Chocolate and pears at River Cottage



This chocolate tart with grilled pears is too delicious not to share. Serve with pride and a spoonful of crème fraiche.

By Gelf Alderson, executive head chef of River Cottage

Serves 6-8

For the pastry:

75g coconut oil
55g golden syrup
75g ground linseeds
185g ground almonds
15g cocoa powder

Melt the coconut oil and golden syrup, add the dry ingredients mix thoroughly and press into 20 cm tart case, freeze until solid.

For the filling:

80ml olive oil room temperature
500g dark chocolate
200ml almond milk, room temperature
75ml Somerset cider brandy
A pinch of fine sea salt

Grilled pears:

4 firm pears such as conference or comice

Gently melt the chocolate in a bain marie over a sauce pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before adding the oil and almond milk, a pinch of salt and the brandy. Mix thoroughly and pour into the tart case. Re-fridgerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, halve and core four pears. Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Cook the pears until lightly charred and tender but still holding their shape. Serve with ice cream or crème fraiche.


Ottolenghi at River Cottage Food Fair 2019

River Cottage Food Fair

Exciting news.

A very special guest for the River Cottage Food Fair 2019... Yotam Ottolenghi.

Ottolenghi is an acclaimed chef, restaurant owner, and food writer. He has published seven cookbooks including Ottolenghi, Plenty, and Jerusalem and his latest book Simple. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian’s Feast Magazine and a monthly column in The New York Times. Yotam has also made two Mediterranean Feasts series for More 4, along with a BBC 4 documentary Jerusalem on a Plate.

Yotam Ottolenghi will be giving a demo on stage on the Saturday, so visitors to River Cottage HQ will be able to see him in action and learn more about his food philosophy. 

Yotam will be joining all the River Cottage regulars. Hugh will be speaking and signing books, and Steven Lamb, Gill Meller and John Wright will all be taking part. More special guests to be announced soon.

2019 is 20 years of River Cottage and at the annual Food Fair there will be celebrations of this momentous occasion all weekend. Held on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May, the Food Fair is a real family occasion with under 16s going free. It is packed full of activities and family fun - from chef demos, fire pits, artisan food stalls, kids’ workshops, talks and live music, to garden and foraging tours.

Tickets on sale now from

Mussels and celeriac

Sustainable and delicious. We should be eating more mussels.

Sustainable and delicious. We should be eating more mussels.

Mussels with celeriac, seaweed and cider

Rope grown mussels are the most sustainable form of seafood going, we all need to eat more of these delicious, salty morsels. Mussels and cider is a classic pairing but including celeriac and seaweed in this recipe by Gelf Alderson, executive head chef at River Cottage, takes this cheap and sustainable dish in a deliciously new direction.

“Everything about mussels reminds me of walking on the beach but combining them with earthy celeriac and the light orchard flavour of cider is just perfect.”

Serves 2

200g celeriac, peeled and finely diced
40g butter
200ml organic scrumpy cider
1 tsp dried, flaked English seaweed
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 kg mussels rope grown (not dredged)

Put the butter in a large saucepan (with plenty of room for the mussels to fit and expand and with a well-fitting lid) heat until foaming and add the celeriac and garlic, cook until they gain a little colour. Add the mussels, seaweed and cider and place a lid on, cook on a high heat shaking the pan every minute for 3 minutes or until all the mussels have opened. Discard any unopened mussels and serve with proper sourdough to match the scrumpy flavour.

Part of a series of River Cottage recipes in Indy Eats.

Goatober 2018

There are Goatober events in 2018 in New York to London, Ibiza to Cornwall

There are Goatober events in 2018 in New York to London, Ibiza to Cornwall


Goatober 2018 launches with events in London, Bristol, Manchester, Cornwall, Rome, Frankfurt, Nantes, Amsterdam, New York and Ibiza

Goatober, the month-long goat meat celebration, has become an international campaign bringing together dairies, farmers, NGOs and individuals who are passionate about ending food waste in the goat dairy system. This October, there are events, dinners and talks from London to New York to Ibiza with one aim: put more goat meat on the menu and put all male goats born into the dairy system in to the food system.

Goatober 2018 is the most exciting yet as events in New York and Brooklyn see all the strands of Goatober pulled together. Until now there has been no coordination between the USA, UK and European events. The Goatober campaign now has senior level strategic direction with dairies, farmers, suppliers and chefs in dialogue and working together to share best practice, ideas and contacts to try and solve the food waste issue in this part of the food system.

