Martin Dorey travels around Britain in his classic campervan. Exploring the Lake District, Martin searches for the mysterious bilberry for an 'oven free' cream tea.
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'Today, my van and I are in the glorious Cumbrian Fells.'
Hey, look at that, that's stunning!
'I set my van the ultimate driving challenge...'
We're getting there! Come on!
'With a bit of help, I reveal the secrets of sausage making...'
That's a real camper banger!
'And I'll be showing you how local wild berries can brighten up a clotted cream tea!
'Right, I was heading back south
'on the homeward-bound leg of the journey,
'across the border from Scotland
'to England's Lake District
'and the county of Cumbria.'
So far I've done 2,000 miles, pootling around Britain...
and most of it without incident.
I've cracked my head...
I managed to hit myself on this piece of furniture here...
We've had a leaky roof...
The rain started battering down on the roof...
We've sprung a little leak.
And I've almost got drowned in a field...
I couldn't stay because I was worried that I would wake up in a sea of water in the morning.
Apart from that,
'The Lake District is a beautiful and breathtaking landscape.
'It's not only home to England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike,
'but also contains the longest and deepest lakes in England.
'But this magical backdrop, although stunning,
'was potentially hazardous terrain for my 30-year-old camper.'
The Lake District
is famous for fell walking
and very changeable weather.
Seeing as this is a campervan adventure, I'm going to do something a little unexpected.
I'm off to visit one of only a handful of wild board farms in the UK.
'In my quest to make the best campervan cuisine,
'I was looking for top ingredients for an old favourite.
'The only thing is I've been told these boar can be a little aggressive.
'Peter Gott has been farming wild boar here in Cumbria for over 15 years.'
Here we go.
So, with a bucket of food, we'll go and explore.
I notice you've got a gun on your shoulder. Are they dangerous?
Er...I don't know what scent you might be giving off,
and if there's a possibility of the male wanting to attack you,
I just want to make sure I've got something to make a loud bang
or even follow through with that, because they are a dangerous wild animal.
'Peter told me that it's the alpha male that I had to watch out for,
'so I was rather nervous when he appeared.'
-Yeah, he's over here.
-Come on. Can you see that frothiness on his nose?
-Well, that's telling me that he's...
-Cor, he's big!
-You'll be all right.
He's been showing signs of dominance. He wants to fight everybody at the moment.
-Come on, fella, go on.
-I can see his tusks there.
Those razor-sharp tusks would literally slit you from end to end.
They don't go blunt because they're continually working against each other to sharpen.
So what if I was to get between him and his food or him and his young lady over there?
First of all, he'd stand on his front legs and sort of slightly paw,
and that's what he was doing when I first found him.
That tells me that he's... it's a territorial action.
-He'd then probably just come at you.
Apart from bowling you over
and then probably turning round after the initial attack and biting the hell out of you...
-I'm glad he's...
'But he wasn't quiet for long, as he was suddenly startled by a member of the crew.'
Go on! Go on!
'Like all of us males, the promise of food calmed him down,
'although I was concerned it might be temporary.'
I think it's time to move on now.
-We don't need to push our luck.
-So...having looked at the beginning as it were...
-..Shall we go to the end and make some sausage?
-That would be great, yeah!
'So it was back to the farm shop to try and create the perfect campervan banger for my dinner
'of wild boar sausages and mash tonight.'
Something that is typically British is the fact that we put a breadcrumb into our sausage meat.
And the reason for that is that when the sausage cooks, you get...
a, you get that sort of succulent taste where the fat has been absorbed by the rusk, the breadcrumbs,
and, b, you also get sort of browning, the sort of sizzled brown sausage.
Put a little bit of garlic powder in there, a little bit of rosemary, paprika... Gives it a nice colour.
'That was the seasoning done, it was time for the tricky bit -
'getting the meat into its sausage skin.'
-Here we have the natural intestine...
-That's amazing! How long is that?
-It can be up to 21 yards.
-All right, OK.
