River Cottage is a brand used for a number of ventures by television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. These include a long running Channel 4 television series, cookery courses, events, restaurants and products such as beer and yogurt.

Television series

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

The first TV series was Escape to River Cottage and was shown on Channel 4. In this show Hugh left London to pursue an ambition of self-sufficiency - growing his own vegetables and raising his own animals at a gamekeeper's cottage near Netherbury in Dorset. The series had six episodes and first aired in March and April 1999.[1] It was followed by Return to River Cottage in 2000.[2] and River Cottage Forever in 2002, in which viewers followed Hugh's further adventures as a downsized smallholder.[3]

In 2004 the River Cottage brand left the original holiday home to follow Hugh's progress as he set up a new business from old dairy buildings near Broadoak, Bridport, Dorset in the series Beyond River Cottage.[4] An additional series, The View from River Cottage, was a combination clip show and retrospective of the previous series.[5]

The 2005 series, River Cottage Road Trip, follows Hugh as he explores Dumfriesshire and Cumbria for regional recipes that he can bring back home.[6]

In 2006, moved to the Park Farm location near to Uplyme in Devon. Here at the new River Cottage H.Q., the team would film the 2006 series The River Cottage Treatment where Hugh would attempt to convert junk food lovers' eating habits.[7]

The 2007 series, River Cottage: Gone Fishing,[8] saw Hugh travel to fishing locations throughout the British Isles in order to promote the culinary benefits of sustainable fishing cultures.

In 2008, Channel 4 began broadcasting River Cottage Spring,[9] later followed up by River Cottage Autumn,[10] which shows Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall using home-grown produce in recipes. The series also tracks a group of families in Bristol who attempt to convert a large bramble patch into a small-holding, now known as Bramble Farm,[11] growing vegetables, and rearing meat.[12] A four episode series River Cottage: Summer's Here began airing in June 2009.[13]

November 2009 saw the broadcasting of a new series titled River Cottage: Winter's on the Way, following Hugh as he grows, forages and cooks winter treats.[14]

In 2010 a new series titled River Cottage Every Day was released, each episode concerning the specific topics of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, breakfast, lunch, bread and treats.[15]

During the year 2011 Hugh released the series River Cottage Veg, documenting his experiences of giving up meat whilst learning about different vegetarian cooking styles.[16]

In July 2012, a new three-part series began on Channel 4, titled River Cottage: Three Go Mad.[17] Hugh was joined at Park Farm by three celebrities who wished to increase their knowledge on where their food comes from and how it gets from farm/sea to plate.

Australian adaptation

River Cottage Australia is an Australian adaptation of the series. It sees former chef Paul West showcase local produce and farming while attempting to live in a self-sufficient manner. The series premiered in 2013 on The LifeStyle Channel and ran for two seasons before moving to The LifeStyle Channel's sister network LifeStyle Food in 2015.[citation needed]

DVD releases

Escape to River Cottage DVD cover
DVD Name Released Audio Aspect Ratio Duration Number of Episodes Num of Discs
Escape To River Cottage 08/09/2003 Dolby Digital 2.0 4:3 Full Frame 2 hours 48 minutes 6 2
Return To River Cottage 19/04/2004 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 2 hours 28 minutes 6 2
River Cottage Forever 11/10/2004 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 3 hours 42 minutes 8 2
Beyond River Cottage 17/10/2005 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 4 hours 40 minutes 10 3
River Cottage Road Trip 02/10/2006 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 2 hours 5 minutes 2 1
River Cottage: Gone Fishing! 03/12/2007 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 2 hours 22 minutes 3 1
River Cottage: Spring 27/10/2008 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 3 hours 7 minutes 4 1
River Cottage: Autumn 12/10/2009 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 3 hours 11 minutes 4 1
River Cottage: Summer's Here 01/08/2011 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 3 hours 5 minutes 4 1
River Cottage: Winter's on the Way 17/10/2011 Dolby Digital 2.0 16:9 Anamorphic 3 hours 12 minutes 4 1

These DVDs are distributed by Channel 4 DVD.


