River Cottage – near Axminster in Devon – is multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall‘s baby. Whittingstall is known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food and River Cottage is the smallholding where it all started, it is the set for his channel 4 River Cottage cookery shows, the home of his cookery school and restaurant. It is a one stop organic culinary heaven.
I car-shared with Lauren from Eating Exeter and Tara from Tara’s busy kitchen and we got there with half an hour to spare, bumping into fellow Devon bloggers Pippa (The slimming foodie), Hayley (Sparkles and stretchmarks), Amy (Devonshire Woman), Ali (Mum in a nutshell), and Claire from flip flops or wellies.
We took the tractor down to the farm and had a wander around the cottage, the kitchen the filming takes place in, the gardens and the yurt.
Inside the demo room we helped ourselves to a welcome drink and some delicious canapés and then we were seated to learn some simple tips for Christmas cooking.
Senior Chef Andy Tyrrell showed us how to make ham from pork shoulder, brine chicken and make Venison Bresaola – it is amazing how easy it is to cure meat and I picked up some great tips for Christmas dinner this year for the meat eaters in the family.
Then we got to try some roasted carrot hummus on gluten free bread which was absolutely delicious.
Dinner time came and we were all starving! Chef Samuel Lomas talked us through the menu.
The food was amazing, I am a massive fan of celeriac and was excited by the celeriac ravioli with wild mushrooms and leaves to start and it didn’t disappoint.
The main course was parsnip and potato rosti with a perfectly poached egg, fried savoy cabbage and braised beans. Never before has cabbage tasted SO good, it was perfectly cooked and tasted sweet.
For dessert we had a delicious honeycomb créme brulée with apple purée and apple crisps, I wanted to lick my plate clean it was so tasty (obviously I restrained myself).
The River Cottage Sparkling Elderflower wine was a delicious taste sensation, it was very palatable and I will definitely be ordering some for our Christmas dinner.
We were made to feel very welcome at River Cottage, during the meal we even got to watch the chefs at work in the kitchen.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful staff at River Cottage and to the guys at Foodies100 for a fabulous evening, I will definitely be coming back to visit River Cottage again.
Disclosure: I was invited to spend an afternoon and evening at the River Cottage as a guest of River Cottage and Foodies 100, it would be impossible to write a bad review – it was fantastic!