Exclusive for MoS readers: Meet TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Meet TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at the legendary River Cottage

Channel 4’s Escape To River Cottage hit our TV screens in 1999, telling the story of chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s journey to self- sufficiency.

The plan was to grow his own vegetables and raise his own animals in his very own version of The Good Life. Now, after more than ten series and spin-offs, including an Australian version, Hugh has become one of the UK’s best-loved food writers and campaigners.

On this exclusive five-day tour, you’ll get to meet him and explore parts of Somerset and Dorset.

Old favourite: A view of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s home, River Cottage

You’ll spend a day at the famous River Cottage estate, where you’ll take part in a wood-fired cookery demonstration and a foraging session so you can learn to live off the land, Whittingstall-style.

You will also enjoy a delicious two-course lunch prepared by the River Cottage team, plus Hugh will spend teatime with you while you’re there and deliver a talk.

The four-star Castle Hotel in Taunton. Parts of the hotel date back over 1,000 years, making it one of the country’s most historic hotels


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, above, is a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food and his concern for the environment. He has earned a huge following through his River Cottage TV series and books, as well as with campaigns such as Hugh’s Fish Fight, Hugh’s War on Waste, Britain’s Fat Fight and his latest, War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita.  

He will also answer your burning questions about all things organic food and self-sufficiency during a private Q&A session.

In keeping with the ethical food theme, there will also be a chance to explore the six-and-a-half-acre Yeo Valley organic gardens and the picturesque Furleigh Estate for a tour of the vineyard, where they grow the grapes for their excellent still and sparkling wines.


Behind the scenes at River Cottage: As seen on Channel 4’s various series, the cottage is where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall settled when he left London to live a more rural lifestyle. You’ll see the estate up close during what’s sure to be an unforgettable day. Tea with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall:

During your visit to River Cottage, you’ll be joined by the man himself over an afternoon cuppa. Hugh will give a talk and answer your questions during a private session.

Foodie experiences: Be prepared to get your hands (and possibly knees) dirty as you take part in an expert-led foraging expedition while at River Cottage. You’ll be taught what to pick and what to avoid in the fields and hedgerows. There will also be the opportunity to learn how to cook over an open fire with members of the River Cottage team.

Visit the Jurassic Coast: One of the country’s most popular attractions, you’ll visit the Unesco World Heritage site to admire the sandstone cliffs or search for fossils on the beach.

Comfortable hotel: The Chapman family has run the four-star Castle Hotel in Taunton for more than 60 years. Parts of the hotel date back over 1,000 years, making it one of the country’s most historic hotels. 


  • A full day at River Cottage with guest appearance from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and lunch.
  • Four nights’ accommodation at The Castle Hotel, Taunton.
  • Dinner at the hotel with welcome drink and wine.
  • Visits to Yeo Valley Gardens and Hauser & Wirth gardens and gallery.
  • Dinner at Hestercombe Gardens with welcome drink and wine.
  • A trip to Lyme Regis, the Jurassic Coast and Furleigh Estate.
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable tour manager throughout.


  • DAY 1 Arrive at The Castle Hotel, Taunton. 
  • DAY 2 Lyme Regis, Jurassic Coast, Furleigh Estate. 
  • DAY 3 River Cottage day. 
  • DAY 4 Hauser & Wirth gardens and gallery; dinner at Hestercombe Gardens. 
  • DAY 5 Yeo Valley organic gardens; afternoon tea at The Castle Hotel. 


The price: From £1,399pp* for five days.

The dates: August 30 to September 3, 2021. Call 02039 939 214 quoting reference MOS RIVER COTTAGE. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/rivercottage.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: * Price based on twin/double share, single supplement from £164. Deluxe double/twin room upgrades available – subject to availability and supplement. Extra night’s bed and breakfast in standard double from £63pp, single from £121. For full T&Cs, visit mailtravel.co.uk/rivercottage.  

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