A number of books have been produced to tie in with the series including:[citation needed]

  • River Cottage Year
  • River Cottage Meat Book
  • River Cottage Family Cookbook
  • River Cottage Fish Book

Locations of TV shows and other ventures

The original River Cottage

50°47′01″N 2°44′54″W / 50.783537°N 2.748251°W / 50.783537; -2.748251

The original River Cottage was a former weekend and holiday home, previously a gamekeeper's lodge in the grounds of Slape Manor, Netherbury, Dorset.[18] This was used as the location for series 1-3 of the TV show.[19]

River Cottage HQ

50°45′22″N 2°46′55″W / 50.756°N 2.782°W / 50.756; -2.782

The original River Cottage HQ (RCHQ) was near Broadoak, Bridport in Dorset and was home to the fourth TV series, Beyond River Cottage, which was based around the new project to develop the rural education centre in some old dairy buildings.[18]

The RCHQ ran courses and activities celebrating and teaching the skills and values that Whittingstall learned in his five years as a Dorset smallholder. It focused in particular upon cooking in tune with the seasons, small scale local food production, and adding value to home grown produce for taking to local markets. The courses and events were hosted by different members of the River Cottage team, including some from the television series including Ray Smith (a freelance butcher) and Michael Michaud an organic polytunnel expert.[citation needed]

In September 2006 River Cottage HQ moved to a new, larger, location.[18]

River Cottage H.Q (Park Farm)

The River Cottage HQ kitchen garden and farmhouse.

50°45′04″N 2°59′38″W / 50.751°N 2.994°W / 50.751; -2.994

In 2006, the show moved to a new location, also called River Cottage HQ, near the village of Musbury in East Devon.[18] Cradled in the Axe Valley on the Devon/Dorset border, the second River Cottage HQ (known as Park Farm) is a 17th-century farmhouse, converted barns and 66 acres (270,000 m2) of land.

River Cottage HQ provides dining experiences, cookery courses as well as courses on a wide variety of topics including bee-keeping, brewing, breadmaking, cheese-making, curing meat and foraging.[20]

In early February 2012, River Cottage's events barn was largely destroyed by a fire.[21] It has since been rebuilt.[22]

Other business ventures

River Cottage Canteen and Deli, Axminster

The River Cottage team has opened The River Cottage Canteen and Deli, a local produce shop and informal restaurant in Trinity Square, Axminster, in a building that formerly housed the town's ballroom.[23] In November 2011, a second Canteen and Deli was opened in Plymouth, in the historic Royal William Yard and a third canteen was opened in Bristol in March 2013.[24] A fourth canteen opened in Winchester, in September 2014.[25]


  1. ^ "Escape to River Cottage". tv.com. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Return to River Cottage". tv.com. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "River Cottage Forever". tv.com. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Beyond River Cottage, 2004-10-21, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  5. ^ The View from River Cottage, 2005-06-10, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  6. ^ River Cottage Road Trip, 2000-01-01, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  7. ^ The River Cottage Treatment, 2006-11-02, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  8. ^ River Cottage: Gone Fishing!, 2007-11-08, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  9. ^ "River Cottage Spring - Telegraph". Archived from the original on 2013-06-12. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  10. ^ River Cottage Autumn, 2008-10-16, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  11. ^ "Bramble Farm". The Knowledge: the community web site and newsletter for Knowle West. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  12. ^ "Television critic's choice - River Cottage Autumn (Channel 4) - Telegraph". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  13. ^ River Cottage: Summer's Here, 2009-06-03, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  14. ^ River Cottage: Winter's on the Way, 2009-10-19, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  15. ^ River Cottage Every Day (TV Series 2010– ), retrieved 2016-08-02 
  16. ^ "Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on why River Cottage has gone veggie". Radio Times, 2011-10-16. http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2011-10-16/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall-on-why-river-cottage-has-gone-veggie
  17. ^ River Cottage: Three Go Mad, 2012-09-12, retrieved 2016-08-02 
  18. ^ a b c d "TV and Films set in the area". West Bay, Bridport. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  19. ^ "The Original River Cottage". Netherbury Village. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  20. ^ "River Cottage". Cool Places. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  21. ^ "Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shocked by River Cottage fire - BBC News". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  22. ^ "The River Cottage Barn is Back!". Archived from the original on 15 December 2014. 
  23. ^ http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/lifestyle/tn2-saturday/get-away/views-are-the-jewels-in-devon-s-crown-1-4495043
  24. ^ "River Cottage - Hugh uncovers the true extent of waste in a new series for BBC One". Archived from the original on 2013-02-14. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  25. ^ "River Cottage Canteen to open in Winchester this month (From Basingstoke Gazette)". basingstokegazette.co.uk. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 

External links