Monday, September 24

River Cottage for lunch

Food in order of photographs: selection of homemade breads & butter; sugarsnaps, hazelnut pesto & toasted almonds; wild boar burger, foccacia bun, homemade ketchup & chips;  smoked wild boar tenderloin, blackberries & Trill leaf; chocolate brownie, praline & ice cream.

So there's this guy called Hugh who wears black-framed specs and is a bit of a foodie. Once upon a time he ventured into the depths of Devon in search of a better, more self-sustaining lifestyle. He moved into a former gamekeeper's lodge called River Cottage and began growing and rearing his own, turning his produce into delicious meals. A few years (ok, a decade and a half) later and River Cottage isn't just a cottage with a vegetable patch any more, it's grown into many projects, from books to television series to canteens and delis. But everything is still centred around the same belief in locally sourced food. Which makes sense really - the fresher the food, the better it tastes (especially if Hugh has a hand in the cooking).

We found this out back in August when we went to the River Cottage canteen in Axminster to encounter a very tasty lunch. Wild boar burgers. Focaccia bread. Delicious homemade butter - and I hate butter. Hazelnut pesto, fresh greens, blackberries. And a really gooey wodge of chocolate brownie.

River Cottage may have become a bit of a business enterprise, but it's one with its heart in the right place. If you find yourself in that part of the country, go to the canteen. And you'll remember how good a humble homegrown vegetable can be.