Posted by Preloved
He's a man with a campervan who has covered all points of the compass criss-crossing the UK on the drive of his life and cooking up a storm along the way. Martin Dorey, star of the BBC's One Man and His Camper Van, is a travel writer, classic camper van fan and outdoor cook who can't resist hitting the open road to discover new adventures and fresh ingredients along the way.
We caught up with Martin to talk campers, cooking and cutting lose, while persuading him to enter his own camper, Gordy, a 1970s VW Type 2 Bay Window, into our 'Vee Dub Camperstar 2012' competition. And you can also enter right here and be in with a chance of winning a copy of his book Camper Van Coast: Cooking, Eating, Living the Life, (which is available to buy here) a family weekend ticket to big bug bash The VW Festival, a fantastic vintage picnic hamper and copy of camper classic, My Cool Campervan.
Can Martin give fellow camper enthusiast and chef, Jamie Oliver a run for his money? Find out below…
A bit of both wouldn’t go amiss from time to time, although I’d feel terribly guilty about the hotel. My wife would love it and it would buy me more time in the van! But seriously I’m not much of a one for luxury, even though I do like a hotel pool. I’d rather spend my money on services, parts and keeping my van on the road....
Going somewhere new, kipping the night, cooking, getting off the sofa, being outdoors. Simple stuff that means more than rubbish telly and pre-packaged food.
I have always camped and my first car was a VW Beetle, but got into VW campers once I started surfing in the mid eighties. They might be a big fat cliché but not without reason. You can surf, change, eat and sleep right at the beach and if the wind changes, ship out to another beach where the surf is better. It’s a cheap holiday. We’re off in a few days for a couple of months in Europe and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the van. Imagine two months in a hotel. Impossible!
I have a 1979 VW 2 litre aircooled Devon Moonraker called Gordy.
What hasn’t been done to it? We’ve had a new interior, new engine (expensive but necessary), had the pop-up roof refitted and replaced the original seats for more comfy later ones. And plenty more besides... Brakes, steering, tyres, tow bar, suspension....
It was all great – a really brilliant experience. I’m not saying it was a breeze because I worked hard and genuinely stayed in the van on every shooting day, but it was such a great thing to be asked to do. Foodwise I loved the learning how to cook Arbroath Smokies. We cooked them on the beach in an oak barrel and they were delicious. Then again, I loved going to the VW festival at Caldicott. I met some brilliant people and had a wild time with the guys who organise it.
We went to the Outer Hebrides last summer on a wild goose chase to find the UK’s most remote chippy and had to bypass most of Scotland to get there, so I’d like to see more of it, particularly the east coast. I’d also like to see more of the Dales and spend a bit more time in Northern Ireland.
Somewhere a bit wild, with clean but basic facilities where you can at least feel like you’re getting back to nature. Mobile homes and corporate sites spoil it for me.
I just wanted to share this brilliant way of living, even if it’s just for a weekend. We really should get out more!
I was a latchkey kid so had to fend for myself when I was in my teens. I also lived on my own for a few years when I first moved to Devon and began picking mussels and cooking them up, which is really what led to the books and the cooking.
Personally, I like to make an experience of food if I can. That doesn’t mean soul-destroying visits to the supermarket, just making something special out of it. The van is the thing that takes you – and your little kitchen – there. A brilliant view can make a simple meal taste like the best you’ve ever had.
Being organised. Space is limited in the van – and you only have two rings - so I don’t ever attempt stupidly complicated stuff. Plus, I hate washing up so the fewer pots and pans the better.
Prawns caught by my kids with a simple mayo dip, cooked up on the beach. It makes us feel like we’re hunter-gatherers living off the land.
Jamie. He’s a legend so I’d probably just cook myself a homemade burger, grab a cold one, watch him go to work and enjoy a bit of banter. It’d be an inspiration to see him cook. Is that a cop out? Yeah, probably. My Thai-style Moules are pretty awesome though....
Sometimes the prep is best. We’re madly busy getting ready for our trip at the moment. We’ll be away for 2 months and have so much to take that it’s a bit overwhelming trying to get it all organised. But it’s exciting too. Once we hit the ferry we shall all be ecstatic. We have been asking our twitter friends to tell us where to go – literally – so we’ll be blogging and tweeting about the best places we find along the way. Check it out on Campervanliving - Cannot wait!
Don't forget - Join Martin and enter our 'Vee Dub Camperstar 2012' competition to show off your camper and see if your van's got what it takes to be a vote winner and bag the first prize!