I was delighted to recently be invited back to the famous River Cottage in Axminster for a blogger evening with Foodies100.
One of the many lovely things about blogging is that I get wonderful opportunities. From a cookery class in Paris or a night in the Eden Project, it's amazing to step away from the laptop and head out on an adventure. So I was delighted to get the chance to head to River Cottage, made famous by my favourite telly chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for a blogger meetup. I love Hugh's Veg cookbook, but I really admire the work that he's done to shine a massive spotlight on the need to reduce food waste.
I headed down to River Cottage with a lovely group of local bloggers, Chris from Thinly Spread, Sus from Rough Measures and Diana from Little Sunny Kitchen. We had a fab road trip together, talking all things life and blogging.
We arrived at the very rural River Cottage HQ and were taken on a bumpy tractor ride down to the farm. After a bit of mingling things got underway with a cookery demo, which was, well, rather meaty. Us vegetarians (and there were a lot of us!) were rather squeamish about it, but the chef was engaging and very knowledgable. I took the opportunity to spot a few recognisable blogger faces in the audience.
We were treated to lovely canapes throughout the evening and a glass of apple brandy. Shortly after, we split into groups and I headed off with mine to the yurt. It was toasty from the huge woodburner and we all piled in to chat. There was a game to stick your hand in a box and determine what objects were in it by feel. I did terribly. After that it was off for a group discussion in the farmhouse about blogging.
A few more canapes later and we sat down to a four course dinner, plus lots of chatter and meeting other bloggers.
We enjoyed a romanesco amuse bouche, followed by a starter of celeriac ravioli with mushrooms.
The chef told us that they don't have any set menus at River Cottage, instead they just get the produce that's available on the farm, or neighbouring farms, that day and see what they can come up with. It sounds like a lovely daily challenge for the chefs.
Our veggie main was a parsnip rosti and barbecue beans, then we finished off with honeycomb creme brulee and apple compote. But wait... there was even more. Soon chocolate orange truffles and homemade digestives made the rounds. I was seriously full at this stage!
It was a lovely evening with great food and great company. I hope you get the chance to visit River Cottage HQ!
River Cottage says, "Our River Cottage HQ, found on the Devon and Dorset border, is home to everything we do and is the base for our Cookery and Chefs' School, unique dining experiences and memorable events. It's our greatest delight to share our passion for food integrity and consumption of local, seasonal produce with tens of thousands of people every year."
Disclosure: I was a guest of River Cottage at the event. All opinions are my own.