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View Full Version : My trip to River Cottage - pic heavy!



Wwena
September 14th, 2013, 09:39 AM
So for my 40th birthday a month ago I got a trip to England with my friend Cattis (and her mother and sister came along as well). DH payed for my share but Cattis has been planning it all and MAN can she plan! :D

We left Sweden on Sunday morning (a week ago) and went to London. We arrived in town about lunchtime, checke dinto our hotel and went and had (waaaay too much) lovely Chinese food in the Chinese quarter. Crackling duck and pancakes, mmm... Then we went shopping for a bit and was to have dinner at Jamie Oliver's Italian in the evening but we were still way too full from the qua... err ducks so ended up just going for a drink and then a salad. Monday morning was spent doing some shopping as well and then we took the train east towards Axminster, on the Devon/Dorset border. Cattis and I checked in to a completly lovely bed and breakfast called Hedhog Corner:
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The lady who runs it is such a dear! The room was great and all the food local and organic. In the evening we went to the pub for dinner and participated in the weekly pub quiz. We didn't do too well in the quiz but Cattis snagged the one-off cash prize for 60 by coming the closest to the right time it took the fastest runner to complete the 100 m hurdle race. In diving flippers...

On tuesday Cattis and I went on the first cooking class at River Cottage HQ (http://www.rivercottage.net/)!

We walked there along winding (uphill!) roads and while the weather was nice tne the view spctacualr, the English car drivers made us really nervous lol. The speed they go at on those roads, omg. There was no place to walk really and brambles on both sides of the roads so we depended on the cars swerving out into the road slightly to give us some space. Oh well, we lived. :)

Lovely view from the "class room", huh!
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The first day was spent baking! We learnt about how to create, maintain and use a sour dough (I've had one but this was a slightly different approach). We also learnt about the English tradition of using a "sponge" when baking, ie to make a third of the dough the day before and then incorporate that into the dough when baking. Lots of other stuff as well and we made our own pizzas for lunch! We were fit to burst with knowledge and bread and could only eat a small salad for dinner.

Sponge bread in the making:
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Pizza oven!
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The day after was Cattis' 40th birthday and we celebrated with champagne right after breakfast and then we took the bus down to Lyme Regis, a lovely town on the coast. Cattis mother and sister had bought her a "treasure hunt" so we spent the day walking around the town, solving clues. A great way to get about! We had dinner at a great seafood restaurant and then went home to "our" pub for a last drink.

Thursday was the big day, all of us heading to RC for the second course "A Day at River Cottage" where we baked (again!) and cooked up a storm.

Bread:
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Mackerels, not my favourite fish but this turned out delicious!! We got to clean and filet them and then cook them. They were our lunch, yum.
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We made a three course dinner, starting with these guys, the cockels. I didn't take a pic of the finished dish but we made a salad using the cockels and some of the cooking liquid (oil, white wine, water) as base for the dressing.
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We then got to do something I would never have done if I hadn't gone to that class: Skin, butcher and cook a rabbit! We made our own pasta to go along it. It was delisious!!! They were hard to skin though... Rabbit stew:
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River Cottage HQ is a farm, they have lots of animals and veggies. It sure is nice to see animals having a good life before they well, get eaten.

Happy pigs!
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(Seeing a horde of ducklings made me feel slightly bad about sunday lunch though lol.)

Happy girls!
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(Cattis and me)

Yesterday morning we left for Londond again, did some last minute shopping and went home (looooong detour though as we had to land at a different airport than where our car was, as there was too much fog - oh well). Tired and happy to be back with my family. :)

MayinJerset
September 14th, 2013, 09:51 AM
Wow, What a wonderful trip! The River Cottage is a fantastic place, cooking all that lovely food and bread in such a beautiful setting. Loved the video about having a wedding there, so lovely and elegant. You'll be thanking your DH a long time for such a great trip. Photo really shows how happy you and Cattis both were.

MRoy
September 14th, 2013, 10:10 AM
What a great adventure! Thanks for sharing with us.

PeggyM
September 14th, 2013, 10:27 AM
What a wonderful birthday celebration! Sounds like you need another week off.

EsGrandma
September 14th, 2013, 11:45 AM
Enjoyed reading about your fabulous trip. Thanks for sharing!

Lisapc
September 14th, 2013, 12:11 PM
Your 40th birthday sounded like a dream of a trip. Happy Belated birthday and I hope all of your birthdays bring you that much fun and memories to hold onto.

turena65
September 14th, 2013, 01:30 PM
So, so, so fun!! Yaayyy for you and Happy Birthday :) I love your pics and story about your trip, thanks for sharing!

Wwena
September 14th, 2013, 05:58 PM
Thanks guys! :)

Slight typo (well there were a few more hehe), the BnB we stayed at is called Hedgehog Corner and nothing else! We didn't see any hedgehogs though, apparantly badgers eat them. :(

Precious1
September 14th, 2013, 06:03 PM
What a wonderful way to spend your birthday. Happy belated birthday. May you be blessed with many more.

Wwena
September 16th, 2013, 05:05 PM
Thanks!! I hope so too - we're already planning the 50 trip! ;) Or does turning 45 valid a trip? Hm...

shannonsaulter
September 16th, 2013, 07:14 PM
A great trip for sure look at that beautiful smile!

Sew Perfect
September 16th, 2013, 07:59 PM
What a wonderful trip! I love looking at other people's of the things they do and the places they go. I am glad you had a nice time and saw so much. Thanks for sharing.

ilive2craft2
September 16th, 2013, 08:12 PM
What a wonderful birthday trip! Thanks for sharing pictures - I love seeing where everyone goes.

Lindagie
September 16th, 2013, 08:15 PM
The trip sounds like so much fun, except maybe for the skinning of the rabbit; Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday, and of course 45 qualifies for another great trip!