On Wednesday the 27th January, Orvis were joined by a host of young journalists and bloggers covering food, lifestyle, fashion and more. They were gathered for a unique experience that would see a field sport brought right in to the heart of the city: learning to fly-fish with Orvis experts in Green Park. With introductions made and warming coffees supplied, Fieldsports Director, Richard Banbury, gave an introduction to the sport, urging the group not to be put off by the abundance of technical-looking equipment arrayed throughout the shop. Instead, Richard explained that the cornerstone of the sport is the cast, a process as simple as moving one’s arm – in theory.
Braving the elements, the group left the warmth of the Orvis shop, making the short walk along Jermyn Street, up on to Piccadilly, past the Ritz and in to Green Park. In such an urban setting, the abundance of fishing rods attracted no shortage of enquiring looks, with one member of the group being stopped by a quizzical Jeremy Paxman, a fellow avid fisherman.
Arriving at the park, Richard gave the group a quick casting masterclass, before handing out rods so that everyone could try their hand. With the tweak of a wrist here and a bit of friendly advice there—all courtesy of the Orvis ghillies—the group took to it like fish to water (even if one or two of the more ambitious casters found themselves snagged in trees—a mere trifle put down to the pursuit of that fabled beast, the climbing fish).
With an attentive eye turned toward an increasingly ominous sky, the group returned to the warmth of the Orvis shop, finding themselves greeted with a glass of Gusbourne Brut Reserve on arrival. Ben Walgate, CEO of Gusbourne, gave a talk on this excellent sparkling wine, introducing the group to the Gusbourne range and talking through the processes used in their Kent Vineyards. The Brut Reserve was followed by a glass of the Rosé, which was equally well balanced, characterful and delicious.
Next up were Eat Wild, the Gloucester-born food duo Will and Calum Thompson, who gave a live cooking demo, preparing trout poached in vermouth and served on a bed of watercress. Eat Wild explained their brand, tracking their journey from selling game from a van at festivals to the now rapidly approaching two year anniversary of their Cirencester restaurant. The success of this personable duo isn’t hard to fathom: their menu offers top quality game in unstuffy, American-fast-food-influenced recipes that have universal appeal. Indeed, the pair modestly announce that when it comes to the food they serve, “nothing we do is difficult”. Either way, the group consensus was that it certainly tastes good.
This unique event brought to the city some of the best sport, food and wine that the country has to offer. Many thanks to all those journalists and bloggers that joined us!