As I’ve made several references to the wedding I attended this past bank Holiday weekend in Lyme Regis, I thought I would post a few images from the day and write about the stunning meal we were served by the talented River Cottage team. As our car wound its way down the twisty gravel path that led to the River Cottage farmhouse we were greeted with the sight of pure English countryside spreading for miles and miles and there, nestled in the valley was River Cottage itself http://www.rivercottage.net/ Welcome drinks had been set up in the herb garden, a fresh and inviting “gin garden” cocktail and plenty of non alcoholic cocktails for the children/non drinkers amongst us, served originally in jam jars and with old fashioned stripy straws sourced by the ever resourceful Bride. We were served the first of the canapes up at the farmhouse, fresh crab on toast which was impossibly fresh as you would expect from the team here and of course local. The reception itself was held away from the main house, in a clear fronted marquee with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The decorations were a result of months of hard work, again by the ingenious bride and fitted in beautifully with our country surroundings, from luggage tags with each guests name on hem as place settings to the little jars of homemade piccalilli made by the groom (who would like me to point out worked in collaboration with the chefs at River Cottage on their delicious menu!) nothing had been left unthought of. Outside, the children big and small were amusing themselves with the coconut shy, giant skittle and welly wanging and we were served two more canapes to tide us over until dinner was served. The homemade pork sausages were fantastic, herby and flavourful but the real star of the two was the ceviche of scallop and seabass, topped with a powder made from the dried orange roe and giving them a most unusual taste. We then settled down for the main meal, to start River Cottage oak smoked mackerel, which was an absolute revelation. I’m a fan of mackerel in any form but this was quite unlike any smoked mackerel I’ve ever tried before. This was paired with asparagus and hollandaise and a tiny baby leaf and edible flower salad, all again from the River Cottage farm. Main course was beef served 2 ways, a smoked roasted rump and a rich and flavour packed slow braised shin that had been braised with additional chunks of beef fat to keep it really moist. Those that didn’t eat meat were not forgotten about and a fillet of roasted sea bass was topped with sliced new potatoes served on top of seasonal greens of all descriptions and was also a huge hit. Dessert was an inspired assiette of fairground classics. Ginger honeycomb, beetroot marshmallow, a mini rhubarb and custard filled doughnut and a miniature rhubarb ice lolly. The perfect end to a delicious meal. We were then whisked to a yurt, complete with a substantial wood burner to keep us warm as the night drew in for the wedding toast of champagne and a cherry soaked in a locally made eau de vie and the highly entertaining speeches (Sorry for all the heckling!) Returning to the reception area, tables cleared to make room for the dance floor and we proceeded to dance the night away to a fab collection of party tunes put together by a friend of the couple and also watched an Adele tribute act who was spot on. Dancing, of course works up an appetite and we were delighted to be ushered outside for pizzas made in a specially constructed pizza oven and topped with a delcious, spicy homemade chorizo which I was especially excited about as I had seen Hugh use the homemade chorizo on the television series before. As if that wasn’t enough, the unique “cheese cake” which took the place of a standard wedding cake, constructed out of layers of several different local cheeses was served with RC breads and delicious soft macaroons were placed out for us to nibble on before we eventually made our way back to our respective B&B’s. You can eat at the actual River Cottage as they hold events most weekends and you can of course hire it for special occasions and they also have the canteen in nearby Axminster http://www.rivercottage.net/canteens/axminster/ which on this showing I would also highly recommend to anyone in the area. All in all it was the perfect setting for a perfect weekend, Congratulations again Emily and Ben!