We had a very exciting day down on the farm at River Cottage last Friday with our Tea Cup Carousel winners from September. We donned our wellies and cagoules and started off our afternoon with Dan who looks after all the lovely animals on the farm. We met a rather sleepy flock of sheep and their lambs and, quite frankly, a very lazy ram who was more interested in grazing than getting lucky!! I think it’s fair to say that it was the pigs who stole our hearts, squelching around in their muddy pen.
We were later joined by Will who does an amazing job with his buddy Craig, growing and harvesting all the fruit, veg, herbs and spices. All the produce grown and reared on the farm is all kept and used by the chef’s. It’s a great use of what would otherwise be quite difficult land to farm from – Will and Craig spend a lot of time trying to clear the soil of endless rocks and slate! One of the stars of the 2013 crop was Dorset’s hottest chilli! There were no takers of having a taste of one funnily enough, but we did do some foraging and picked some raspberries, some very peppery flowers and the bravest of us all tasted some particularly spicy capers. A choice that may have been regretted afterwards…
The lure of tea and cake couldn’t hold us off for long and we headed back to the iconic River Cottage Farmhouse to see what delicious treats were in-store for us…and we were not disappointed!! Home-made quiche, egg and bacon sandwiches, delicious mini donuts with orange jam, chocolate tart and of course scones and cream, all made from farm produce, were devoured and washed down with a cup of Clipper. We didn’t just have seconds, we had thirds and fourths all whilst sat by the roaring fire feeling super toasty and full!
As our time at River Cottage came to an end, we climbed aboard the tractor to take us back to the top of the hill. This turned out to be the most exciting part for some of the boys with us.
My highlight??? That would have to be converting Yorkshire man Paul to Clipper…and of course spending the afternoon with quite simply, a lovely bunch of tea fans!