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Royal couple enjoy a visit to River Cottage

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with chef and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall during a tour of River Cottage HQ restaurant in Axminster, Devon

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall with chef and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall during a tour of River Cottage HQ restaurant in Axminster, Devon

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have enjoyed a visit to the farm – meeting Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at his famous River Cottage.

Charles and Camilla, on the second day of their annual visit to Devon and Cornwall, spent an hour at the chef’s headquarters in Axminster, Devon.

The Royal couple first enjoyed a look round the River Cottage garden, which boasts around 60 species.

Camilla, in a cream pleated dress and tan heels, and Charles, in a pale suit, were shown round the quarter-of-an-acre plot by Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall.

They then toured the inside of River Cottage’s Park Farm, where seven aspiring home chefs were being taught how to fillet megrim sole in a cookery school.

John Wright, River Cottage’s forager-in-chief, also played host to Charles and Camilla in his foraging class and introduced them to his dessert of seaweed chocolate pudding.

However Charles was more interested in a bottle of rose petal vodka – and took a sip of the fragrant drink before pretending to sway as he left the room.

The couple attended a reception of 40 River Cottage employees and local experts, where they presented Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall with a Duchy Nursery Manaccan plum tree to plant.

Speaking at the reception, Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall said it had been an honour to welcome Charles and Camilla to River Cottage.

“That’s not least because we all know that both of you very much share our passion, which fires us here at River Cottage, the passion for great foods and produce,” he told the Prince.

Charles replied: “I have long admired all your remarkable efforts to remind people of the necessity of our connection with nature and the rediscovery of those artisan traditions, which this country threw away rather unnecessarily.

“I remember 20 years ago you could never find a really interesting cheese in this country except Cheddar but the extraordinary explosion of artisan-made cheeses has been one of the most remarkable things in this country.

“You have been, together with one or two other people, so absolutely crucial in the reconnection, the re-understanding, the reawakening of all these absolutely crucial things.

“I want to say that you are an amazing beacon, what you’ve done on the side of fishing and trying to reduce over-exploitation has been remarkable.”

The Prince presented Hugh with the plum tree to be planted at River Cottage. Hugh told Charles the farm would use the plums raw, cooked and in jam. “You can send me a pot of it,” Charles joked.

 

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