In October 2018, there are Goatober events in London at The Jugged Hare, Palatino and the Sustainable Restaurants Association dinner; at Flour and Ash in Bristol; at The Creameries in Manchester and at The Gurnard’s Head in Cornwall. Restaurants putting a goat dish on the menu throughout the month included the ETM group, HIX Group, St John, Ottolenghi and River Cottage Kitchens in Axminster, Bristol and Winchester. Goatober is also collaborating with TABASCO®️ Sauce during its 150th Anniversary year, with TABASCO®️ pepper sauces featuring in several dishes. James Wheltor from Cabrito Goat Meat is speaking and cooking goat meat at the global food symposium Food on the Edge in Galway, Ireland. Working in partnership with the Interreg ‘food heroes’ project, which aims to end food waste in farming across the EU, there are events at the Nantes Food Forum and in Laval in France and in the Spessart region (near Frankfurt; Germany), The Netherlands, Rome and at the Amorevore Food & Arts Festival in Ibiza. In New York, there are dinners at Claro in Brooklyn and Huertas in the East Village, Manhattan, and an event with Farm Africa at Grow NYC in Project Farmhouse, a new sustainability and education centre exploring environmental issues through food, horticulture, arts, recycling and cooking.

Goatober originated in New York in 2011 and was the brainchild of Heritage Foods USA, the largest distributor of rare and heritage breed meats in the USA dedicated to supporting a network of over 50 family farmers who raise their livestock humanely, outdoors, on pasture and never with antibiotics or growth hormones. Its founder, Patrick Martins is also the founder of Slow Food USA and Heritage Radio Network. Patrick comments, “2018 marks our eighth year of Goatober. We offer cuts of goat meat to home cooks from coast-to-coast via and work with more than 100 restaurants who participate annually around the country during the month of October. What started with the desire to help dairies and the destiny of male goats in New England has turned into an international movement to support the consumption of goat meat. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to co-host Goatober events with our partners in the UK and Europe this year who have taken this project further than we ever imagined.”

James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat, a Devon based ethical meat champion and producer, has been at the forefront of bringing Goatober to the UK, comments, “This is a really exciting year for the Goatober campaign as it shows there is an international calling and drive to solve and end the systematic culling of male billy goats born into the dairy system and considered a waste product. By centralising the Goatober campaign and taking it global we can end this practice, while also making goat meat a mainstream product. We are already in discussion with Australia to join the campaign in 2019, so Goatober is something that’s going to get bigger and bigger.”

Marjon Krol, Project Leader at ZLTO (the Netherlands) for the European project Food Heroes “Last year, in 2017, we organized for the first time a Goatober campaign in the Netherlands. Together with some top chefs we had a huge billy goat dinner in the Netherlands during the World Design Event in Eindhoven. It is great to see people’s reaction and to see that the attention for this challenge is growing. Within the Food Heroes project, we try to tackle food waste on several themes together with farmers and stakeholders. This year the partner countries within the project, Germany and France, are also taking part in the Goatober campaign to try to solve the food waste issue of the billy goats.”

For more information about Goatober please visit and follow @GoatoberNews on Instagram.

-ends -

About Goatober

Goatober originated in New York in 2011, when Erin Fairbanks, Heritage Radio Network’s Executive Director, had an idea. While working for Heritage Foods USA in Brooklyn, she and renowned cheesemaker Anne Saxelby wanted to end the practice of euthanising young male goats that the dairy industry had no use for. From this senseless waste Goatober was created and with it a month-long celebration of putting goat meat on the menu of New York restaurants. The campaign had quick success and now there are over 100 restaurants involved in Goatober from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Goatober arrived in the UK in 2016 and mainland Europe in the following year. There are vibrant dairy industries across the UK and Europe who want to change the practice of euthanising and Goatober is part of the solution. The campaign aims to put a goat dish on restaurant menus and to encourage people to try cooking goat at home themselves, for all or part of October.

About Cabrito

On moving back to Devon ex-chef James Whetlor called on his 12 years cheffing experience and contacts in London to set up Cabrito Goat Meat working with goat dairies to supply top restaurants including Quo Vadis, HIX Group, ETM and St John. Cabrito has won many awards including Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Ethical Producer, Good Housekeeping’s Champion Meat Producer and the Young British Foodies. Today, Cabrito supplies over 70 well-known establishments including Temper, Marksman, Morito and Pidgin. James’ first book Goat: Cooking and Eating is published by Quadrille (£20) and has been described as ‘genre defining’.

For more information about Goatober or for interview with James Whetlor at Cabrito
please contact Hannah Blake at or 07730 039361

River Cottage at 20

It’s been 20 years since Hugh first appeared on our TV Screens

It’s been 20 years since Hugh first appeared on our TV Screens

Twenty years of River Cottage

River Cottage has been a household name in Britain since 1999, when Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall first brought his hands-on, ethical food ethos to our TV screens.  Since then, the River Cottage books, TV series and Hugh’s hard-hitting campaigns have changed the eating habits of the nation, as well as improving the welfare of our farm animals and the sustainability of our fish.

River Cottage HQ, situated on the Devon-Dorset border, is a thriving organic smallholding. It’s also home to a cookery school and chefs' school, and the base for unique dining experiences and events including weddings and private parties. The award-winning River Cottage Kitchens in Axminster, Bristol and Winchester manifest the River Cottage philosophy using the best seasonal ingredients from the surrounding area. Alongside organic fruit, vegetables and wild foods, the Kitchen menus use sustainable fish and shellfish from the West Country day boats and organic meat and dairy products from local farms.

