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The River Cottage Year [Hardcover]

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
RRP: £20.00
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Book Description

12 May 2003

In this new book, the follow-up to his bestselling River Cottage Cookbook, Hugh writes about the year on his Dorset smallholding. He recalls, month by month, the highs and lows of past years, and anticipates the 12 months ahead - what'll be in season when, and when'll be the best months to crack on with such tasks as chick rearing and sheep shearing, haymaking and hedge laying.

But, for all its outdoorsy information, the real focus of THE RIVER COTTAGE YEAR is indoors - at Hugh's kitchen table. With over 100 brand new recipes, this is above all a cookery book and for once a genuinely seasonal one, celebrating local seasonal produce at its very best - chestnuts in January, artichokes in March, rhubarb in April, asparagus in May, strawberries in June, blackcurrants in July, tomatoes in August, plums in September, apples in October, pumpkins in November and parsnips in December...

Full of his hard-earned smallholder's wisdom, seasoned with his infectious good humour, THE RIVER COTTAGE YEAR is Hugh's rallying cry for us to reclaim the seasons.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Reprint edition (12 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340828218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340828212
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.9 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner. His series for Channel 4 have earned him a huge popular following, while his River Cottage books have collected multiple awards including the Glenfiddich Trophy (twice), the Andre Simon Food Book of the Year (three times), the Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food award at the Guild of Food Writers and, in the US, the James Beard Cookbook of the Year. Hugh lives in Devon with his family.

(Photo credit: Tom Beard)

Product Description

Amazon Review

For an ever-growing army of admirers, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall can do no wrong. The River Cottage Year seems sure to follow the commercial and critical success of his previous book, The River Cottage Cookbook, which was something of a publishing phenomenon, selling by the bucket-load and winning every major cookery book award.

The format of this new book is intriguingly different: this time we are given (in chronological order) the author's insights and observations on life and food as the seasons and months go past, interweaving cookery with the cycles of the natural year. These sections aren't all the book has to offer: the new volume is crammed with 100 original seasonal recipes, all beautifully detailed. Of course, we may look at the results of these mouthwatering delights in the new Channel 4 series that accompanies this book and lament how we're not quite in the same cookery league. But Fearnley-Whittingstall has a gift not possessed by some of his rivals: we are always made to feel that the delights offered here are within our grasp, provided we follow the helpful advice we are given.

The food is a mixture of the ambitious and the achievable, and looking through The River Cottage Year is a blissful experience, whether your intention is simply to dream about dishes or to actually get down to the nitty-gritty of making them. The illustrations are as tempting as anything in the text, and the book will unquestionably raise the author's profile still higher.

--Barry Forshaw


A tonic for jaded cooks and an utter delight for lovers of real English food (Daily Telegraph)

Some lip-smackingly delicious recipes . . . guaranteed to bring out the country girl

