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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living the downshifting dream
If you don't get on with the latest incarnation of H F-W, these earlier series may be the antidote. Over the course of three years you watch him grow his own vegetables, raise livestock and integrate himself into the local community. Of course some of this is probably set up to make good TV but it's still appealing. He shows his skill at the traditional pastimes of...
Published on 2 Feb. 2009 by Amazon Customer

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars River Cottage feedback
The idea of the escape from the corporate driven rat-race is quite appealing. The series makes interesting viewing, but I feel there are a few shortcomings in order to make it really realistic...
To really make it out there (without needing to rely heavily on the system he is trying to escape) he would realistically spend a lot more time working the land and tending...
Published on 10 Oct. 2011 by Paul L. Zietsman


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living the downshifting dream, 2 Feb. 2009
This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
If you don't get on with the latest incarnation of H F-W, these earlier series may be the antidote. Over the course of three years you watch him grow his own vegetables, raise livestock and integrate himself into the local community. Of course some of this is probably set up to make good TV but it's still appealing. He shows his skill at the traditional pastimes of huntin', shootin' and fishin', but leavens that with a willingness to learn and take part. As he gets involved with things from farmers markets, to cider circles to mouse whisperers, he relates his tale with wit and charm.

For your money you get three double DVD boxes:
- River Cottage Forever: 6 episodes + the Christmas special + goose recipes + a H F-W Bio;
- Return to River Cottage: 6 episodes + Q&A (from a conference) + outtakes + (the same) H F-W Bio; and
- River Cottage Forever: 8 episodes + a made-for-DVD Q&A + a H F-W Bio (again).

For me, the extras, other than the Christmas special, were a little dull (although the made-for-DVD Q&A is around 30 mins long and may appeal to aficionados) but they aren't the reason to buy this box set. This box set is about watching one man live the dream of giving up the city, moving to the country and trying to become self sufficient. And, as such, it's inspiring for those who daydream about doing the same.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant..., 7 April 2008
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Mr. T. Cowderoy "Ilo" (Cork, Republic of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This series is amazing, I first watched an episode of River Cottage on Sky, was at home with a friend zapping through numerous channels and landed on this, my friend insisted it was a brilliant TV show and we should watch the episode.

My friend is not into cooking that much so it got me interested!

Anyhow the stories, the recipes and the adventure got me hooked, i had to buy them.

I have watched the two first seasons and i love it, kind of makes me dream of a house in the coutryside, although i guess a lot of aspects of self-sufficiency are not covered he looks at the food side of things with a lot of attention.

The only negative i have about his show is that he uses railway sleepers in his vegetable garden, most of those are full of chemicals and really should not be used for that purpose!

Anyway I highly recommend this DVD Boxset, watch it, love it and live it! :-)
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, Informative & Nostalgic, 4 Mar. 2008
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A. Symes - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
Whether you wish to call Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall a journalist, cook, smallholder, entrepreneur of story teller, after viewing the River Cottage Box Set one could argue that he trancends every one of these traits in one way or another throughout the three volumes.

Fearnley-Whittingstall takes you through a journey, starting at the beginning where he purchases his first two pigs, some chickens and plots out his vegtable garden, to the end of his experiment at down sizing where the series ends with Hugh posessing a thriving polytunnel, pigs, cattle, sheep, chickens and numerous amusing tales of his journey from being a 'city downsizer' to an established 'dorset smallholder'.

The 3 series' all include amusing anecdotes about Hugh's relationship wih his animals to even the smallest critters such as mice and slugs. It also provides great information about animal walfare and cooking (with some great recipies included) and conveys a great sense of nostalgia and takes one back to the 'Great Britain' era where food was sourced locally and there was a great sense of community.

After viewing the River Cottage Box Set it would be naive to assume that Hugh's smallholding operated soley down to his quaint bartering technique but it does provide an intrinsically warming and a humerous approach to the idyllic, country life and asks questions of the quality of food the general public consume. Overall this Box Set comes highly recommended, is well worth the money and highly compulsive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable, 14 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This box set covers the first three years of Hughs life at river cottage. Since watching them, over and over, I have got my self an allotment and intend on getting livestock as soon as possible. The reason that I fell in love with these series is the fact that he doesn't get everything right all of the time. He has bad days and even some rather large disasters. But he keeps on smiling and always seems to find a solution that has him coming out laughing.

Even if you do not intend to have your own small holding you will become instantly drawn into the lifestyle he has chosen and find yourself laughing along with him and the extremely friendly people he meets along the way. Also I purchased the cook book which accompanies the series, "The River Cottage Cook Book", and have found it invaluable.

The only down side is that, having watched blu ray, the picture quality seems a little poor. But if i hadn't mentioned it i doubt you would have noticed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic River Cottage..., 27 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I remembered watching these years ago and loved it so obviously wanted to get these and they are brilliant... Love watching how he started off and where he is now, excellent...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable TV about living the "Good life", 26 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
We live abroad and have seen the odd program by Hugh when visiting the UK. We both enjoyed these TV series' and have tried out a few of the recipies. My wife is even inspired to try keeping hens....
The series runs over several years and shows Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall moving out of London to rural Dorset and running a smallholding. Lots of non-sentimental talk about animal husbandry, game shooting, fishing and growing vegatables and some magnificent dinners.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the life, 31 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
After watching it and falling in love with the idea all over again I cant help but think we should all take a leaf out of Hugh's book and live a better life. A show that shows you dont have loads of money to live a full life. I think we should all watch it as if things carry on in the world as they are we will all be needing the skills and community spirit this show offers. Well done Hugh, keep up the good work. Ps any one now if you can rent River Cottage.
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5.0 out of 5 stars River Cottage Heaven, 31 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This collection is truly inspiring, sharing Hugh's first foray into self-sufficiency. It is an absolute necessity for anyone who dreams of being able to live off the land on a little patch of countryside, with Hugh giving small doses of reality along with the wonderful idealism of growing and breeding your own food, using nature's free gifts and sharing information and resources with locals, even before the phrase "carbon footprint" was invented.
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5.0 out of 5 stars River Cottage, What a Ripper..., 27 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
I must say I enjoy watching the river cottage series. Every dvd I've watched has been entertaining and I can watch them over and over again. This set of three dvd's is no exception, you will not regret the purchase. Hugh inspired me and I now grow many of my own vegetables/fruit. The only thing I won't get is chickens because my wife won't let me have them. Let Hugh at river cottage inspire you 2.... Scotty from Australia...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delight at River Cottage, 3 Feb. 2010
By 
Stephen G. Cooney (Warwick Township, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: River Cottage Collection [DVD] (DVD)
This collection is a delight. My wife and I were lucky enough to see episodes of the series on a vacation to Scotland and fell in love with Hugh. I finally bought a DVD player that will play all formats and this was the first purchase I made to play on that machine. We watch an episode or so once a week and are magically transported back to our wonderful vacation.
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