In March 2019, River Cottage will celebrate its 20th anniversary and Hugh and the team want to hear stories from people who have been influenced by River Cottage. Over the years, so many people have been inspired by Hugh and the River Cottage ethos to make changes in their lives. That might be to eat organic meat and milk or to learn how to grow their own vegetables or keep chickens or even manage a small holding themselves. Or it maybe they were so inspired they decided to change career and start their own business in cheesemaking or curing or preserving or as a cook or restaurateur.

People sharing their story of how River Cottage has influenced them may be included as part of the twenty-year celebrations. If selected they will win a dinner for two at River Cottage HQ and be invited to join a panel discussion at the River Cottage Food Fair over the late May bank holiday, which will be hosted by Hugh.

Share your River Cottage story to


For further press information, interviews or images, please contact:

Hannah Blake at The Dining Room on 07730 039361 or

Notes to Editors

The River Cottage twenty-year celebrations will run throughout 2019

The first episode of Escape to River Cottage was shown in March 1999. Positioned as a docu-drama, it followed the story of Hugh, a city-dweller, trying to simplify his life by moving to a smallholding with an acre of land. It showed how Hugh learnt to garden, grow and forage for his own food and raise animals to provide meat and milk for the table

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be available for interview about the celebrations and his own twenty years at River Cottage

River Cottage HQ, Trinity Hill Road, Axminster, Devon, EX13 8TB

Twitter: @rivercottage Instagram: @rivercottagehq

Feast over Fire

Baked goat's cheese wrapped in walnut pastry with fig relish from  Honey & Co. At Home (Pavilion Books)

Baked goat's cheese wrapped in walnut pastry with fig relish from Honey & Co. At Home (Pavilion Books)

Honey & Co. Feast Over Fire

This year River Cottage is introducing long table dinners at the Summer Festival and are thrilled to welcome Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, the award winning chefs and authors behind Honey & Co.

Sarit and Itamar, celebrated London restaurateurs famed for showcasing traditional Middle Eastern dishes, will be at River Cottage for the first time and will be hosting the Saturday evening Feast Over Fire. They will be reverting to traditional methods cooking the majority of the feast over fire, including mouth-watering dishes from their latest cookbook Honey & Co. At Home. Join them and other guests at their table by the Fire Pit for a celebratory ‘Salcombe & Tonic’ from Salcombe Gin followed by an incredible three course Middle Eastern inspired supper. Ticket can be bought here.

‘Salcombe & Tonic’ by Salcombe Gin

Burnt aubergine salad, Pickled peach salad and Griddle bread

Lamb chops with figs, Cauliflower shawarma, Carlin-pea salad with roasted peppers

Feta in fig leaves with raw honey & melon

Roast carrots, beets, spring onion and redcurrants

Summer in a plate

Summer in a plate

Summer salad from Gelf Alderson, executive head chef at River Cottage

This is one of my favourite types of salad. Lots of summer flavours and vegetables with a surprising hit of tartness from the redcurrants.

Roast carrots, beets, spring onions and redcurrants

Serves 2

5 new season summer beets
5 small new season bunched carrots
2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
1 tsp nigella seeds
2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
70g redcurrants (blackcurrants or orange segments are excellent alternatives)
1 small bunch dill or fennel tops, picked
Salt and pepper
Candy beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced, to garnish

Start off by preparing your veg. Top and tail the beetroots, and then simmer until just tender.

Peel the carrots and slice length-ways. If they are really young then this isn't necessary.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Place the carrots on the baking tray and mix with the oil and seeds, and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

While the carrots are in the oven, peel and dice the beetroots. Once the carrots are cooked, remove from the oven, add the beetroots, mix and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place in a mixing bowl while hot, add the spring onions, redcurrants and fennel tops and season. 

Serve and garnish with the candy coloured beetroot to give the salad an extra hit of vibrant colour.

River Cottage Summer Festival

River Cottage Festival

River Cottage Festival, 25-26 August 2018

- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Prue Leith, Satish Kumar, Caroline Lucas -

Over the late August bank holiday, festival goers can immerse themselves in all the delights River Cottage has to offer at the annual summer Festival. This laid-back weekend on 25-26 August is jam-packed with events including food masterclasses, wellbeing and yoga tents, live music and family-friendly festival fun.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be in attendance and joined by Prue Leith, Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party and Satish Kumar, a former monk and long-term peace and environment activist. Also, on the line up are River Cottage regulars, foraging expert John Wright and River Cottage curing and smoking expert Steven Lamb, who will be hosting the Garden Stage over both days of the Festival.

The Festival Gig Nights will ensure the evenings at the River Cottage Festival are unforgettable with a brilliant line up of bands and musicians. On Saturday, folk rock and gypsy jazz band Mad Dog Mcrea will headline the main stage and get everyone up and dancing, while on Sunday, singer/songwriter Lauren Bannon, who takes influence from the likes of Sia and Norah Jones and was a finalist on BBC One’s The Voice, will perform.

