We host a quarter-annual, seasonal foraged lunch at Totem Retreat or, if you are a group staying at the house we can organise a private lunch for you but please enquire and book at least a week in advance.
Run by professional food stylist Kate Arbuthnot and local food author and forager Amber Rose.
You’ll be welcomed around an open fire with a brew of wild tea, talked through some foraging tips and sent out into the wild for a bit to put your newfound knowledge to use. Then, together, under the guidance of Amber and Kate you’ll help prepare your lunch, cook it over an open fire and dine at a beautifully set long table under the trees.
The lunch experience takes 3-4 hours. We require a minimum number of 6 or a maximum of 12 participants. Prices ($135-$180 per person) vary slightly according to group numbers.
The creative spirit behind Totem Retreat. Walking into Totem Retreat is walking into Kate’s whimsical world of curated collections.
With a background in Visual Arts and an eye for the unusual Kate has poured her heart into creating a bespoke and beautiful space for people to stay and experience.
A professional food stylist, Kate’s eye for the unusual is matched by her taste for the unusual and that, combined with her passion for food and people, saw her as the instigator of the wildly successful Whangaripo Valley Wildfood Festival.
Off the back of the festival Kate has joined forces with local legend, forager and food author Amber Rose to bring you a foraged lunch experience like no other.
Amber Rose’s love of food and her passion for the rituals surrounding it stems from her childhood – growing up near the Northland town of Kaiwaka, where she roamed free, milked cows, made bread, grew vegetables and foraged honey and other wild foods.
Her mother is Queen’s Honour recipient Kaye Baxter, founder of heritage food plant collection Koanga Institute.
Amber is the author of three books, her most recent Wild Delicious (2018) is a story of homecoming. After years of living in London, working as a doula and a chef to the stars, Amber is home rediscovering her roots and reconnecting with her land.
She spends her days being a solo mum of two, cooking, fermenting, writing, teaching, travelling, learning, foraging, gardening and sharing her endless knowledge of plants and food with others.
Amber will guide you through your foraged lunch experience.