English countryside is pretty spectacular and I find that although I have travelled abroad a lot I have not visited that many places in the UK. When I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at River Cottage HQ in Axminster Devon I jumped at the chance.What better way to explore beautiful English Countryside and at the same time spend a day with foodie friends doing what I love the most "cooking" at the awesome River cottage HQ Cookery School and farm.
My trip to River cottage spread over three days and two nights. Together with my best foodie pals Heidi, Tina and Manjiri. We stayed at an awesome B&B called Millwater House in Axminster. The place was really lovely set is beautiful gardens with lovely scenery and views.
On our 1st day we just spent the afternoon exploring the town of Axminster and shopping for food photography props!!! We found an Aladdin's cave of treasures or how can I say a food bloggers dream shop. You didn't think that a food blogger could go on a foodie trip and not come back with props did you??? But this is content for another blog post so wait and watch.
In the evening we all went to the lovely coastal town of Lyme Regis for dinner. Lyme Regis is very pretty and we were really lucky with the weather and managed to take some really nice photos of the Jurassic coastal Line.
We were greeted in style to charge up for the day with fresh coffee and pastries after which we split into three groups to enjoy the day's sessions.My first session was a tour around the farm and its vegetable and fruit gardens.
I was amazed at all the crops they grow, together with the wild flowers and herbs which are all used in the River Cottage Kitchens.The head gardener explained to us all about crop rotation and how they group plants to get the best out of them, We also walked around the meadows and had close encounter with the chickens and pigs.
Our second session of the day was a bread and home made butter making class. We foraged for fresh blackberries and wild flowers before we set about making Apple and blackberry soda bread together with home made butter with wild flowers.
I did not realise that making butter at home could be so easy, that is if you have a hand mixer otherwise your arms will drop off from sheer exhaustion if you whisk it by hand!!
After the baking sessions our tummies were rumbling with the glorious smells coming from the River Cottage HQ kitchens. Lunch was delicious, the non vegetarians enjoyed Ravioli with pork filling whilst the vegetarians had a lovely ravioli filled with goats cheese and all served an a beautiful sauce made from a medley of vegetables from the River Cottage gardens. We also enjoyed fresh corn on the cob with delicious home made bread and butter. The dessert that followed was simply delectable, we had salted caramel and vanilla ice cream with fennel infused meringue and damson sauce.
After lunch we did a food styling session with Lucy Heath from Capture by Lucy. We had some hands on training on styling and learnt some really useful tips about creating the right moods with props and lightening. I was so captivated listening to Lucy that I did not get time to do the exercise she had set us about photographing some produce from three different angles.
The day ended with a final networking session before we were transported back up the hill via the bumpity tractor to make our way home.
In the evening we went out for dinner again to Lyme Regis and the next day we explored some more of the wonderful English country side by going to another coastal town called Beer. Beer is beautiful coastal town full of tiny quaint shops and alleyways. Devon is a beautiful place and I will most definitely return back there in the summer next year.
What an amazing and fun filled day we had at River Cottage HQ. I would like to thank Foodies 100 and River Cottage HQ for inviting me. All views and opinions expressed in this post are of my own experience and unbiased.
You can read about some of the other reviews of River Cottage Bloggers day below.
Heidi's experience of River Cottage here.
Jane Sarchet's experience of River Cottage here
Choclette's experience of River Cottage here
Anne Szadorska's experience of River Cottage here
Claire Jessiman's experience of River Cottage here
Sus Davy's experience of River Cottage here
Rebecca Anns's experience of River Cottage here