Over the weekend there are masterclasses for adults and children. Kids can make their own pizza or summer fruit fool with cats’ tongue biscuits and crystallised flower petals, while the grownups can make gluten-free galettes or ferment seasonal produce into pickles and drinks with River Cottage resident nutrition guru Naomi Devlin.

The Fire Pit is a new cooking demo area at the Festival this year. Throughout the weekend, the chef’s demos will show why this ancient cooking technique has become such a roaring trend in the 21st century. Over the weekend cooks including James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat, food and travel writer John Gregory Smith; BBC One Masterchef runner-up Billy Wright, chef and food writer Oliver Rowe, supper club host Kathy Slack who writes the award-winning blog Gluts and Gluttony; Aine Carlin, the bestselling author of The New Vegan; artist, author, cook and stylist Alexandra Dudley; and cookery teacher and author of Mountain Berries and Dessert Spice Sumayya Usmani will be showing why this back to basics cooking with fire delivers smokingly good food.

Festival goers can see behind the scenes at River Cottage HQ and enjoy a Farmhouse Feast, with a changing 2 course menu with dishes made with fresh, homegrown ingredients from the kitchen garden. River Cottage street food will join forces with local producers including Rebel Town Pizza, Louisiana Chilli Shack, Baboo Gelato and Marourde Mead. There is also a fully licensed bar serving local ciders, craft beers and organic wines or visit the Cocktails under Canvas tent and take part in a wild cocktail masterclass.

Kick back and enjoy an experience at the Festival by shaking out any stress with a restorative yoga session or enjoying a holistic massage, reiki or aromatherapy. Gaze at the stars under expert tuition, learn a new willow weaving craft, take a guided wildlife walk or go foraging with River Cottage’s John Wright.

This year the Festival is sponsored by Pukka who will be offering their expertise on herbal wellbeing.

With a friendly party atmosphere, the whole family is welcome to stay the weekend. The grounds are open to campers, either to bring their own tent or to enjoy a glamping experience by booking a stay in a luxury bell tent. Arrive on the Friday for an exclusive campers’ party with food, drink and live music to kick off the weekend.

Visitors can choose from a variety of tickets including Weekend, Day & Gig Night, Daytime, Gig Night or Luxury Camping, all available from the River Cottage website. Children under the age of 16 go free.

For more information and to book event and masterclass tickets, please visit the website.


For further press information, interviews or images, please contact:

Hannah Blake at The Dining Room on 07730 039361 or

 Notes to Editors

The River Cottage Festival will be at HQ on the weekend of 25-26 August
River Cottage HQ, Trinity Hill Road, Axminster, Devon, EX13 8TB
Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th August 2018

£10 (gig night 6-11pm)
£17.50 (day ticket 10am-6pm)
£25 (day& gig night ticket 10am-11pm)
£95 weekend camping ticket Friday 4pm-Monday 11am
Under 16’s go free
Glamping tents from £495 for 2 person tent for the weekend includes festival entrance & on-site parking
Free park and ride

About River Cottage:

River Cottage has been a household name in Britain since 1998, when Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall first brought his hands-on, ethical food ethos to our TV screens.  Since then, the River Cottage books, TV series and Hugh’s hard-hitting campaigns have changed the eating habits of the nation, as well as improving the welfare of our farm animals and the sustainability of our fish.

River Cottage HQ, situated on the Devon-Dorset border, is a thriving organic smallholding. It’s also home to a cookery school and chefs' school, and the base for unique dining experiences and events including weddings and private parties. There are River Cottage Kitchens in Axminster, Bristol and Winchester. These award-winning restaurants and delis manifest the River Cottage philosophy by using the very best seasonal ingredients from the surrounding area. Alongside fresh, seasonal fruit, veg and wild foods, the Kitchen menus showcase fish and shellfish from West Country day boats and organic meat and dairy products from local farms.


Mother's Ruin at the Garden Kitchen

Still on the Move 

Still on the Move 

Mother’s Ruin

Gin workshop | 7 June | 3.30-5.30pm
FREE event with a G&T and bites to share

Join the team at the Garden Kitchen to create a small batch craft gin made with botanicals foraged around The Beacon.

On 7 June, Cosmo Caddy, creator of Still on the Move, the UK’s first ever mobile gin distiller is hosting a gin workshop at The Beacon. Affectionately known as ‘Ginny’, the authentic copper still, on a vintage 1937 VW truck, tours the country, packed full of different spices and botanicals, spreading the joy of gin.

The Garden Lane G&T is a favourite at The Beacon so the chance to create our own small-batch premium gin is the best way to experiment with flavours and botanicals to create something totally unique. All gin must have a dominant flavour of juniper, but the team wanted to create not just a Kent gin, but something that has flavours and aromas specific to The Beacon in the 17 acres of woods, that surround the restaurant.

