunting season brings a classic autumn dish to the province of Brescia in Lombardy – the famous Spiedo alla Bresciana. This ancient culinary preparation goes back to the Middle Ages, when a ‘Lo Spiedo’ – a long sharp spear was used to hunt prey and then used as a skewer to cook meat slowly above burning wood embers. The dish is traditionally served with corn polenta.
After more than one millennium, this legendary dish can be enjoyed at Farmhouse L’Unicorno. Small pieces of meat (wild boar, rabbit, dove, and wild duck) are seasoned with sage and mild mountain butter, before being cooked over a low heat for at least 6 hours. Served with steaming polenta and a full glass of L’Unicorno’s Groppello Garda Classico DOC ‘1654’, this is traditional Italian food at its finest.
St Davids, Wales
It’s small wonder St Davids is so popular with discerning travellers from all over the world. It may be Britain’s smallest city, but it offers a lofty amount of unique history, beauty and landscapes – not to mention food. Food foraging is very popular on the St Davids Peninsula, with plenty of local wild produce to rummage for. From blackberries, elderberries and apples, to wild garlic, sorrel, hazelnuts, sweet violet and thyme, no walk is ever the same in autumn due to the ever-changing colours and dazzling wild ingredients.
Twr y Felin Hotel
Book up with St Davids local Julia Horton Powdrill at Wild About Pembrokeshire, who takes groups and individuals into the countryside to discover their ‘inner forager’. She has also worked with chef Simon Coe to forage for ingredients for the menu at Twr y Felin Hotel’s Blas restaurant. As well as offering fine dining based on locally sourced autumnal ingredients, the hotel itself is an artistic dream – with more than 100 paintings and laser-like attention to detail throughout.