Foraging for a Duchess’ dinner with St Albans pub

The Foragers team at the Verulam Arms (L-R) business partner Richard Osmond, co-founders Gerald Wald

The Foragers team at the Verulam Arms (L-R) business partner Richard Osmond, co-founders Gerald Waldeck, George Fredenham and head chef Matthew Chater who will be catering for the Duchess of York at a one-off charity dinner in London - Credit: Archant

A city centre pub known for its foraged food has teamed up with a children’s rights charity to serve the Duchess of York at an extravagant banquet - with a twist.

The Foragers at the Verulam Arms in Lower Dagnall Street, St Albans, will be catering for a one-off charity dinner for Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and other notable guests at a Mayfair auction house next Friday, April 24.

The team, with the help of Level 2 Hospital and Catering students from Oaklands College, will be serving 60 diners at the evening, which will combine a sit-down three course dinner and a live auction.

The chefs fought off fierce competition to land the gig after George Fredenham, who co-founded the restaurant with Gerald Waldeck, was contacted by an old friend Sarah Wade, head of Humanitas Charity.

George, who met Sarah when the two were pupils at St George’s School in Harpenden, said: “We have been talking about having Humanitas as our chosen charity for a while so Sarah came to us and said we are doing this dinner, would you be interested.

“We’re trying to keep it very much like this is what we, The Foragers, do.”

Guests will be treated to a selection of wild food tasters, served on the cross-section of a tree with sorted wild flowers and plants.

Most Read

The menu includes smoked pigeon, nettle croquettes, wild rabbit lollipops to start and lamb and wild watercress gnocchi to follow, with a poached rhubarb, almond and ginger crumble for dessert.

Afterwards, they will be taken upstairs to a cocktail bar serving foraged liquers, including sloe gin, woodruff vodka, ginger ale and plum rum.

Sarah said: “We wanted to do something a little different and stay well away from the usual boring, corporate charity dinners.

“We wanted to do something more interactive that people wouldn’t be expecting.”

The Duchess of York is the charity’s main patron and guests will reportedly include high-profile figures from the Middle East and well-known British actors.

All proceeds raised will go to the charity whose projects include healthcare, education, family care and abandonment prevention.

For more information visit