Summer supper!

Our Anna Hedworth, who blogs as The Grazer, is de-camping to the Farne Islands to run supper clubs with the National Trust, no less

This summer sees the start of a very exciting collaboration I have been planning for quite a few months now. 

Earlier in the year an email landed from the National Trust; they had heard talk of my supperclubs and wanted to chat. Fast forward a few months and I found myself laying out a long table feast inside a 14th Century chapel on the Farne Islands, nervously waiting for 40 people to arrive for lunch.

Four very special Supperclubs will take place over the summer months on the Farne Islands and at Lindisfarne Castle. I’ve been menu planning, wandering round Lindisfarne Castle after hours and speeding over to the Farnes on a tiny boat testing out the plan on National Trust supporters. I’m happy to report they loved it; I know this because there was a round of applause and a lot of kind words.

This summer you could find yourself part of it all. Picture yourself on a private boat sailing over to the Farnes late in the afternoon, arriving on the white sandy beach of Inner Farne to be greeted with aperitifs and tasty treats. You’ll be the first people ever to have cruised over to the Farnes for supper, unless Grace Darling used to row over to picnic of course, but I think that unlikely.

I felt like I was moving house as I loaded my car with everything imaginable to host lunch – flowers, decorative glass, cutlery, crockery; I had half filled the car before I even got to the food. The interesting bit was loading it all onto a tiny speedboat at Seahouses and speeding over to the islands. I had visions of toppling in backwards, being hauled out and hosting lunch soaking wet and embarrassed. The next obstacle was unloading the boat while being attacked by squawking Arctic Terns pecking my head. It was certainly unique!

The setting is definitely the thing, and the evening will include a private tour of the island and its beautiful beaches, the Lighthouse and its gardens, thousands of amazing birds, gazing back at Bamburgh Castle and the beautiful Northumbrian beaches.

At dusk find yourself sitting down to dine in the lighthouse gardens or the tiny chapel on the island, a beautiful long table loaded with platters of fresh seafood, lobster, langoustines, samphire salads, and slow-cooked Northumbrian lamb to feast on as you settle into your incomparable home for the evening.

Or you could find yourself driving over the causeway to supper at Lindisfarne Castle. Arriving on the battlements to canapés and aperitifs with views of the Farnes, Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh, followed by a tour of the castle, it’s your private residence for the evening. Supper will be served on the battlements and your view for the evening is the sun slowly sinking over the Cheviots. Tempted? These will be very special evenings of beautiful food in unique settings. A summer must!

Seafood needs…mayo!

Pound a clove of garlic to a smooth paste with some salt in a pestle and mortar, and whisk in an egg yolk. It will take on a mayonnaise type consistency even at this stage. Add a pinch of mustard powder and whisk again. Then begin to whisk in extra virgin olive oil, just a drip at a time at first, very slowly, and then a steadier stream. I use about 200ml of extra virgin olive oil when about half of it is combined add the juice of ¼ lemon. You can use vinegar also, it’s the acid that is needed, then add the rest of the oil. If the mixture splits at any point, thins or breaks down, you can fix it by beating a new egg yolk in a clean bowl and adding the split mixture little by little and all will come good. You can leave out the garlic, add more lemon, add chopped herbs or roast garlic, paprika, spices… anything really, to create a delicious dipping side for fresh langoustine, lobster, crab or prawns.

Now, just head to North Shields Fish Quay or the Grainger Market in Newcastle, and buy some giant cooked langoustines, crack them open and dip in this delicious mayo, which is a totally different experience to the white gloop in jars. Enjoy!

By the seaside

There are only 20 places available for each of the following dates:

Saturday July 20th Lindisfarne Castle
Saturday  July 27th The Farne Islands
Saturday  August 3rd The Farne Islands
Saturday  August 31st Lindisfarne Castle

Tickets are £99 per person, including unique private access to the Farnes and Lindisfarne, a private tour of the castle and island, telescope tours of the coastline, history and nature talks from the National Trust, food introductions from The Grazer, welcome aperitifs, a three-course meal with wines to match and
coffee to finish.

To book, contact Lindisfarne Castle, tel 01289 389244, or for more info, go to or visit

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