Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Trip to River Cottage Australia [Part 2: Lunch at River Cottage]

Saturday [Sept 7th] was the day I had really been looking forward to the most. I got to meet Paul West, who I admire greatly and shared similar passions to mine in regards to food, gardening and livestock rearing. For those who don't know, Paul West is the host of the TV series River Cottage Australia, recently aired on the Foxtel Lifestyle Channel.

River Cottage is only a few minutes outside Central Tilba. We met up with the other winners [Brenda, Sammy, Rebecca and Kealy] and our co-ordinator Artemis in Central Tilba and drove out there. As we rounded the bend, we got our first glimpse of River Cottage! Of course we all stopped and took photos!

River Cottage Australia

They really chose a gorgeous location, it's absolutely spectacular! The house is nestled in at the base of Mount Gulaga National Park.

Domineered by the mountains

Horses grazing with the Gulaga National Park as the backdrop.

Driving into the property
 On arrival we were greeted by Paul West and his fiancĂ©e Alisha. There were introductions all round, and then we were ushered inside the River Cottage homestead for some very appetising looking appetisers!

Extremely fresh local oysters, which I thoroughly enjoyed even with all my past oyster experiences being slimy and yuck! I guess it goes to show, the fresher it is, the better it tastes...especially with seafood.

The platter just looked amazing as it was! Local cheddar from South Coast Cheese, 'head cheese' made from one of the River Cottage pigs, a cranberry and rhubarb relish, sweet pickled gherkins and mustard.

And of course, what platter would be without a hot loaf, fresh from the oven?

Table set for lunch
The house was gorgeous inside! It has corner windows which are fantastic, you get amazing views from every window of the house. The whole place has this beautiful light and airy feel to it, and the most amazing vibe to it.

Outside the 'show' kitchen [there are two kitchens in the house], is a small deck leading out to the vegetable gardens and a chicken tractor with young Australorps.

Out the back were the chickens which Ember had a lot of fun with, and the pigs-which my partner was very interested in and almost got bitten by! He came back inside with a number of muddy snout marks on his pants!

Meeting the Australorps
The piggies!
Paul West picking produce for lunch

Bringing out the main meal
 Lunch was amazing! For starters we had fish tartare done in nasturtium leaves. The main was roast chicken and pork sirloin [from one of the River Cottage pigs], with an amazing egg and potato salad, garden salad, chopped broad beans and a pesto-I think it was at least!

Ember tried pinching Paul's lunch!

And that's not all! Dessert was a gorgeous Lemon Delicious pudding with stewed rhubarb and thick cream. It was suggested that this should become Australia's official dessert, and everyone at the table heartily agreed!

You can find a copy of Paul West's Lemon Delicious Pudding recipe on Rebecca's blog insidecuisine.

And if that dessert wasn't enough, there was more deliciousness on it's way out in the form of a salted caramel shortbread!

In the 'prep' kitchen after lunch [note the amazing view from the corner windows!]

Digger the River Cottage dog and star of the show [or at least he thinks he is]!

Me with Paul West
 The afternoon was amazing! So much lovely food and conversation with a group of amazing people and friends! I connected with some incredibly like minded people and shared something very special. I wish it could have gone on forever, and I'll never forget the people I met!

Punch the travelling wombat meets Felix the travelling duck!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great day out was had by all!