And it's been cleaned. We want it a natural skin...
You can see the meat creeping out through the nozzle there.
Just hold the end, keep the end tight...
and then just let your hand and your fingers hold it back...
and then let it go.
And as you hold it back, it gets fatter... you don't want to burst the skin...
and as you twine faster, it comes out faster,
-so I'm going to let you carry on with that.
-I'll take that away.
-I've not done it before, so it's completely alien to me...
and it's very interesting...
but also feels a little strange, I have to say!
Right, OK. So...how's that?
Yeah, keep going. That's good.
Faster on the...?
You're taking some keeping up with!
-Maybe hold it back a little bit.
-Yeah, I can see it needs to fill up a bit, doesn't it?
Wow! Look at that!
-I think that's... I think I'm there.
-That's it, yeah.
'With the finish in sight, Peter still had one last skill to try and teach me.'
-So I've got you ready. Now you've got to take the top...
-And bring that one up to there...
-That one up to there.
-And link it.
-That's it. Push that through.
-That one through. Through and out the other side.
-That one goes that way.
-You've lost it!
-I'm a total mess.
I think I've confused the issue. Where did it go?
Did you get the knack?
I think probably the butcher's art needs to be kept secret.
'With wild boar sausages made with my own fair hands for dinner tonight,
'despite a few hiccups, it felt like a successful morning.'
I really enjoyed that.
It's really nice to meet people who are genuinely knowledgeable about their subject.
I feel like I've really learned something,
and I cannot wait to gorge myself on those thick juicy sausages.
'But the sausages are not the first thing on today's menu.
'Before I camped up and cooked, I'd set myself and Gordy here a campervan challenge.'
Well, now that the van's made it 2,000 miles, I thought I would up the ante a bit.
I'm going to take on Wrynose Pass.
It's famous for being a really difficult road,
and I'm hoping that little old van here will make it right to the top and right down the other side again.
'So it was time to see what Gordy's made of, cranking up the gears and heading for the hills!'
Hey, look at that, that's stunning! Wow!
I love landscapes like this.
They're just so massive,
even though the sky is really dark and the clouds are kind of pressing down on top of the mountains,
'Very quickly, though, this landscape had gone from pretty to pretty worrying!'
One in three...flipping heck!
One in three.
'In the south-western region of the Lake District,
'at its peak, Wrynose Pass reaches an incredible 1,281 feet.
'That makes it one of England's highest and trickiest driving roads.'
I just need to keep enough power on in first gear just to keep us moving.
'As I wound slowly up the hill, other more unusual vehicles were taking it all in their stride.'
Slow and steady! Slow and steady!
'Luckily, the traffic found a place to overtake,
'whilst I was still having enough trouble working my way along the pass.
'These little climbs may not look like much, but, add them all up,
'and, for an old van like mine, it ain't half steep!
'I thought Gordy was just about ready to give up,
'so I was relieved to see the final climb up ahead.'
This is the worst bit of the hill, my foot's right on the floor,
I've got to keep going. Cannot take the foot off the floor, otherwise we won't make it.
'One last push! I was so close to the top.'
This is it! This is the apex!
The top of the pass...!
We're getting there! Come on!
'Piece of cake!
'I was rather proud of myself, although hoping and praying the brakes would work,
'as I made my descent.
'But before I'd had time to enjoy the glory, the Lakeland landscape gave me a reality check.'
The weather was like this the last time I was here, absolutely lashing with rain,
and up ahead is a pass called Hardknott Pass,
so I've made it over the first one. I'm going to take a look at it,
but, you know what? I'm really not sure I'm going to go for it, it looks very steep.
'After a closer inspection, "steep" might have been an understatement.'
Well, there are kind of maybe four, five, six or seven hairpins by the looks of things,
and whilst I might get up the steepness, getting round the hairpins...
they get really steep on the corners... It just looks like it's just not worth it.
And if I get stuck I could burn out the clutch and...
..it's "Goodbye, trip".
