Sunday, 25 May 2014

River Cottage Food Fair

This weekend we visited River Cottage Food Fair. When we booked in March we dreamed on blue skies and sunshine. It wasn't quite like that!


Why does it always rain on bank holiday weekends? Yesterday, on the first day of the event, the weather was so wet that some cars had to be turned away as the fields became more and more muddy. The weather improved today but Wellington boots were essential!


At least the ducks were making the most of the puddles!


Regular readers will know that we have visited River Cottage before and the reason we keep returning is...


 1) Because the vegetable garden is always a magical place to be.......



 2) Their passion for promoting fresh seasonal food through growing, influencing people's shopping habits and cooking and of course Hugh....


3) The food  is always amazing, this time- carrot hummus, beetroot hummus and raw salad with flatbread,
(the recipes for the hummus recipes are in the River Cottage veg book.)


4) The location situated in a beautiful valley on the borders of Dorset and Devon.




 5) And the inspiration .........


 This beautiful  flower was in some of the vegetable borders, it is a green manure that attracts the insects called phacelia.

Mixture of herbs in a old wash tub, chives mixed with tulips in an animal feed container and strawberry plants in a wooden box.

 6) Beautiful planting ideas in unusual containers.


7) Fantastic Food from local producers. The cheeses were sublime and we didn't come home empty handed. We tasted cricket pate and caterpillar pate, it didn't taste too bad - the thought of what you were eating was worse!

I hope you have had a drier weekend and have had fun whatever you have been doing.
Welcome to  my new followers and thank you for all the lovely comments in my last post about our garden.
Sarah x

53 comments:

  1. What inspiration!! Not a great fan of H F-W but his garden looks amazing!! Please tell me you did see ONE weed!!!!
    Heading Dorset way next weekend Yay-hay!!!

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    1. We did see some buttercups amongst the broad beans! Hope you have better weather next weekend! Sarah x

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  2. It sounds great, what a lovely way to spend the weekend.

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  3. What a wonderful place. How nice to see the beautiful natural scenery !
    Greetings

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  4. Oh Sarah, the magic INDEED! It finally struck me why Wellingtons are so popular or rather invented in England; they are essential with all the rain! But look at the beautiful countryside and the veggie gardens! I would eat my way through my shopping extravaganza! And cricket pâté? WOWOOWOWOOW! I just love your countryside and seaside shares dear Sarah. Enjoy the wonderful weekend! Anita

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  5. It looks like an amazing place, I'm glad you had such a lovely visit. The vegetable gardens are really inspirational.

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  6. It wasn't really caterpillars was it Sarah?!!

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    1. It really was caterpillars but it was a very tiny sample. The lady next to us was a vegetarian and tried some too. It is believed that eating insects will be part of our diet in years to come! They are meant to be a good source of protein and low fat. Sarah x

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  7. I wonder if you saw Jack Monroe who was cooking with Allegra McEvedy today in the Food Tent at River Cottage. She seems to be everywhere these days - Question Time last week - I follow her blog, she is a great character.
    I love the idea of planting in the wooden crates.

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    1. That's shame I didn't realise that Jack Monroe was there today I would have loved to have seen her! I saw she was doing book signing tomorrow and assumed she was only there for the day. Sarah x

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  8. That looks a wonderful way to spend the day Sarah. How tidy are those veg plots - they put mine to shame! Lots of ideas and inspiration for you to take away with you. I try and plant in all sorts of unusual containers. This year I have outdoor tomatoes in an old water tank - they are doing ok too.

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  9. This looked like a really good day out. Your photos have really brought it all to life.

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  10. Hi Sarah, well what can I say, I am not one who is envious at all, but this post has made me envious! I would love to visit River Cottage some day and meet HFW...how fortunate you were...the veggie gardens all look so green and lush...makes me want to plant some veg...a lot painting and decorating went on this weekend... Hugs Sharon xx

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  11. Your photos are always so beautiful! It looks like you all have a wonderful day - have a happy week!

    xox

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  12. I've read about this place before and have always thought it would be nice to visit. Thank you for sharing your photos and experiences of your visit.

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  13. What a wonderful weekend, Sarah! I also like unusual pots and I got two new at the weekend.
    We had a meeting with other gardeners.

    Sigrun

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  14. OOh wonderful, another River Cottage outing for you! We still intend to get to one of them, our last visit wasn't timed with any events. Will be fun to go with you! What a wonderful day and inspirational outing indeed. We've just had our second season of River Cottage Australia begin here and I'm loving it still. (although I can never watch animal slaughtering even though it's humane. I'm a sensitive sort to blood etc so I put my hand up to cover the tv!). Happy week to you friend.

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    1. I shall have look out for the second edition of River Cottage Australia on you tube.We enjoyed the first one! I am just the same as you when it comes to the slaughtering of animals. I know one day we will visit the one here with you! Sarah x

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  15. My favourite cookbook is Everyday Veg, I use it a lot. I would love to visit River Cottage it looks fabulous xxx

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  16. I would say, well worth going, no matter what the weather Sarah.
    What a delightful interesting veggi garden. Some great ideas there.
    love the box ideas and the tin container.. Nothing better than fresh organic veggies.
    Here where I live, the veggies are grown and sold in our local little village shop. Taste is so fresh .
    Great wellie stands ):-
    Enjoyed visiting with you.
    happy Monday.. valx

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    1. I agree there is nothing like fresh vegetables is there? Sarah x

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  17. Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend, some great ideas for the veggies containers.

