From macarons to meze: our favourite cookery schools in the South West
Perfect a family favourite or try something new
Whether you’re a sophisticated home cook or a self-confessed novice, the South West is home to some of the best cookery schools and courses in the UK. With a collection of child-friendly options on offer, there’s ample opportunity to plan a fun day out with family or friends. Varying from French patisserie to a taste of Italy, discover a few of our favourite cookery schools.
Le Frog, Devon and Somerset
Wonderful for family events or celebrations, Le Frog offer several unique courses. Pipe truffles and crush cocoa beans in a chocolate masterclass or embark on a fully fledged experience, perfecting quintessentially French dishes such as cauliflower soup and moules marinière.
Sourcing ingredients from Britain’s best suppliers, Le Frog pairs classic dishes with a delicate French twist. Incorporating local produce where possible, many vegetables are picked from National Trust gardens while the eggs are from free-range Devon farms.
Courses start from £35 per person.
Where to stay: Upcott Farm
Rick Stein’s Cookery School, North Cornwall
Inspired by global travels, Rick Stein’s cookery school cover an eclectic mix of cuisine. From Asian street food to squid, cuttlefish and octopus cookery, the workshops are either season-focused or themed around worldly flavours, including Singapore, India and Mexico.
Several of the courses are holiday-centred to tempt the little ones, with pumpkin cupcake classes for Halloween and yule log workshops during the festive period. If you’re on the lookout for a more intense affair, the school also offer four day courses in Rick’s speciality – fish, shellfish and seafood.
Courses start from £45 per person.
Philleigh Way Cookery School, South Cornwall
Inspired by recipes handed down over the generations, Philleigh Way offer evening dining demonstrations and immersive courses to get stuck into. Home to ten state of the art workstations, each student will be well equipped to create something delicious.
Whether you’re rolling out the dough in a family pizza workshop, learning about the world of spices or elevating your cupcake game with a sugarcraft course, there are plenty of ways to inject something new into your go-to recipes.
Courses start from £49 per person.
Where to stay: Sea Edge
The Olive Tree, Dorset
Featuring a collection of one-day speciality courses, The Olive Tree cater to all levels of expertise and cuisine preferences. Take a trip to Sicily with a culinary tour of family favourites, such as arancini and ricotta cassatelle, or simply scrub up on your pasta making skills.
Budding chefs between 15 and 17 are encouraged to enrol themselves on the ‘young chef’ experience, where the final result is a seasonal three-course menu filled with technical tips and tricks to further their culinary know-how.
Courses start from £60 per person.
Ashburton Cookery School, Devon
Ashburton Cookery School is one of the South West’s top cookery schools with a friendly team of expert chefs and an impressive alumnus, including celebrity Masterchef winner Liz McLarnon. From a half-day of creating canapes to a week-long fine dining excursion, let your creativity run wild on the plate.
Those with a sweet tooth will love creating a beautiful box of macarons, while keen foodies can roll their own sushi with a hands-on masterclass or perfect the key elements to a Greek meze platter, including tzatziki and lamb meatballs.
Courses start from £80 per person.
Where to stay: Phoenix House
In-house and virtual masterclasses
For something a little different, why not try a private in-house cookery course. Taking inspiration from holidays across the globe, Chef Fiona offers bespoke packages to transport you to your favourite foodie destinations. Whether you prefer the flavours of South East Asia, Japan or South America, Fiona will provide the ingredients and flavours ready to take you there.
If you’d prefer to be left to your own devices, Ali Pumfrey Chef hosts interactive cooking courses online. Each one is freezer-friendly and shifts with the seasons to make the most of local produce. Featuring recipes such as curries and flat breads, enjoy the rare opportunity to add to your culinary repertoire, undisturbed, from the comfort of your holiday home.
Each of these cooking schools are operating a little differently at the moment. Please visit the individual websites to find out more about how processes have changed to adhere to social distancing guidelines.