So I'm going to give it a rest.
'Confident in my decision that this is no place for a camper, I was about to be upstaged!'
-there's a VW coming down!
Oh, dear, there's a VW...
There's a camper coming down.
Oh, the shame, the shame!
'It looked like my instincts were right and it was anything but a smooth ride down.'
Oh, look, they're stopping for the turns.
Oh, that's horrible.
I bet they are so regretting doing that! Oh, no!
'I had to find out who these campervan daredevils were!'
I'm going to go and flag them down and see what it's like.
'And it looked like a French number plate!'
How is it?
THEY SPEAK FRENCH
That was a good decision!
'There was no time to lose.
'I may have beaten the rain back to the campsite by Coniston Water,
'but I still had to cook up my wild boar sausages with campervan mash!
'So it was straight on with the gas, a glug of olive oil and in with the juicy bangers.'
My plan was to have wild boar sausages and mustard-and-horseradish mash
and to eat out...under the clouds, but...
-..by the sound of things,
it's going to get a little bit wet around here!
'The first drops had started to fall and I knew there was going to be much more to come.
'I had the mash and some red onions cooking inside the van,
'but it was touch-and-go whether the sausages would be done before the heavens opened.'
Well, hopefully, I might just have enough time to get the sausages done,
but, you never know, it might pass. If it does, great, if it doesn't, I'm in the van.
'Onions on, almost ready, but it sounded like a real storm was brewing.'
Doesn't sound very good, does it?
Thunder and lightning over the other side of the lake...
'The good news was that, after a few minutes on each side, the sausages were finally done.
'And so it was a last-minute dash for my mash!'
Just got a little bit of campervan mash... mustard...whole-grain mustard...
horseradish, butter and milk,
mashed with the skins on...
A big daub of butter on the end.
'A hearty dollop of redcurrant jelly finished off a classic campervan dinner -
'wild boar sausages with mustard mashed potatoes, served alfresco.
'But before I could eat, it was time to rescue the outdoor kitchen!
'Despite getting me soaked, this gave me a rather dramatic backdrop to my simple but delicious dinner.'
That's what it's all about...
..if you're going to take a campervan around the UK...
It's not all going to be plain sailing.
As long as it's good eating... who cares?
'So with the rain hammering on the roof,
'I settled in for the night,
'hoping that it would have passed by the morning.
'Coming up, I head off-road in search of bilberries...'
Berries, where are you?
'..Get a heart-warming surprise from home...' Oh!
'..And let you into one of my top campervan cuisine secrets...
'how to make the best cream tea from scratch without an oven.'
PATTER OF RAIN
The worst thing about camping and campervanning
is, when it rains, you just can't get dry.
You need a little bit of sunshine to try and dry everything out.
The van stays sort of humid, so all the upholstery and all your clothes
just kind of start to feel a bit damp...
Well, I'll tell you something, I wish I was at home...
in my lovely bed with my lovely wife and my lovely kids!
'An hour or so later and the rain finally stopped,
'but that homesick feeling had given me an idea for today's campervan recipe.'
This is a superb location, but I'm missing home and the family.
So yesterday I phoned my wife Jo and asked her to send me a parcel of Devon clotted cream.
Do you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to make myself a Devon cream tea!
It might seem a bit weird, but there really is no taste like home.
'And for one of my key ingredients I was going off the beaten track, so it was time to hire a bike.'
I'm on the hunt for something very special.
And I'm going to need...this to help me find it.
The only trouble is...
..I've got to get it in the van.
'To add a local touch to my recipe, I was heading for the hills.'
What I'm out looking for is a thing that called a bilberry.
Not to be confused with the American blueberry.
It's also known, perhaps confusingly, as a whortleberry,
and in Europe as a myrtle berry or myrte.
One of the best memories I've got of when I was younger was going on a French exchange to the Alps
and eating myrte pie, and it was one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted.
They come out at this time of year in this kind of landscape,
and if I bag some of those berries, I'm hoping to make a campervan compote to go with my cream tea!
