On a sunny day last week I headed off to River Cottage near Axminster to join in with the One Day Course at their beautiful HQ.
Cars parked we strolled over to stand outside the shelter in the sunshine and chat to some of the excited people looking forward to a culinary day. Apart from our one day course there was also a Cheese Making Day and those armed with tuppaware were heading for a fun time in the Cheese Barn.
Within a few minutes the tractor arrived to take us down to the Farm where our day would begin. More chats and lovely views as we trundled down the hill. A few minutes later we were welcomed into the beautifully converted barn by Jo who gave an introductory talk about the day and offered us teas and coffees with a view to die for.
She introduced us to Andy who was our chef and course tutor for the day who then took over. Andy told us what we would be cooking and with murmurs of ooh, yum, he introduced us to Bread.
This was not what I was expecting, he gave us loads of tips, what flour to use, a secret ingredient and the way to get the perfect rise. We set off to our stations to give it a go.
Being situated next to Carmen who was Spanish and had been given the course by her lovely husband, was lots of fun – we got on well and enjoyed working together.
The day whizzed by, after the Bread came the Meat, half a pig on the counter taught us exactly where each cut comes from – so interesting – followed with a mouth watering belly of pork recipe. Inbetween all this, we were shown how to build your own smoke house and smoke a fillet of pork – it was totally delicious!
Then onto the Fish – Oh my word – what a joy to now be able to impress friends and family with a fish dish from heaven. Not only did we create the most delicious white fish with asparagus and fresh herbs, we actually learned to fillet the fish. After the demonstation we were outside in the sunshine, descaling these freshly caught Pollack and then back to the stations for the filleting and 7 minutes of cooking.
Sitting outside at cafe tables at lunchtime, swapping notes on the morning was brilliant – a great atmosphere that I wanted to bottle and take home.
The afternoon went by punctuated by cold drinks and more demonstations – starring another firm favourite – rhubarb and creme pat in a perfect pastry case – totally scrumptious. Andy steered us through the pastry making and we finished off our loaves, there were 14 very proud bakers by the end of the day!
I can’t wait to go back, such a wonderfully stress free way of learning such an essential skill, to be able to create these fabulous meals at home is something so many of us just don’t think we can do. River Cottage have given us the knowledge and confidence to cook food that we had only dreamed of before – thank you, I will be back for more!
If you would like to visit the award winning cookery school at River Cottage HQ for a course, you’ll master new kitchen skills in the most idyllic of settings, with a day of interactive learning filled with techniques and ideas that will inspire you to get cooking at home.
And if cooking’s not your thing, there are loads more options to choose, bee keeping, forageing and veg growing to name a few. Just click on the link here to see the full list of courses.
And if you would like to find somewhere close by to stay, we’ve got a few lovely properties to show you…
Sleeps 16 | Bedrooms: 6 | From £1,133
Lyme Regis, Dorset
Sleeps 5 | Bedrooms: 2 | From £665
Nr Axminster, Devon
Sleeps 12+1 | Bedrooms: 6 | From £2,560
If you’re planning to get away for a June break with your dog, cat or budgie, click on our pet friendly cottages. We’ve got a great selection of Holiday Cottages in the UK and if you’re planning a weekend away, just check out our short break cottages – do call our Mulberry Cottages booking team on 01227 464958 if you’d prefer to talk or email us on email@example.com
You may not know, we have a great Short Lets department and for those in need of a place to stay for longer than 2 weeks and up to 6 months, so if you’re between houses, or for any other reason need a home for this length of time, call our Short Lets on 01227 806316 or click here to see what’s available.