As some of you may have seen, I recently went on a mini adventure with Boden as part of a press trip down to Dorset. We had the most beautiful weather and packed so much in that I’d thought I’d split it into two parts (read: everything was so photogenic that I couldn’t stop snapping). So I hope you’ll forgive me the picture-heavy posts.
On day one we went to River Cottage, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cookery school. We started out with a lovely walk around the kitchen garden, from which the majority of fresh ingredients are taken as well as a visit to see the pigs (so nice, it was nearly enough to turn me veggie – I swear one of them was smiling at us!).
Then we got started with the cooking. I’ve always wanted to try making my own bread (Greig is usually the baker in our house) and eventually I got the hang of kneading and produced a couple of loaves that at least looked the part. Of course, drinking tea while waiting for your dough to prove is the tricky bit.
While our loaves were in the oven we were treated to the most beautiful al fresco lunch (just look at that table!). Blue skies, crisp white tablecloths, wild flowers and freshly picked, delicious ingredients – it felt like I was on holiday. And we got to eat some of our own homemade bread with it all.
In the afternoon, we learned how to make canapes and sloe gin cocktails – well this was all about Christmas in July you see. It sounds incongruous with the sun beating down, but they were so delicious I have tucked my recipes away ready to bring them out in December (especially as I’ve just offered to host my mum and dad this year).The folks at River Cottage are a great bunch; really fun and of course passionate about what they do. I’m not the most confident cook but chef Andy (you might recognise him off the telly) was very patient considering he was surrounded by a gaggle of journalists and bloggers (who wanted to snap and Instagram everything). Even the lovely Hugh popped his head around the door at one point to say hello.
Armed with our loaves and a signed copy of Hugh’s new book, Fruit, we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Honestly, we hardly stopped eating on this trip. Not that I’m complaining: it was foodie heaven. Pre-dinner champagne in the bar certainly got me back into the Christmas theme as we previewed all the new Boden A/W 14 sparkly party wear and cute, cosy accessories.
Apparently Boden’s new season collection is launching next week so stand by if you’re in the mood for something new (you can check out my previous post from the Boden A/W14 press day for a shuftie of what’s in store).
Come back tomorrow for part two of my Boden adventure when I’ll be sharing some photos of our visit to the beautiful Mapperton Gardens, flower arranging with The British Flower School, not to mention a country walk with Johnnie Boden himself!
Bye for now.