Thursday 8 October 2015

A day at River Cottage HQ -Devon

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.

Day two after enjoying a lush cooked vegetarian breakfast we headed over to River Cottage for our day there. The farm is set in acres of farmland and we were  all transported down to the River Cottage Cookery school in a tractor. The ride down the steep hill was most certainly an experience as most of us squealed like a bunch of teenagers as we bumped down the hill.

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


  1. The Jurassic coastal line is called Charmouth. I went there a lot as a child and have lots of fossils.

    I followed the day at River Cottage on Instagram and Twitter, it looks like you all had such a fantastic time.The food looks absolutely gorgeous!

    Laura x x x

  2. How lovely that you were able to take a couple of days and get the most out of your visit to Devon. Looks like a lot of fun at River Cottage.

  3. I missed the morning pastries, as my sat nav sent me in the wrong direction... I wish there had been more introductions as I would have liked to of met you in person!

    Really enjoyed making the butter - agree was wonderful to discover it could be made by using the hand mixer!!

  4. Sounds like a great time was had by all!

  5. It was really lovely to meet you at RC HQ and sit next to you at lunch. It's great to see your pics and how everyone's posts are slightly different. Hope to see you again at another event soon :)

  6. I absolutely love Devon, and it looks like you had an amazing stay! All that food looks delicious, I'm so jealous I would've loved to have visited River Cottage HQ, I really should start cooking more x

    Ami | perksofbeingami

  7. The UK does have some awesome, beautiful places. My cousin and his family decided to take their summer holiday in UK itself instead of looking for exotic places abroad. They too showed us amazing, beautiful photos. Maybe one day when I not in London for a family wedding, may visit some of these beautiful places and also learn and experience a bit about the local produces and cuisine.

  8. Such beautiful place.. Thanks for sharing the pics.. How nice to go on an outing with friends .. so much fun.

  9. Seems like you guys had an amazing day and that soda bead looks so good.

  10. Sounds like such a great experience, what a treat!


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