When we first decided to visit Dorset and Devon we were delighted to discover that there was a Summer Nights evening at River Cottage HQ on a night we planned to be there so made our booking online.
What a fabulous experience it was. The giant tractor with a trailer met us at the top of the hill and we travelled down to the farm in the valley. The guests gathered in a Yurt for an official welcome to River Cottage for canapés and a delicious brandy liqueur or elderberry cordial …needless to say we tried the brandy liqueur😜
We then had an hour or so to wander the country gardens and explore the original thatched cottage, the Cooking School or the small shop before gathering in the hall at 2 long communal tables.
The Chef, Gareth, then introduced us to the menu all prepared from fresh seasonal produce sourced from their organic farms. We had:
Smoked Mackerel with runner beans, dressed with fennel and laced with cream
Courgette, Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup
Roasted Stuffed Guinea Fowl, creamy potatoes with bacon and shallots, beets and baby cabbages.
Panacotta with Plums and a Ginger wafer
Tea or Coffee and Petit Fours
The meal was superb and accompanied by organic wines. The company was convivial with everyone joining in the spirit of the evening, freely chatting and sharing experiences.
When it was time to leave it was very dark and we joined other diners waiting for our tractor ride back up the hill. The farm tractors around here are amazing …so tall! Indeed as the iron giant lumbered and jerked its way down the hill to meet us, with its huge headlights, it looked and sounded a little like a character from a Mad Max movie.
What an experience! If you ever get a chance to visit River Cottage HQ we think you would love it as much as we did!