Woodbridge: Mitchell-Cotts family share frugal dining habits with viewers during BBC Two show The Kitchen

Celandine, Campion, Hamish, Tamerisk, Valerian, Rowan, Merlyn and Samphire Mitchell Cotts

Celandine, Campion, Hamish, Tamerisk, Valerian, Rowan, Merlyn and Samphire Mitchell Cotts - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk family are making space in their crowded kitchen for a nation of television viewers next week.

The Mitchell-Cotts clan are set to appear in a new three-part BBC Two series taking audiences into the heart of homes across the country.

The Kitchen starts at 9pm on Monday and follows the culinary habits of eight households, including the eight-strong Mitchell Cotts’, who live near Woodbridge and, despite being a big brood, spend as little as £100 on weekly groceries, sometimes foraging and sourcing food locally.

Dad Hamish, 63, is a descendant of the noble Throckmortons, who date back the Norman conquest. But the graphic designer was not in line to inherit the family estate and shunned a chaotic commuter career in London to spend more time at home with wife Merlyn and six children Celandine, 18, Tamarisk, 15, Campion, 14, twins Rowan and Valerian, 11, and Samphire, eight.

“You have to be frugal with a big family,” said Hamish. “As the children grow older, demands become greater.

“We have our own fruit orchard and the foraging is fun for us. After the harvest there are often potatoes and onions lying around that will be otherwise left to rot.”

Hamish is not against the idea of eating freshly killed wild animals hit by vehicles and found along roads but admits the preparation can be impractical.

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“We used to fill up at the supermarket but we were spending a lot more and stuff was going to waste,” he said.

“Now we live on more of a budget and try to cook from scratch. We enjoy cooking and sitting together as a family. We don’t do it as much as we would like and we have to slightly insist that they all come and sit down.”

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