You’ve most likely heard of or watched River Cottage, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s famous cookery school and food ethos that has inspired both novice and professional chef’s across the nation. Based on the Devon and Dorset border, River Cottage HQ’s is a cookery school with a difference; the site is low carbon, low energy and considers the various issues of sustainability on the site. The farm where they grow their produce carries organic certification accredited by the Soil Association, they are ambassadors for the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the wind turbine at the top of their site provides some of the electricity for the site (read more here).
However did you know that River Cottage has much more than a cookery school? There are four canteens and deli’s around the South West.
Located in the grade 2 listed Royal William Yard and overlooking Plymouth Sound, we discovered Plymouth’s own River Cottage Canteen & Deli – a hot spot for locally sourced, organic dishes.
The views from the Royal William Yard are beautiful, even on a drizzly day, and can be gazed upon if you have a seat near one of the windows inside or if you prefer a patio seat outside. The interior is a treat for wandering eyes. Hand woven blankets hang from the back of chairs complementing the early neutral tones, then contrasting bright colours pop from accessories and quirky objects that are subtly placed. One of the highlights of the interior design is a giant whale that has been made entirely from recycled plastic bottles suspended from the ceiling!
The menu is varied and based on fresh, local ingredients. Dishes are taken from recent cookery books that can be bought at the counter, and some dishes are made from leftovers – just as we’d do at home, minimising restaurant waste. We opted for fresh juice paired with the leftover vegetable curry with onion bhaji – delicious! We also tried the chocolate truffles that came with a whisky and espresso; the trick to this is to taste a little bit of each at a time, savouring the rich flavours.
To find our more about River Cottage and to discover your closest canteen, click here.