A day with Gill Mellor at River Cottage HQ, a night at Park Farm
This Spring, the wonderfully talented Liselotte Forslin and I escaped to Devon for a couple of days and immersed ourselves in cooking, eating and the whole experience that is River Cottage where they really do practice what they preach vis a vis local produce, sustainability, seasonality and provenance.
We were lucky enough to stay in Park Farm (the farmhouse we all know from the TV series) a fabulous traditional West Country 17th century long house that had only just been sympathetically refurbished with crafted fixtures and fittings from British manufacturers and restored into a stunning living space. All the original farmhouse features had been lovingly retained and combined with modern functionality to make it a super comfortable place to stay brimming with charm.
We had booked ourselves onto a course, A Day with Gill Mellor, much anticipated, especially by Liselotte who flew in from Sweden to attend, which didn’t disappoint! Gill is a chef, an award winning author and food writer, he’s passionate about outdoor cooking and loves to forage and scour the hedgerows, a man of our own hearts!
Our starter was local scallops simply pan fried with River Cottage’s own cured bacon and home grown cauliflower florets. Simple and extraordinaryily delicious
Main course was a salad of slow pan-roasted local mutton with Jerusalem artichokes, Trill Farm soft goats cheese, hazelnuts and salsa verde with lots of wild garlic
A lot of amazing food necessitated a long walk around the fields and woodland surrounding River Cottage before heading across to our accommodation, as it happened we had the farmhouse all to ourselves, and a very warm welcome from Sam Metcalf (general manager) and a roaring wood burning stove.
A fabulous and very generous Our very own breakfast chef and Farmhouse breakfast
vegetarian ‘snack’ supper Sam Metcalf
Can’t recommend River Cottage and Park Farm enough, the cookery course and the attention to detail everywhere exceeded our expectations and made it an experience to remember.