Last week saw another trip to Devon, to attend an evening soirée at River Cottage. It has been just over a year since my last trip there, and I was excited to explore the place once again. River Cottage, was of course made famous by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his famous Channel 4 show. Hugh has a wide range of cook books, and has been vital in promoting reducing waste. At his River Cottage Canteens, nothing goes to landfill!
I travelled down with some local bloggers; Chris from Thinly Spread, Kate from Veggie Desserts and Diana from Little Sunny Kitchen. We all live within 30 minutes of each other, and it was good to have a natter and catch up on the way down. We arrived and rain welcomed us. We ran into the shelter and huddled around the wood burner until our chauffeur driven tractor ride arrived to collect us. The ride takes 10 minutes, down a bumpy mud track, but the views across the Devon landscape and down onto the farm were stunning.
We managed to have a quick wander around the gardens, checking out their autumnal crops, before heading into the main barn to watch a cookery demo from one of the chefs. Unfortunately it was a rather meaty one, so I took in the surroundings and had a nosey around. After the demo, we headed into their yurt, to play some foodie games around a large fire. A selection of items were placed into a box, and we had to stick our hands in and guess the item. I thought I had done pretty well but missed out some key items (persimmon, chestnuts!). After the games, we all sat down in the cottage and had a discussion on blogging, and collaborative blogging.
We were called into the main barn for dinner. We were welcomed with apple brandy and a selection of canapés. I was sat next to Tara from Tara’s Busy Kitchen, and Ceri from Natural Kitchen Adventures. We had a good natter about produce and our favourite ingredients. Dinner consisted of a roasted romanesco amuse bouche; celeriac ravioli with with mushrooms starter; parsnip rosti, poached egg, pan-fried cabbage with carrot puree, with a side of Hodmedod’s haricot beans in tomato, fennel and onions. I ended the meal with a small platter of local goat’s cheese with pear and apple (and watched in envy as everyone else tucked into their creme brûlées… damn this no sugar malarky!) It was a beautiful, seasonal feast. The chefs at River Cottage have no set menu, and decide on the day what to make, using the veg and produce that are picked from the gardens or from nearby farms.
The evening had flown by and all too soon it was time to say our goodbyes. We ran through the rain and hopped back on the tractor, to head back up to the car park and then home.
Do you fancy getting festive at River Cottage? You can find more information and details on their events here.
Thanks to Foodies100 and River Cottage for inviting me on this trip. All opinions are my own.