The Beacon's creation is Mother’s Ruin. On the palate, it is a strong, well-rounded and balanced gin with hints of citrus, green cardamom and coriander seed with earthy undertones complimented by garden botanicals foraged in the grounds including wild fennel and wood sorrel.

At the workshop, enjoy a Garden Lane G&T with platters of bites and nibbles and listen to Cosmo talk about the craft of distilling gin and show how to use fresh and dried botanicals. The house serve at The Beacon is with a slice of grapefruit, juniper berries and a few wood sorrel leaves, served over fresh ice and Fever Tree tonic water.

A bottle of Mother’s Ruin distilled on the day will be available to buy at the special price of £30 (normal price £35).

This is a FREE event. There are limited places available so please email to register your place.

Normal ain't enough

Naughty goats...

Big Green Egg x Cabrito It's Not Normal

Never thought you could cook a whole goat on your EGG, did you? If you’ve come here expecting just another barbecue, don’t! A Big Green Egg barbecue isn’t normal, and it certainly isn’t normal to smoke and slow cook a whole goat on a BBQ.  James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat is launching ‘It’s Not Normal’ showcasing that the Big Green Egg is not a normal piece of kit. Fancy slow cooked goat tacos or oak smoked oysters? Don’t be afraid of not being normal, it’s better on the other side!

This summer fire up the EGG for a whole kid goat shoulder cooked low and slow for a beautifully tender meat, sear some simply marinated kid chops in oregano and preserved lemon or create the ultimate kid burger with classic gherkins and ketchup all piled into a brioche bun. The options are endless.

The It’s Not Normal campaign launches with a ‘Half Goat Box’ retailing at £120 which includes (approx weight) a 4kg shoulder, 2kg Mince, 15 chops, 2kg of boned leg meat, perfect for kebabs and skewers or chopping finely for burgers or kofte. 

James had fun cooking a whole kid goat on an XL Big Green Egg for the It’s Not Normal campaign. 

The EGG is made with NASA inspired ceramics and patented technology and will safely cook large joints of meat with ease. Feel confident about putting more expensive cuts of meat on a barbecue - remember this is not a normal piece of kit and will help you cook seriously good food, all year round.

For more information, interview, images and video assets please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR on 07730 039361 or

Established 40 years ago in the USA, the Big Green Egg is a charcoal based ceramic cooker that offers a wide range of precise cooking modes. It can grill, roast, smoke or bake pizzas in temperatures ranging from 80 – 400C. In essence the EGG introduces a whole range of techniques previously never thought possible on the traditional British BBA. Rapidly gaining favour amongst UK foodies, the EGG is also used by some of the UK’s best chefs in Michelin starred restaurants and gastropubs.

Gill Meller at Chelsea Flower Show

Credit Matt Austin

Credit Matt Austin

River Cottage partners with Kadai Firebowls® by Wilstone and launch new range at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Based on stand RHW617, Kadai will showcase their award-winning fire pit barbecues, exclusive show offers, live fire cooking demos and new products.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s right hand man and founding Head Chef of River Cottage, Gill Meller will be cooking breakfast on the Kadai Firebowl at 9.15am on press day, 21 May.

Gill’s cooking has always been deeply rooted in nature and represents the ethos that underpins River Cottage. Cooking on fire is one step closer to nature and has always been Gill’s passion. Gill says, “Cooking outdoors on fire gives me great practical and professional satisfaction. Stepping out of the kitchen to cook your own food is an adventure in technique and taste. Understanding the interplay of wood, fire and flame deepens your cooking experience, contributes to the final flavour and places you directly in the landscape in which the ingredients are gathered. Part of cooking on fire is to be aware of where you are in the landscape and I take my inspiration from that.”

Christo, Co-founder and Managing Director of Wilstone says “The Kadai Firebowls change the way that we enjoy outdoor living. Whether you are cooking for friends on the bowl or simply relaxing and enjoying the warmth of the fire these spectacular centrepieces are a must have addition to any size garden."

The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks

Rare rhododendrons on site at Reuthe's

Rare rhododendrons on site at Reuthe's

Reuthe’s in Seal Chart, Sevenoaks, is opening its doors this bank holiday weekend after months of renovation work to the historic gardens.

Reuthe’s are the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks, an acclaimed plant nursery founded in 1902 by a German plant hunter, set in 11 acres of woodland, part of the horticultural miracle that is the Green Sand Ridge in the Weald of Kent.

The historic site has been bought by local plantsman Oliver Schneider who is restoring the gardens, including a new café by Birch's, to its former glory. In its heyday Reuthe’s won Gold 17 years’ in a row at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show.

Opening on Saturday 5 May at 8.30am, Reuthe’s will welcome back visitors to explore the woodland, jungle-like pathways and walks up through the Hidden Valley. Here they will find plants and trees so rare they are the only ones in this country and discover hidden pockets of wild mushrooms, wild garlic and blueberries. 

