Today, as part of my birthday present my girlfriend took me to the River Cottage Canteen in Axminster. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has become one of those people on TV that I’ve started to loathe; with the fake reality and stupid fake friends, although I’m sure he’s a nice guy. Hugh’s book on Meat is really worth a read, it is a very well written and thoroughly researched book with some good recipes. Definitely the best thing HFW has produced.
His canteen is a great place to eat. The menu is reasonably priced with main courses coming in under a tenner. I had pheasant sausages, which were over seasoned, but really flavoursome, served with Puy lentils and Salsa Verde (really needed more acidity). It does feel like a poor man’s St John Restaurant.
This is not a review so I’ll shut up and get to the point; River Cottage has become more than a brand, I feel it represents a philosophy. Excuse the bullshit, as I know HFW is an entrepreneur and he wants to make a shit load of money, but I honestly believe he has bought into his own ideologies on food ethics and fuck it, so have I. He is quite happy to admit buying a dirty bacon sandwich from a greasy spoon and he understands that it’s impossible for you or I to buy ethically farmed meat every day. All Hugh asks for is a little respect for the animal, and once you respect that animal it will taste twice as good.
Oh and before I forget the Stinger beer I had in with my lunch was painfully good.