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Seven of the best Christmas-themed cookery classes across the UK

’Tis the season to tackle new festive recipes — and what better way to do so than on an expert-led cookery masterclass? Here are seven to check out across the UK.

Whether you're mastering your icing skills or plan to cook a knockout roast turkey, these cooking courses will help you to put together a showstopping Christmas spread.

Photograph by Getty Images
Published 7 Dec 2021, 15:00 GMT

1. Ashburton Cookery School, Devon

Christmas parties call for a selection of elegant canapes. At the Ashburton Cookery School — located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park — you can get stuck into a range of half-day canape-making courses to learn how to create six different types of savoury bites, including turkey and chestnut Scotch quail eggs, duck spring rolls with cranberry and orange compote, and teriyaki salmon with avocado, pickled ginger and cucumber, to name a few. All the canapes are made from scratch, and you’ll take home the skills and recipes to replicate your festive creations confidently.
£95, ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk

2. Raymond Blanc Cookery School, Oxfordshire

Set in the idyllic grounds of Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, this is the first Michelin-starred venue in the UK to have its own educational facility, so you’ll be picking up techniques from some of the best in the business including the hotel’s head tutor and chef, Mark Peregrine. The six-hour Christmas Lunch course will have you cooking a traditional Christmas roast with the best locally sourced ingredients, including root vegetables from the restaurant’s onsite kitchen garden, before tucking into the fruits of your culinary education with your fellow chefs. End the day with a stroll through the hotel’s charming gardens and orchards with a well-deserved glass of champagne. The course also includes light refreshments throughout the day and a certificate on completion.
£375 per person, email reservations.mqs@belmond.com or call 01844 278 881

Read more: Eight of the best places to eat Christmas pudding in the UK

3. Wilmslow Kitchen Cookery School, Cheshire

Want to pull out the stops for a dessert commanding centre stage? At Wilmslow Kitchen, you can embrace your baking prowess. During the course of the Festive Showstoppers class, you’ll be creating not one but four knockout desserts, including a sticky toffee date wreath, Belgian chocolate yule log, mulled cranberry and apple tart and, most impressive of all, a gingerbread and eggnog gateau stacked with layers of cream cheese and garnished with sugared cranberries. Enjoy the lunch, refreshments and prosecco provided throughout the day as you hone techniques for future dinner parties.
£130 per person, wilmslowcookeryschool.co.uk

4. The Food Hub Cookery School, Suffolk

Covering everything from mixing and kneading to shaping, scoring, basting and baking, The Food Hub Cookery School’s Christmas Bake Ahead bread-making workshops offer new skills to beginners and seasoned bakers alike. The relaxed, hands-on classes offer five hours of festive bread-making, all the while singing along to Christmas carols in a picturesque location near Kenton Hall Estate. Students will master the creation of cinnamon star bread, citrussy pandoro star cake, spiced soda bread and a caramelised onion and brie Christmas tree-shaped tear and share loaf — all of which can be frozen or baked again ahead of Christmas Day.
£79 per person, foodhubsuffolk.co.uk

5. Wildes Cheese, Tottenham, North London

Imparting festive cheer among adolescents may sound like a challenge, but the team at Wildes Cheese have this covered. At this micro-dairy in Tottenham, north London, urban cheesemakers Philip Wilton and Keith Sides run morning, afternoon and evening workshops imparting the skills of artisan cheese-making. But, for a more immersive experience, opt for the full-day course. Running from 10am to 4pm, you’ll learn how to make and mature four types of cheese, including a semi-hard white, semi-hard blue, camembert and a soft curd — all while Philip blares out an entertaining mix of ABBA and other cheesy festive tunes. Expect refreshments on arrival, a generous selection of cheese samples throughout the day and a large cheese-orientated lunch, plus milk tastings and insightful scientific information behind the process. If that’s not enough, the team provides festive gifts galore, ranging from gift boxes to large hampers and even cheese-making kits to give the keen home maker a great start.
£135 per person, wildescheese.co.uk

6. School of Artisan Food, Nottinghamshire

Good cheese deserves a good companion and for a jam-packed day filled with all things pickled and preserved, look no further than the School of Artisan Food. Situated on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire, this award-winning institution is an arena for the serious chef, offering a range of short courses and advanced one-year diplomas dedicated to teaching artisan food production. Led by cook and food writer Lindy Wildsmith, the school’s full-day Christmas Preserves course will have you creating a range of mouth-watering condiments, such as a spiced cranberry and orange relish, a three-fruit marmalade, various chutneys and even a Venetian eggnog, to help you transform the most ordinary dish into a festive masterpiece. All ingredients, equipment and refreshments are provided, alongside a large buffet-style lunch.
£175 per person, schoolofartisanfood.org

7. Biscuiteers in Notting Hill and Northcote Road, London

The intimate Icing Lates workshops at the Northcote Road school begin with a glass of prosecco and end with a tin filled to the brim with freshly baked and beautifully iced gingerbread biscuits — handmade by you. To dive deeper into decorating, sign up for the two-hour course or full day masterclass at the School of Icing in Notting Hill, where you’ll master the technique of colouring, piping, feathering, line and flood icing together with an expert team of resident decorators. Students receive a Certificate of Excellence and a Biscuiteers apron at the end of the class, plus your own decorated presents or edible tree decorations to take home. (Tip: try not to make your festive creations too beautiful to eat.)
£55 per person or £90 per person, biscuiteers.com

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