RIVER COTTAGE FOOD FAIR
Sustainability and Seasonality
Food from the land; this is the driving force at the heart of River Cottage and what better way to celebrate this than the annual food-fair, held on-site. This year’s food fair took place over the late bank holiday weekend – it was a beautifully sunny day to enjoy the cooking demos, growing tours and most importantly – trying some delicious home-cooked produce from producers and suppliers across the South West.
Its a foodie’s affair
The fair included a line-up of some of the finest food-talent and speakers including Yottam Ottolenghi, Kate Humble and Samin Nosrat to provide thought provoking and possibly controversial, debate and discussions, with some of the usual suspects from the talented River Cottage team including Gill Meller, Steven Lamb and John Wright.
Set in the most idyllic of grounds, the family-friendly annual event is every food lover’s dream and a chance to learn new culinary skills, get up close to the animals as well as being treated to wonderful entertainment such as chef demos, cooking over fire in the new BBQ area, artisan food stalls, craft workshops, master-classes, interesting talks, as well as live music.
With my schedule at its busiest in May, I arrived feeling fully-charged, my mind churning over my ever-increasing to-do list and my abandoned laptop, yet after walking the steep path to the courtyard gardens, I sensed this ebbing away as I began to relax in the beautiful surrounds, fully immersing myself in the many foodie treats on offer.
A few of my highlights included the beautiful wild blooms from Meadow Sweet – flowers and floristry, Real Kombucha, brewed deep in the Chiltern Hills, Eko Earth, offering a range of eco products from cleaning sponges and toothbrushes to, soaps, lip balms and durable dog toys, The Sunshine Binery for handmade recycled books and paper and my personal fave - Fieldware Co, based in Somerset – makers of waxed cotton aprons, dedicated to supplying British made, utilitarian work-wear that is hardwearing and improves with age, the aprons are aesthetically pleasing, surprisingly tactile, well made and look great on too.
We ate freshly-prepared River Cottage egg noodle pots with pulled pork and sampled an array of local cheeses and gins, including Godminster smoked cheddar and the new limited edition Exmoor Gold gin from Wicked Wolf, followed up with homemade beetroot and chocolate brownies. We only managed to scratch the surface of the vast array of incredible food and drink on offer, but it proved to be a real eye-opener to the sheer volume of high quality produce that is home to the West Country.
River Cottage Festival, 24-25 August 2019
In his celebratory 20th year of River Cottage, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is set to throw open the farm gates once again for a very special River Cottage Festival. The renowned annual event, held at River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders over the August Bank Holiday weekend, promises to be a fabulous mix of food, live music and special guests including Anita Rani, Giles Yeo, Valentine Warner, Alice Temperley.
Thanks to Matt Austin for the addition of his superb images featured throughout this post.
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