Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is believed to be away and doesn't know about the fire

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's cookery school at River Cottage Park Farm in Devon has been burnt down in a freak fire.

Eighty firefighters were called to the scene when the 17th century barn caught light just after 10pm on Tuesday, but by this time the roof was 'well gone'.

'We are all very upset here at River Cottage that a beautiful barn is gone,' says managing director of 46-year-old Hugh's HQ, Rob Love.

'We have spent a lot of time and effort getting it restored but are glad that nobody was hurt.'

The River Cottage Canteen and Deli were unaffected by the blaze, but cookery school courses have had to be postponed.

Though it seems things won't stay this way for long.

'We're making fantastic progress at #rivercottage HQ today. You can't knock our spirit. We'll be up and running in no time at all,' Tweets Hugh's team.

Esme Riley