Reuthe’s is situated on a north-facing woodland on a gently sloping hill with acidic, sandy and free-draining soil, part of the Green Sand Ridge. The Lost Gardens offer ideal growing conditions for the 300 varieties of rhododendrons growing on site and other acid loving plants such as rare trees, shrubs, azaleas and camellias.


Evening campfire feast at Wealden Literary Festival


For the first time at Wealden Literary Festival there will be an evening campfire feast on the evening of Saturday 30 June. Michael White from Rural Courses is a local woodsman, forager, wild food chef and sources many of his ingredients from within a stone’s throw of the Festival site.

As the sun sets at Boldshaves Garden, Michael will cook a simple, yet sumptuous lamb and nettle tagine cooked over an open fire. Grab a bowl, find your spot by the fire and enjoy open-air dining Kentish style. Vegetarian option also available.

Adults – £12
Children – £7

6.30pm - 9.30pm
Prices exclude drinks (but include marshmallows). A selection of local wines, beers, ciders and juices will be available.

Limited spaces available. Book your place via the box office.

River Cottage launches creative courses

watercolour class image.jpg

New creative courses launch at River Cottage with Devon based artists

Watercolour botanicals, modern calligraphy and willow weaving

There has never been a better time to get involved in the British craft industries, which continue to grow and flourish. Whether you're thinking about launching your own wedding stationery calligraphy business or you're looking to master a new skill or want to learn how to weave a willow animal in your free time, River Cottage’s new creative courses led by Devon based artists are the place to be inspired.

Watercolour Botanicals and Modern Calligraphy with Harriet de Winton
16 September, £145 per person
For more information about the course visit the River Cottage website here

Enjoy an introduction to watercolour botanicals and modern calligraphy taught by Devon based artist Harriet de Winton in the beautiful River Cottage gardens.

Finding inspiration in the flowers, herbs and vegetables in the River Cottage gardens and in the nature surrounding the farm, guests on this artist’s workshop will learn the fundamentals of watercolour as well as key steps to painting any plant or flower. During a busy morning of theory and practical guidance, they will paint a watercolour wreath choosing their favourite plants and flowers. Following a delicious River Cottage lunch, the afternoon will be spent with an introduction from Harriet to the modern calligraphy trend, learning basic techniques with a dip pen nib and ink. Once mastered, guests will try their hand copying a lower and upper-case alphabet, numbers and punctuation, progressing to joined up letters to make words and phrases. To finish, everyone will create a chosen phrase or quote in their own personal free style.

Harriet runs the de Winton Paper co, a hand painted stationery company. She has illustrated for numerous publications and teaches extensively. She is also a watercolour expert and teacher at Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fairs. 

Willow Deer Workshop with Katherine Miles
9 October and 13 November, £145 per person
For more information about the course visit the River Cottage website here

Learn how to make a beautiful and eye-catching 3-foot willow deer for your home or garden with Devon-based willow artist, Katherine Miles.

Famed throughout the South West, Katharine’s life-sized willow animal sculptures are displayed in stately homes, private gardens and as interiors design pieces. Katharine will guide guests through the weaving process in this exiting and fun workshop.

The workshop is suitable for beginners with no prior knowledge of weaving. All materials will be supplied, including locally sourced willow, but it’s advised that guests bring along a pair of their favourite secateurs and to wear old and comfortable clothing.

Artisan Willow is run by Katherine Miles who lives in the moorland town of Moretonhampstead, Devon. She specialises in weaving willow animal sculptures and bee skeps for the home and garden. She is available for commissions and also sells her work on-line. 

The Day:

All courses at River Cottage start at the top of the hill where guests will be met and transported down to the farm by tractor and trailer. The morning starts with tea or coffee and freshly baked scones or pastries from the River Cottage kitchen, while saying hello to the course tutors and fellow pupils. The morning session starts and is focussed equally on theory and practical lessons. Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a two-course lunch of local, seasonal fare including sourdough bread will reinvigorate before returning to class for the afternoon session. At the end of the day guests are taken back up the hill by the River Cottage tractor and trailer, along with the hard work from their class.

 About River Cottage:

All River Cottage courses take place in the award-winning Cookery School at River Cottage HQ. Set against the stunning rural backdrop of the Devon countryside, just a stone’s throw from the Jurassic Coast, HQ covers 65 acres of organic farmland and encompasses a thriving kitchen garden and smallholding. The cookery school is renowned for its approach to seasonality and sustainability while championing the best local producers: it’s a foodie hub where you can learn, cook, eat and be inspired.


Britain's Fat Fight

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new programme 'Britain's Fat Fight' starts on Wednesday 25th.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new programme 'Britain's Fat Fight' starts on Wednesday 25th.

Britain's Fat Fight

BBC One’s new three-part series, Britain’s Fat Fight with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, will see Hugh confronting one of the UK’s biggest health crises, by examining and exposing how consumers are being misled by packaging and portion sizes, and bombarded by junk food advertising. Through a series of stunts he takes on the food industry giants to push them to be more transparent about what's in our food, and takes his findings all the way to Number 10. As well as battling big businesses, Hugh tries to see if he can change the eating habits of a whole city by challenging the people of Newcastle to lose 100,000lbs in weight in a year.

