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by Ken O’Neill

The days are short and the nights are feeling colder and darker.  What you really want is something to warm your cockles up and bring a grin to your face.  Well, luckily for you, the Forest is able to serve up two offerings of frosty fun for everybody to enjoy.  Do you want to play?  Eat?  Drink?  Create very merry fun?  Then the CallooCallay! and the Forest Frosty Feast are just the events for you!  While the one is a vegan banquet that will rock your woolly socks, the other is an exhilerating and exciting Edinburgh Scavenger Hunt.  Can you guess which one is which?


Over the last few months you’ve probably noticed an absence from the Edinburgh arts scene since the Forest had to leave Bristo Place.  We didn’t want to leave, but the landlord thought it would help sell the building to have it empty.  So it goes and we move on.  While we continue the hunt for a suitable home – we’re currently in discussion about some properties but can’t say anything just yet – that’s no reason we can’t bring you some glittery, dervishly wild and just plain daft fun while serving up some tasty food at the same time.  After all, that pretty much sums up an average Forest day, so we’re offering it up to you on Saturday 10th December.


For those wanting to work up an appetite, there’s fun and games throughout our CallooCallay! The Great Edinburgh Scavenger Hunt!  Can you find a seashell in the city?  Kiss Sir Walter Scott?  Find a hero for a policeman?  Shoot the Urban Fox?  If not, here’s your chance to see if you can.  CallooCallay! sees teams, a maximum of four people in each, take part in a city-wide, all-day treasure hunt, competing for a  cash prize of £100.  The teams will need to solve as many clues as possible to bring back the most interesting, original, lovely, exciting and funny objects they can.


CallooCallay! is about knowing the city – the more inspired the responses, the more points.  For some you’ll have to scavenge, in others you’ll need to scrounge, beg, borrow or blag.  For other clues you need to uncover, recover, discover, find or make the objects.  However you choose to answer the clues, you will need to get the objects to the Old St Paul’s Church (63 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DH) by 5 PM.  During the day you’ll encounter artists scattered all over Edinburgh who will provide answers to some clues.  The more teams enter, the more competitive and fun the event will be so encourage your friends to sign up too.  The entry fee is £10 per team, or £15 pounds on the day.  Teams can gain entry to the scavenger hunt and the Frosty Forest Feast for a combined price of £35.  Teams can register at


Traditionally the end of the year is a time to meet up with friends and family to celebrate.  We thought the Forest not having a home at the moment was no reason not to invite all our friends along for a meal.  That’s why hand-picked volunteers will take over the Old St Paul’s kitchens to rustle up the Forest Frosty Feast.  This is going to be the cosiest vegan banquet of the year and will rock your woolly socks in a most desirable way.  The talented and astoundingly beautiful Forest volunteers will prepare a very special and truly scrumptious three course winter menu, all prepared with seasonal Scottish ingredients and 100% love.  Each dish will come accompanied by cosy live music and the possibility of some dance-y glittery surprises!  Doors open at 1900 and the banquet will go on ’til late, with music supplied by Hailey Beavis, Kim and Lizzy, Alex’s Hilarious Enterprises Unltd and a rather special Forest surprise.


Tickets are £7-10, with all profits going to the Save the Forest fund.  The event is BYOB but there is no corkage on the night.  Tickets are now available from the Forest’s friends – the Chocolate Tree (123 Bruntsfield Place, Bruntsfield) and the Word of Mouth Cafe (3A Albert St, Leith) – as well as by email –