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Escape to River Cottage 1 Season

Season 1
4.6 out of 5 stars (34) IMDb 8.7/10

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall's dream of escaping the city sprawl and all its stresses and downshifting into rural dorset is finally realised when he arrives at River Cottage in his 1960s Ford Corsair convertible. His year-long experiment, living off the fat of the land, and the sweat of his brow, involves a steep learning curve... and a lot of fun! Wrestling with free-spirited piglets, waking in the dead of night to protect his vegetable garden from a slug attack, and making cider from a windfall of apples all involve plenty of help from his friends and neighbours

Starring:
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 1

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1. Episode 1

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's dream of escaping the city sprawl and downshifting to rural Dorset is about to be realised. He has arrived at River Cottage, and his new life as a small holder, living off the fat of the land, lies before him. But first there has to be some changes. What doesn't put food on the table has to go.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: January 1, 2001
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2. Episode 2

Hugh had thought his downshifting was progressing nicely. But his daily garden check reveals a pesky garden pest. The jam season is approaching, so it's off to Forde Abbey farm for a day fruit picking. Hugh decides to expand the River Cottage livestock, but foxy concerns about his new chicken run send him to fellow small holder Frank Biddlecombe for a lesson in foul play.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: January 1, 2001
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3. Episode 3

Michael Michaud comes over to check Hugh's vegetable garden's progress, and also admire his promised ham. Hugh has decided to enter The Beaminster Horticultural Society's annual competition. He also heads to the coast to check out the amazing mating spider crabs and hooks up with local skipper, Dave Sales, and his diving team. Show time back at River Cottage has arrived and whatever the outcome the challenge is on for next year!

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: January 1, 2001
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4. Episode 4

Hugh's garden pest problems are now being rivaled inside the Cottage, with an infestation of mice! Desperate measures call for unusual powers of persuasion. After, spurred on still by the mice Hugh joins Jan Andrews on her regular cull of the Dorset Roe Deer population. Then it's a trip down memory lane as Hugh catches up with local schoolmaster Mr Cheeseman, who kept a fishing boat in the bay Hugh used to play in with his childhood pals.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: January 1, 2001
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5. Episode 5

It's now Eel migration season and Hugh meets up with local basket maker Malcolm Seal, to try his hand at creating an eel trap. The Chideock Cider Circle enjoys the right to collect orchard windfalls and Hugh joins the September harvest in return for a taste of their infamous brew. Another autumn treat is in store for Hugh as he joins a group of beaters on a nearby pheasant shoot. Hugh returns home to make a hearty game terrine for his guests the burly beaters. The evening ends with a bang as they all celebrate Bonfire Night in the River Cottage garden.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: January 1, 2001
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6. Episode 6

His pigs are now ready for slaughter and Hugh intends to have a pork party to pay his new neighbours back for their friendship and invaluable help. Hugh also enlists one-time playboy Victor Borge and local butcher Ray Smith to help him deal with the meat. Back at River Cottage the three immediately set to work preparing a feast of small holding delights for the party guests. Hugh manages to fit in a sea shore scavenge with Bill Gibbons in search of some free food. Armed with buckets and mounds of table salt Hugh learns an ingenious technique for catching tasty razor clams.

TV-NR CC Runtime: 24 minutes Release date: January 1, 2001
Buy SD $1.99

Product Details

Genres Documentary
Starring Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Network TVF International
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

this is a very enjoyable show. Hugh makes you feel like part of the process of going back to the simple life. Creating a new smallholding farm for himself, you join the adventure of gardening, raising and slaughtering livestock, and becoming part of the local rural community. His farm is near the ocean, and so fishing and seafood are also a really great part of the food presentations. Watch him cook up some amazing meals using his home-grown goodies, found foods, and seafood treats. Cooks, gardeners, and those interested in independent, off the grid living will enjoy what this show has to offer. Warning: if you are vegetarian, or squeamish about meat things, just be ready to put on the mute for a few of the segments. He does not sugar-coat the realities and purpose of raising livestock, and it could be upsetting since we do tend to be totally removed from these processes. On the other hand, to balance out the gore, it is chalk full of idyllic, mega-sweet, English countryside gorgeousness, and at times too cute cookie cutter local "types" and characters. But why not indulge? Well worth it.
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The best thing we have found to watch in a really long time....If you dream of homesteading or being closer to the source of your food supply, you will enjoy watching Hugh....We've watched all the series on Amazon, and hope they add more soon. There's apparently a lot more episodes, but I haven't found an easier way to download them, other than here on Amazon....

Hugh is entertaining to watch, inspiring and resourceful....
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I thought it was rather good.
The lay of the land,
the folks you need to support you,
the different venues available to source your protein, carb.

I would have liked more of the nitty gritty but for TV it's fine.

Capital stuff....
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I kept getting this as a recommendation and ignoring it, then finally watched one and loved it. We are now watching what is effectively "season three" of the show (this is season one, Return to River Cottage is season two, River Cottage Forever is season three). If you have any dreams of setting your self up with a little farm, this will stoke them. The cooking scenes are lovely and educational, too.
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This type of program may not be everyone'e "cup of tea", but we have loved watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall experiment with his small Dorset farm. He ends out being the straight man for his delightful neighbors.
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This is a really cool story about a guy from London who decides to live the simple life. Choosing Dorset as his location, he stumbles upon a really cool cottage in the middle of the English Countryside. He sets up gardens and gets chickens and pigs. Each episode offers new challenges, and creative solutions.
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I initially started watching this show because I wanted to learn more about farm cooking, and while I got less cooking than expected, I got so much more of what I didn't know I needed. It makes me want to go out to the countryside now and try my hand at the whole thing myself!

But since that's a bit difficult, I satisfy that by watching this over and over again (along with the other offerings on Amazon).

I'd buy a lot more if they were only available.... hint Amazon.
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I love the thought of having a tiny cottage out of the way. Now, that isn't going to happen for me, but watching this made me feel a whole lot better by seeing someone do it! What a delightful and at times humorous look at living a semi-sustainable life!
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