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  18. Hugh is a lovely guy...Meet him a few years back at the
    Sturminster Newton, Cheese Festival..He's always been
    a favourite of mine, don't like an awful lot of TV chefs, but,
    he's one of the best...Really down to earth...!
    Also like Keith Floyd, Rick Stein, Queen Delia....That's
    about it...! The UK is rather weak when it comes to food,
    and cooking.... ! Take a look at..Diners, Drive~Ins and Dives,
    and, Bizzare Foods..America...On The food channel, late
    afternoons...It's on Freeview to...40~41..I think....!

    And, no, l've never been to River Cottage..Silly really, it's just
    down from me...! Really loved the TV series to, and, still watch the
    repeats...Great pass time....! :).

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    1. I have met Hugh too on a couple of occasions and he is just like on the TV. Can't get that channel on our freeview here which is a shame. I enjoy watching the chefs you mention above too! Sarah x

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  19. ugh I don't think I could have eaten that! You're right though it's just the thought... we had a lot of rain Sat morning but since then it's been dry and sunny, just windy but that's the being by the sea bit! x

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  20. There is no way that I could have had the pates, but I have had the hummous before and it is very tasty indeed isn't it! Glad that you had such a good time, but shame about the weather. The fact that you had a good time anyway means that it must have been really worth it which is good to know! xx

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  21. It looks wonderful, I'm not much good in the garden so I'm not sure if I'd feel inspired or overwhelmed. I'd certainly be buying some of the produce , not sure about cricket pate though ;-)
    We've had quite a bit of sunshine here, we've been lucky.

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  22. I'm sorry you had such a rainy weekend, but it looks like it was a great experience in spite of the weather. I have that River Cottage Veg cookbook - thanks for point out the hummus recipes. I'm going to go have a look at them. And I must say, you were very brave to try the insects pates.

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  23. Now that's looks right up my street, I'd love to go.....maybe one day! Thanks for sharing :) x

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  24. What a great way to spend a wet weekend. We headed off to North Devon - Lynmouth - and had some spectacular rain but also a host of magical moments and happy sunshine too. Love your garden from the previous post - I just can't get going with mine this year. We're specialising in buttercups!!!

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  25. What a lovely event Sarah! River cottage looks like a beautiful place to me. I can remember seeing it on television. Sorry the weather was not as you hoped! The photo's you made look beautiful though!

    Happy week!

    Madelief x

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  26. It's pouring with rain as I write, but the garden doesn't mind. Would you be able to let me know what that purple flower is that attracts the beneficial insect? Would appreciate that. Rain or no rain, what a grand day you had. Love the photos.

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    1. The purple flower is called phacelia see more about it and green manures here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/howtogrow/9200394/Sow-a-patch-and-replenish-your-plot.html.
      Sarah x

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  27. Glad the weather didn't dampen your spirits - and was the caterpillar pate green? I don't think I could have eaten it, you're very brave! Lovely to see the photos of the veg garden, that would have been my favourite spot too. I'm interested to see the lettuces spaced so far apart; maybe that's why the slugs keep getting at mine, they must be planted too close together!!

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    1. Both pates were more of a beige or brown colour. The lettuces did look planted very precisely but undercover the salad crops were planted very closely together. I wish there was a soltion to get rid of the slugs and snails! Sarah x

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  28. I didn't realise about the Fair, another time it's certainly a must visit so thanks for the post. Nudge me when the next event is please Sarah.

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  29. They used to run them a few times a year. I have just looked at events on the River cottage web site http://www.rivercottage.net/events and it doesn't look as if they have any more planned this year. They do run courses and have dining experiences too. Sarah x

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  30. Sorry to go on about the caterpillars - but what about the butterflies?? Maybe if we are going to eat insects we could solve the slug and snail problem by eating them instead?

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    1. I suppose they would be produced on a large commercial scale? I can't imagine how slugs could ever be appetizing - they are covered in so much slime! Sarah x

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  31. Looks fabulous! I have a single phacelia plant grown from seeds sent to me from Canada. I'm hoping it likes my American garden as much as the UK and Canada. What kind of caterpillars were used to make the pate?

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  32. We really must get there on year. I was stalling out at Bridport Vintage Market on Sunday and the girl on a stall next to me had been to River Cottage the day before but left after their gazebo was trashed by the wind and rain and their van got stuck in the mud ... such a shame. It looks a lovely place. Not sure about the insect pate!! M x

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  33. I`ll pass on the insect pate too, but I would love to visit that garden!

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  34. Looks an amazing place, such a shame about the weather. Not too sure about insect pate :( Suzy x

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  35. What a wet weekend it was too! It looks a lovely place - must try and get there some time.

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  36. I'm so glad you could visit River Cottage, Sarah. I'm a great fan of Hugh and I love your photos of the vegetable garden. I must visit it one day :)

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  37. I'm sorry to hear that the weather was not so good, but your pictures are great. What a nice place. Lovely greetings

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  38. Looks wonderful Sarah I love to watch River cottage on TV.

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  39. These are some beautiful photos. Sorry to hear your weekend was rainy, but glad to hear you still had a great time!

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  40. Bloomin' weather - I have booked some sunshine for the weekend though! Lovely to visit these places with you - I used to grow that green manure on our old allotment years ago.
    Sunny days ahead
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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  41. I am so envious. We watch River Cottage here in Australia, and its my dream to visit there one day. Your photos are wonderful and make me even more determined to go there one day soon.

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  42. How wonderful, despite the weather, that you were able to visit River Cottage again. And isn't Phacelia wonderful.

    I'm off to look out my River Cottage veg book, now you've reminded me about the humous!

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  43. Dear Sarah,

    Did leave a comment but it seemed to disappear -
    It must have been fun visiting River Cottage again and such a gorgeous place.
    We enjoy watching Hugh's shows here - isn't his garden wonderful - oh to have a garden with fresh vegetables and fruit from there.
    hugs
    Carolyn

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