The "River Cottage" Effect

I had always prided fitting myself in to the class of being a reasonably modern urbanite, I had a healthy, but not obsessive, appetite for keeping up with those around me on the latest gadgets, gossip and lifestyle. That was till just a few short months ago however, when two life changing catalysts altered my thinking for what I realise is a better more sustainable future for both body and peace of mind.  My lovely partner Katie who has been instrumental in bringing me back down to earth and helping me once again realise that excess is far from success and her sister for introducing us both to the almost magically romantic notion of downsizing as a smallholder in country England presented by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the Channel 4 Reality/Documentary type TV series "River Cottage".

The four main seasons of this series follow Hugh's adventures from leaving his past in the big city and making an effort to become a self-sustaining small holder in Netherbury, Dorset.  Starting out from small beginnings in a rented former game-keepers lodge he quickly makes friends with the locals, understandably helped by his personable character he also wins their hearts through his culinary skill and willingness to learn from them and help them in return.

Not only are his adventures via simple back-to-basics lifestyle choices a pleasure to watch, but his background in journalism and food-writing lend him an impeccable presenting style, the material and the way it is presented tells a story so appealing that you would be very hard pressed not to entertain wonderful thoughts of making his same dream your reality, and if not, at the very least you may find yourself making small changes to the same effect.

I am a great fan of the entire story and concept, but as a food lover I am also a convert to his robust completely home grown or locally sourced style of cooking and plan to be immersed as far as possible in the back-to-basics cooking ethos as I can.  Get your hands on this series, it's a must see and guaranteed almost impossible not to fall in love with!



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