'As I passed through the village of Hawkshead,
'I took the opportunity to ask the locals about the best bilberry spots.'
Excuse me, have you got a moment?
You look like you might be the kind of person that can help me.
I'm looking for bilberries.
No? I'm hoping to find somewhere where they grow locally, you see, cos they should be in season.
Right. She knows her thing, does she?
So I've got a hot tip that Sheila in here might be able to help me.
-I'm looking for Sheila.
I'm afraid she's not in at the moment. Can I help?
Well, I was told that there might be somebody in here who would know where I could find bilberries.
-Bilberries? Well, I know of two places...
-Up on Claith, I'm sure there is some.
-That's just over there.
-And also if you go towards High Dam.
-On the walk up to the High Dam, there's loads on the right-hand side.
Brilliant. Thank you so much!
Well, I may have struck gold! The bilberry hunt continues!
'Well, it sounded like I didn't have far to go to find a good spot,
'and as I headed out of the village, it wasn't long before something caught my eye.'
I just want to have a quick look in here because these mysterious bilberries
actually do live in coniferous forests, low on the ground...
and we're at the right time of year, so I'm just going to have a quick look.
Let's have a look.
'Because bilberries need to be handpicked, they're not cultivated in the UK,
'so you won't find them on the supermarket shelf, but there were a few hiding here.
'I'd be really lucky to find good, juicy bilberries on the roadside,
'so I was going to have to venture further into the woods. Time for plan B!
'I'm usually happier on four wheels, but after being cooped up in the rain all morning, this was great!'
Oh, whortleberries, where are you?
The trick is to keep your eyes peeled for the habitat...
..and for the plant itself, cos you'll never spot the berries from this distance.
And what looks like a likely place...
get off and check them out.
Well, I've got a few!
I mean, hardly enough to make my cream tea.
But the good news is they are here and they are...
so all I've got to do is keep looking.
'Unfortunately, I'd chosen a very small berry for my jam,
'so it was a good few hours' exploring the forest to pick the right amount.
'I was exhausted but there was no time to lose. It was back to the van
'to hit the road and pick up one last vital ingredient.'
the parcel that I asked my wife Joanne to send me yesterday will have arrived!
-All right now.
-Thanks a lot. See you.
'It was time to head back to my camping spot to see what treats had been sent from home.'
Right, let's see what's in here, then. Oops!
Oh, I can't get in quick enough!
Let's see what she's managed to do... Overpackaged!
I can't get in!
There it is!
The real McCoy!
My very own...
..dollops of Devon loveliness!
'But that's not all that had arrived.'
Here's a little card.
There's a card from my kids.
I think that one's Jo,
that one must be me, that one's Bob the dog,
and Maggie and Charlie.
"To Martin, missing you lots, can't wait to see you soon.
"Love and kisses, Joanne, Maggie and Charlotte
"and Bob the dog."
And there's a paw print at the bottom, which I'm sure is Bob's.
'It felt great to get a parcel from home, and after my van and I had travelled a total of 2,000 miles,
'I couldn't wait to taste Devon clotted cream scones with wild bilberry jam.
'My forest-picked bilberries were looking delicious,
'and, after a quick rinse, I crushed them up in a saucepan.'
I've picked enough bilberries to make enough for one healthy portion
of campervan compote.
Er...and the reason that I picked them
is that I've been able to identify them really clearly, a positive ID.
I've got a guidebook which has given me a visual ID,
and then I've looked at the habitat and I've looked at the time of year when they're in season.
Everything fits perfectly, so...
And also there's no other plant in season now that looks anything like this.
'So the thing I learned from people like forager Gary in the New Forest is, if in doubt, don't pick it.'
Tastes a bit like a blueberry, really. That's probably about the nearest thing.
There's a little blackcurrant in there. They're quite tart,
so they'll need a bit of sugar.
'With the sugar in, the berries just needed a quick stir before going on the heat.
'And after five minutes they were bubbling away.'