or boy in you


Ripe and magnificent . . . a good and beautiful book (Guardian)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More excellence form Hugh 4 Sep 2006
Set out in a monthly format,with each month / section starting with an introduction from Hugh outlining what's seasonal at the time & offering some marvellous recipes .
There is a fantastically useful guide to seasonality at the start of the book , allowing you to see when your fruit & veg will be at its best & when fish & game are in season
My copy is very well thumbed, I go back to it on a very regular basis - the recipes , as ever where Hugh is concerned, are easy to follow & really tasty - the recipe for cock pheasant au vin in particular, is an out & out winner - delicious.You really should try the Blackcurrant double ripple ice cream as well - decadent or what ?
Treat yourself & get cooking with a seasonal bent.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Personally, although I think Hugh FW is a fantastic advocate of self sufficiency, I wondered whether it was worth buying this... And that's hard for me to admit.
It's broken down into months and gives recipes utilising seasonal produce. Very good idea, I'd been searching for a book like this for ages. BUT the recipe's are not what i'd call "everyday". In fact the only one i've used since purchasing the book in May is deep fried elderflowers - and jolly yummy they were too! A random dip in the book: cock pheasant au vin (Jan), nettle risotto (Mch), radish leaf and mint soup (may), bacon with fresh pea puree (july).
Hugh still persuades us to grow our own or purchase local seasonally produced over imported organic, and I do everything I can. So if you want an "after a busy day in the office" menu planner, look elsewhere. It's very good for "interesting" ideas and reinforcing a grow-your-own mentality, but forget it if you have a picky family or are on a diet. Maybe I'm being unfair, I wouldn't want to put anyone off even if they just grew a lettuce in a window box.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This month, my imagination has been captured, bound and gagged by "The River Cottage Year"; a book I have had a great deal of trouble putting down.
As the title suggests, it walks you through 12 months with Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall, better known perhaps as the shaggy-haired master of all food, free and frugal.
Watched on Channel 4 by devoted following of downshifters, thrifty and experimental cooks, HFW has inspired the nation with his waste nothing style of cooking.
7" by 9 1/2", it gives you a full 1 1/4" of good quality paper, a fabulous smattering of images from his kitchen and a delightful collection of seasonal recipes.
With around 9 recipes for each month and a super preamble to each month preceding them, he writes with a style that makes you think he is an old friend sat at your kitchen table, chatting away, whilst enjoying a large bacon sandwich.
Relaxed, pleasing to the eye and easy to read, each recipe is almost a story and a thorough pleasure to follow, or just flick through with a nice cup of tea.
The pictures by Simon Wheeler leave you entertained and salivating. He seems to have captured Hugh, his kitchen, family, garden and usual surroundings like a professional fly-on-the-wall and even though there are not pictures to accompany every dish, somehow just it doesn't matter.
One of my favourite images is the one underneath the dust jacket, which invites you to open the book to full spread to enjoy something steamy and mouthwatering being pulled from the oven, by a white shirted Fearnley-Whittingstall.
What was that meal I am left wondering?
This is not a traditional style recipe book, it is two steps better in my opinion. It opens eyes to new possibilities and gives frugal food positive sex appeal!
Read more ›
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting back in touch with the seasons 13 Sep 2005
By J. Brand TOP 1000 REVIEWER
If you were to judge this simply on the recipes then this is much the same as many of hugh's other books, lots of recipes but a fair chunk of text given over to the lifestyle and, lets be honest, that's where Hugh's books are pitched in the market they are selling a vision of a lifestyle and not a manual on how to run your kitchen. In fact based simply on the recipes I'd say that this is probably not the best of his books but it wins on one major point. By dividing it into months it answers that question that so many of us may have wondered - what is in season now? It is, after all, too easy to stand in the local supermarket and be so isolated from the natural world that you have no idea that this is the time of year when if you see aspargus on the shelves then its probably been air freighted half way around the planet.
Buy this, read the recipes by month and go to the grocers and markets rather than supermarkets. Its one simple step to feeling better about consumption.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Swings and roundabouts 29 May 2003
By A Customer
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a national treasure. The quality of his writing, the conviction of his beliefs and the down-to-earth deliciousness of his recipes put him head and shoulders above other TV cooks. This latest installment from River Cottage arranges recipes by month and HFW's primary ambition is to persuade us to cook with fresh, local produce, rather than consume mountains of mange-tout flown half way around the world. I haven't tried to cook any of the recipes yet (see below), but they are again pleasingly of the inspired/homely variety that filled his first book. But there is a problem with this book. And it's a BIG problem. If he has any sense (which, as we all know, he does) HFW should hammer on the door of his publishers and demand that his latest book is re-designed and re-formatted. Glorious photography, but unspeakably irritating design. The wonderful section on the seasonality of produce (complete with a chart that should be every cook's Bible) is almost illegible in pale green type. Most annoyingly, ingredients aren't listed at the top of recipes, but highlighted in the text. Although the author has set out to write a very useful and practical book, his publishers and designers have conspired to ensure that it will live on the coffee table rather than in the kitchen. A shame.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of recipes beyond me!
I found this book a bit hard to get into not realy every day food, however I will try some of them out
Published 4 months ago by Janice Game
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Hugh and River Cottage to.
I gave this book 5 stars because it's recipes are great fun and easy for a normal person to make. I also enjoy the fact that this book has helped to give seasonal variety to our... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Shane Rooney
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
the book is great to learn how to cook,a must for every one if you want a healthy diet very good rear
Published 8 months ago by mrs elizabeth kellett
5.0 out of 5 stars Present
I got this as a little gift for my partner who loves Hugh. He loved it a lot so that that must be a good sign.
Published 12 months ago by Charlotte
3.0 out of 5 stars Good on seasonal food over a year
A mixture of food philosophy and interesting recipes. A good read in any season, as well as specific seasonal advice.
Published 13 months ago by Wizzco
2.0 out of 5 stars regurgitating the same old same old
This book is a disappointment. It hasn't got much new material, much of the content is a reworking of previous books including the recipes.
Published 18 months ago by Brian Malyon
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth adding to the collection
Another book collected in the series of river cottage cookbooks. Not the best one but certainly some good receipes and tips.
Published 19 months ago by Md Simons
5.0 out of 5 stars River Cottage Year Book
I am a fan of Hugh and co. This book is cheap, cheerful and easy to read. Hugh has a way with making every cook feel at ease. No problems with seller or delivery.
Published 20 months ago by lizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars seasonal cooking
wonderfull book that guides you , learns you how to use seasonal products. Delicious recepies, month per month, tips about how to grow veg in your garden (that work! Read more
Published on 12 Jan 2012 by françoise
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK
I really like some of HFW's other books and his ethos of cooking seasonally & using quality ingredients. Unfortunately, though, this isn't a book I use often. Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2011 by Marand
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