Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Third Annual 2014 Ledbury Quail Hunt

Saturday we spent the better part of the afternoon soaking in the crisp fall air and early sunset at Ledbury's 3rd annual Quail Hunt gathering.

For those unfamiliar, Ledbury is a luxury menswear brand rooted locally here in Richmond, but garnering global attention. I've had the chance to work with them on a recipe collaboration this past year, and was excited to attend this annual gathering.

While we didn't participate in the actual quail hunt, we had fun taking in the scenery at Orapax Hunting Preserve, where the event and reception took place. Orapax is located just outside Richmond in Goochland, Virginia — it's a plantation neither Mary nor I had been to before, so it was a lot of fun walking around the old barns and exploring the fields on the grounds.

Mary wanted to walk all around, and who am I kidding — I'd follow this gal anywhere...

Just beyond the Orapax barn and siloh sat the humble clubhouse, filled and surrounded by guys fresh from the hunt, recounting the ups and downs from their day.

Just beyond the clubhouse opened up into an almost indescribable view of open fields and woods, which was the setting for the Ledbury gathering to welcome the huntsman back from their pursuit. Bright flecks of neon would catch our eyes underneath the beautiful strands of string lights, signifying the hunters among all of us in the crowd.

There were picnic tables, hay bales and wooden adirondack chairs scattered around the grounds, but most attendees were on their feet, eager to partake in the handcrafted cocktails from local RVA bartenders:

For our first round, Mary opted for "The Winchester" while I went with "The Woodsman" — hey, if there's scotch involved, it's a no brainer for me.

We were greeted by blues tunes belted out by Josh Small and Andrew Alli. Mary loved the fact they were sitting atop a spread of Hudson Bay blankets (it's the details!):

Further off, there was a cleaning station where the quails from the hunt were prepared, and just along the waterfront was a freshly built bonfire setting that would later light up the early evening:

A few steps over we found chef Owen Lane and his wife, Tiffany, of The Magpie cooking up quite the southern spread over a makeshift kitchen of cinder blocks and a stainless steel sheet:

By the looks of the menu, I'm sure you can gather that everyone enjoyed this fall spread!


Guess who enjoyed the pumpkin custard the most?

To wrap up the afternoon, the bonfire was lit to the sounds of live music while roasted marshmallows over an open flame:

It was an incredible way to spend the crisp fall afternoon — we had such a great time and hope to go back again next year.

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