This smells of the summer.
Summer berries, high on a mountain pass.
'Whilst I let the berries boil away for a good 20 minutes,
'I whipped up a batter for my cream tea scones.
'This is very simple stuff.
'Two teaspoons of castor sugar, 100 grams of self-raising flour,
'an egg and a 150ml of milk.'
Measuring jug! A very important piece of equipment in the campervan
if you intend to do things... the proper way,
instead of the way that I normally do them, which is to throw everything in.
Today...the measuring jug comes out.
I'm being quite careful with my measurements today,
because I want these scones to be absolutely perfect.
I've been dreaming of them for a couple of days and it's taken some organisation,
a load of backbreaking bilberry-picking,
and half the Royal Mail service getting my clotted cream to me on time...
It's been a lot of hard work getting this all together, so I deserve perfect scones.
And I'm going to have them!
'The batter was nearly there and my wild bilberry jam looked fantastic!
'It seemed like my day foraging in the woods had all been worth it.
'I needed to cool down my bilberry jam in the fridge.
'Next, one of my top campervan secrets - how to make a cream tea without an oven.'
Just waiting for them to start bubbling and then I'll flip them over...
Hey, there you go! They're looking pretty good.
'That was the first of my scones made.
'It was time to plate up and add my delicious clotted cream.
'Cumbrian bilberry jam, spooned on to my Devon clotted cream...
'a perfect blend of something local and something homely.'
Some say... depending on where you come from,
jam on top.
Jam underneath, cream on top.
Who knows? Scones or "scoanes"?
I don't really care as long as it tastes as good as it looks. OK.
clotted cream, I'm getting Cumbria,
but I'm also getting Ruby Red cows, rolling hills, big hedges...
Sunny afternoons in the garden... with a cup of tea...
..with my family.
And that reminds me... I should probably put the kettle on!
'Well, my mood had certainly improved,
'and, amazingly, so had the weather!
'In fact, it had cheered me up so much that I decided to share my happiness
'and hand out the rest of my scones to my fellow campers.
'Being an enthusiastic cook, rather than a professional,
'I had made too many scones for my jam.
'But I was sure the campers wouldn't mind shop-bought blackcurrant jam
'when the scones were this delicious.'
-How are you doing?
Listen, I was making some drop scones, and I made too many.
-Dive in, chaps!
-Very nice of you, thanks.
-What do you reckon?
-They're lovely, absolutely.
-I like the cream.
-Thank you very much.
-Nice one, lads.
-Can I just...?
-Yeah, go on, then.
He has to go straight for the big one!
How are you doing?
Listen, I was wondering whether or not I could interest you in some drop scones, Scotch pancakes.
-I would love a drop scone. Did you make them?
-They were made in my campervan.
-Would you like to try them?
-I'd love one. Thank you very much.
-Those are very nice.
-I'll tell you what...
-Thank you very much.
-Very good, excellent.
-Very nice! It's lovely. Thank you very much.
-Are you having a good time...?
'Well, it had been a wet and windy time in the Lake District, but things were starting to look up.
'I might have been missing my family,
'but I was sure my campervan cream tea would make me a few new friends.
'..I'm in Wales, and I'm in absolute heaven,
'because I'm at a huge campervan gathering.'
I love this! I feel like I'm in the Waikiki Bar in Hawaii.
'I reveal how to make a campervan curry
'and my van and I face the judges.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Series which sees Martin Dorey, campervan lover and passionate foodie, journey around Britain in his 1970s classic campervan on the ultimate escapist adventure.
Martin travels around the UK meeting growers, fishermen, farmers, larger-than-life local experts and fellow holidaymakers. He forages for local delicacies and cooks for his new-found friends, creating local dishes in his small campervan kitchen.
This time, Martin explores the Lake District in his classic campervan. He attempts to scale the treacherous Wrynose Pass, meets an angry wild boar and heads off-road in search of the mysterious bilberry for an 'oven free' clotted cream tea.