Imagine our delight when we opened our Christmas gift from one of my sister-in-laws to find a River Cottage card and a gift card enclosed. Bucket list item for a few years – now we had the perfect excuse to get one booked! So we did just that, signed up for a one day course for the beginning of May.
After much discussion we decided on the River Cottage Experience day. It gave us a bit of everything, cookery, animals, vegetables and a dinner in the evening cooked on site in their iconic dining room. We were extremely excited!
The day started with an early morning drive through a few counties ending up on the Devon, Dorset border – a drive I enjoy as I always know we will end up in some beautiful countryside.
Our day began with a tractor ride down the iconic driveway and a small breakfast of egg, sausage and rhubarb ketchup. Yup, you heard me rhubarb ketchup. It was a revelation and we have made some since at home, seriously you should try it! Once we had finished eating we set about to make our first item of the day – bread!
We had both made bread before but it was really therapeutic to get back to basics doing it all by hand, letting it prove for the right amount of time and using a wonderful grain called Malt Star.
We took a tour of the gardens, fields and saw the animals (pigs, chickens, sheep) before making pizza and having it cooked in a wood burning stove for lunch!
The afternoon was filled with making scotch eggs, pasta with a stinging nettle filling and some shortbread. We were instructed on what to do by one of their amazing staff and had a great time learning new skills. Who knew making amazing scotch eggs would be so easy!
Once we had finished cooking we watched a demo on butchering half a pig, something that fascinates husband and I and is now on the bucket list as a course to do in its own right! They then explained to us how to cure our own bacon and gave us a small portion to take home!
We finally settled down to some dinner – elements of it we had cooked, before taking us back in the tractor up the drive.
It was a great day, long and tiring but filled with awesome food, new skills and was one of my favourite days ever!