Hugh says, "It’s been over a year in the making, and during that time I’ve learned so much about the challenging, complicated and often genuinely scary problem of obesity. I know it’s going to be hard to make change. But I also know it’s definitely possible. Above all, I’m sure we can do so much more, if we do it together.”

Wealden Literary Festival

Illustration by Naomi Howarth

Illustration by Naomi Howarth

Food for thought, for the soul and the imagination

The full programme for Wealden Literary Festival is now open for booking.

Over the weekend of 30 June and 1 July the festival is a unique celebration of nature, place and creativity. A fascinating mix of authors, poets, artists and makers will weave their magic in the enchanting surroundings of Boldshaves Garden.

Coursing through the talks, workshops, art exhibitions, outdoor activities and craft displays, there is joyfulness and reflection in equal measure as the Festival delves into our relationship with the natural world. There is food for thought, for the soul and the imagination.

It has been crafted with all ages in mind; children can enjoy a host of readings, art workshops and hands-on outdoor activities for free. Once again, the festival is showcasing the best of local food, drink and crafts and, for the first time, family-friendly woodland camping is available.

Tickets for many of the events are limited in number, so do visit the box office now to save your place.

Cabrito x Craft

Crafty goats.

Crafty goats.

Cookbook Club at Craft London

Following the successful launch of Cookbook Club at Craft London earlier this year, Stevie Parle and the team are excited to welcome acclaimed goat meat supplier and former chef James Whetlor to help cook recipes from his new cookbook ‘Goat: Cooking and Eating’ on Thursday 26th April.

The popular series of collaborative feasts has seen Craft London partner with like-minded chefs and cookery writers to showcase ethical and sustainable produce.

For £35 per person, guests can expect a menu based on the goat meat recipes featured in James’ new cookbook. Guests will be welcomed with a cocktail and starters including Kibbeh Nayeh, Orange and Leek Sausages, Homemade Goats Curd and Greenwich Radishes along with a selection of homemade snacks from the Craft kitchen. The main course of Asado-Style Goat will be accompanied by salad and sauces including chimichurri and a yoghurt dressing, and a selection of side plates. Pudding is Goats Milk Ice Cream served with Craft London Honey and Lemon Cake and Lavender Granita. James and Stevie will be on hand throughout the evening to chat with guests, sign copies of ‘Goat’ as well discussing the use and benefits of goat meat.

Cookbook Club began life at Stevie Parle’s Dock Kitchen in Ladbroke Grove, inviting in some of the most talented cookery writers and chefs to cook from their books. In January 2018 it was announced that the series of collaborative feasts would move to Craft London, kicking off with the much-loved José Pizarro. This was then followed by a feast with seafood restaurant duo Prawn on the Lawn in March, and coming up this summer, the team will host the inimitable DJ BBQ on 21st June who will be showcasing his best dishes from ‘Fire Food’

Cookbook Club with James Whetlor and ‘Goat’ at Craft London will take place on Thursday 26th April. To reserve tickets book online here.


One Planet Plate

One Planet Plate

One Planet Plate

Cabrito Goat Meat is joining chefs including Raymond Blanc, Skye Gyngell and Angela Hartnett as well as high street restaurants like Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, Zizzi and Wahaca by participating in the Sustainable Restaurant's Association's One Planet Plate campaign.

One Planet Plate is a restaurant campaign to put sustainability on the menu – a chance for chefs worldwide to demonstrate to diners in food form how they’re contributing to a better food future.serving a dish that highlights how they’re addressing the problems in the food system as part of the SRA's global campaign to help diners use the power of their appetites wisely.  #OnePlanetPlate launches on Saturday 24 March, coinciding with WWF's Earth Hour - the largest environmental event in the calendar and a perfect moment to grab diners’ attention.

The SRA is calling on diners to play their part by snapping a picture of a One Planet Plate when they eat out and sharing it on social media using #oneplanetplate.

How to Eat a Peach at Wealden Literary Festival


Diana Henry and Tara Westover lead author line up at Wealden Literary Festival, Boldshaves Garden, Kent

Wealden Literary Festival is an enchanting weekend of words and ideas - a celebration of nature, place and creativity through literature, the arts and food.  Tickets for the 2018 Festival on 30 June and 1 July go on sale from 16 March.

Set in the beautiful Boldshaves Garden near Tenterden in the Weald of Kent and the fields and wild woods that surround the gardens, Wealden Literary Festival brings together renowned authors, poets, artists and makers who look first and foremost to nature, wilderness and the spirit of place for inspiration. It has been endorsed by leading nature writers including Robert Macfarlane, Mark Cocker and Jay Griffiths.

