The morning of Blog Camp at River Cottage started with an excitable poke in the ribs and a 'Wake up! You will want to take a photo of this!' Not the usual way my days begin, but then I'm not usually sharing a Shepherds Hut with Domestic Goddesque and Kelly knows that a steamy early morning window and sun rise tick all the Instagram boxes.
Once we had negotiated a few winding Devon lanes in an 'oh my days is that the time!' over-excited convoy we bustled over to chat to the other bloggers awaiting the tractor ride down to River Cottage. I first experienced the tractor ride down whilst at the Summer Fair this year and I do love it, in all it's bumpy glory, that moment that you catch a glimpse of the cottage as you come down the hill is quite the magical thing.
A warm welcome awaited us at the cottage along with a chance to mingle before the three sessions began. Over the course of the day I enjoyed a Food Styling session led by Lucy from Capture by Lucy who was as lovely and informative as ever, a tour round the River Cottage garden and land from Head Gardener Will Livingstone and a cookery lesson from Gill Meller on making butter and soda bread.
Lucy's Food Styling session was smashing and I learnt some tips and tricks as well as discovering some new beautiful blogs to read. Lucy's hands on approach was engaging and I took some really handy nuggets of info away from the session (more on that later in the week).
I've walked round the River Cottage grounds before but never with a tour and that was a truly fascinating experience. Head Gardener Will's passion and knowledge of organic growing was infectious. He became instantly the most popular person in the grounds when he let us loose picking and eating raspberries.
The cookery session was eye opening, both recipes were straightforward and simple and I started to wonder why I have never made butter with Kitty and Ozzy before. With the watchful eye of Chris, my kitchen buddy, I managed to successfully complete the session and really enjoy it - now I can make bread in half an hour there's no stopping me!
River Cottage always has such a genuine feel to it. The people who you see there, work there and are passionate about everything they do and it's always so open and accessible. The perfect venue that helped make a special blogging day.
Some thank you's:
Many thanks to the Foodies 100 and River Cottage teams for making our day there so special.
Thanks the the River Cottage chefs for the mind blowing two course lunch of beef ragu stuffed ravioli on a bed of vegetables, sticky corn on the cob and freshly made bread, followed by fennel meringue, coffee ice cream with salted caramel, honey roast damsons and oat crumble.
Thanks to Kelly for making room for me in the Shepherds Hut the evening before and for the giggles.
Thanks to Lucy for the wonderful session and advice on the day.