A sense of place is a connecting thread linking authors speaking at the festival. On Saturday 30th June, award-winning food writer, journalist and broadcaster Diana Henry will talk about her new cookery book How to Eat a Peach, a collection of seasonal menus inspired by a memory, place or mood. Planning a menu is Diana’s favourite part of cooking, remembering an afternoon at the seaside in Brittany or a sultry evening eating mezze in Istanbul. ‘This is an extraordinary piece of food writing, pitch perfect in every way. I couldn't love anyone who didn't love this book.’ Nigella Lawson

A sense of place is not always a romantic and poetic one. Diana Henry will be joined by New York Times bestselling author Tara Westover discussing her debut book, Educated. This extraordinary memoir is Tara’s story of her isolated childhood growing up in rural Idaho with an un-hinged, paranoid Mormon ‘survivalist’ father who forced his family to live off-grid, while stock-piling guns, fuel and food in readiness for the end of the world. Tara's birth was unregistered, her birth date unclear and no vaccinations received. She received no formal education at all, no books to read and with no TV or radio, she grew up almost entirely unaware of the world beyond her family. Having no other frame of reference, Tara never knew that their way of life was not the norm.

Tara had never set foot in a classroom before the age of 17. And yet, by 27 she had earned a doctorate from Cambridge University. From her unique experience, Westover tells a universal story about the transformative power of an education, but also of the very personal price she had to pay for that privilege. In pitiless prose Tara charts her unbelievable journey from a violent childhood through traumatic and abusive teen years to heart-breaking choices in adulthood. ‘Marvellous. There is no feeling like discovering a young writer who is springing up fully armed with so much talent.’ Stephen Fry

Wealden Literary Festival is family-friendly and looks after the minds and interests of young readers setting out to explore the world. Yuval Zommer, the acclaimed children’s author will be in the festival tent, talking about his widely acclaimed illustrated book, The Street Beneath My Feet. This double-sided foldout book creates a visceral sense of a journey to the centre of the Earth as readers travel past storm drains, buried artefacts, a subway, and many layers of rock on their way to the planet’s inner core. Children are taken on a fascinating journey deep underground showing a hive of subterranean activity.

In addition to the programme of talks, the Festival offers all ages the opportunity to take part in a series of creative writing and art workshops as well as woodland-based activities and events such as bushcraft, foraging and wildlife spotting. It also showcases the best of local craftspeople and food producers through a pop-up market and plays host to art exhibitions and displays.

Andrew Willan, Festival Director comments, “We hope through the Festival to nurture the links between people (and in particular children) and nature. We believe that nowadays all too many people lack the means to engage in any meaningful way with the natural world. We also believe that with improved access to nature comes a desire to cherish and protect it. The natural world provides a wealth of opportunities for learning, creativity and discovery which the Festival embraces.

As the virtual world becomes increasingly dominant in our lives, time spent out of doors with opportunities to read, write, create and think has perhaps never before been so vital. By nurturing a love of the natural world, of literature and the arts, the Festival hopes to give not only individuals and communities, but also nature itself a real chance to flourish and to thrive.”

“It is a thrill to see Wealden Literary Festival taking root and flourishing. With its emphasis on the natural world, its commitment to children and to community, and its vision of getting people outdoors and hands-on with nature, as well as reading and talking about it, it strikes me as a hugely hopeful and valuable new event. Long may it grow!” Robert Macfarlane, author of The Old Ways and The Lost Words

For more information about Wealden Literary Festival, press accreditation or to interview the directors, please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR on T: 07730 039361 or E:


James knows an awful lot about goats...

"James knows an awful lot about goats"   Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

"James knows an awful lot about goats" Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

GOAT: Cooking and Eating

We should all be eating more goat. It's sustainable, ethical, highly nutritious and low in fat and has been an integral part of European, African and Asian diets since 3300BC. Why, then, does it remain so underused and misunderstood? Thanks to the efforts of James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat, goat is once again on British restaurant menus and in homes nationwide.

In GOAT: Cooking and Eating, James looks at the story of this versatile ingredient and offers 90 recipes from around the world that will answer the common question: ‘How do I cook goat?’ With dishes arranged by cooking technique James shows that goat can be cooked fast and lean, or slow-cooked in curries, stews, braises and roasts as well as make sausages, burgers, and kebabs. There is also a section for delicious seasonings, spice blends and marinades.

From Kid Shanks with Chickpeas and Chorizo to Goat Tacos, Steamed Dumplings to Schnitzel, GOAT will encourage people to broaden their cooking repertoire as well as use more goat meat in everyday meals. Plus, there are original recipes from renowned chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi, Neil Rankin, Olia Hercules, Gill Meller and Jeremy Lee.

Alongside advice on sourcing goat meat, James highlights issues within modern farming today, the involvement of artisan tanneries to ensure the use of the whole animal and Cabrito’s charitable work with Farm Africa. Fifty per cent of James’ author advance and royalties from GOAT: Cooking and Eating will go toward Farm Africa’s work to transform agriculture and help farmers in eastern Africa increase their harvests, protect the environment and sell their produce in thriving markets.

Goat is a genre-defining book and essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in food and the way we eat today and is set to be the definitive guide on the subject for years to come.