Where have we been?
There has been a surge of cookery school openings popping up in and around Dorset and Hampshire so we thought that we would test one of the newest, The Kitchen at Chewton Glen Hotel.
The Kitchen is a modern 2.6 million informal dining room and cookery school in the grounds of the existing and well-established Chewton Glen Hotel. It is set in its own beautifully landscaped garden and sun terrace, and houses a kitchen garden and Alitex Greenhouse - this allows for true locally sourced and foraged ingredients for both the cookery school and restaurant.
There are a range of classes to enjoy including everyday favourites, dinner party showcases, children's classes & cooking with Chewton Glen favourite, James Martin. I chose 'Recreate Chewton Glen Classics' which includes dishes that regular guests at Chewton Glen will immediately recognise as long-term favourites.
The afternoon class started with refreshments, home baked pastries and an introduction from our Chef Tutor Rob Cottam and his friendly assistant Sally. We were each given a customised apron (which you keep!) and an IPad with the recipes ready for preparing our dishes of Double Baked Emmental Soufflé, Chocolate Fondant, Salted Caramel and Spiced Apples and lastly, Honey Flapjacks.
I was then shown into the cookery school and allocated my own workstation with all ingredients prepared and waiting to be whipped into something delicious. Your workstation comes equipped with every kitchen implement and state of the art gadget that you can possibly think of. All ingredients are weighed out and prepped for you so that you can concentrate on the true art of actually cooking, rather than the preparation.
The class itself is very 'user friendly' even for the most challenged aspiring Chef - you first watch a demonstration of each dish, seated at the Chefs Tutor station, then prepare the dish yourself, with both the Chef Tutor and assistant to help you along the way - the best bit about this is that you don't have to do any washing up! The recipes are broken down into stages and punctuated by demonstrations and a tour of the fantastically stocked kitchen garden and greenhouse.
After the lesson, you are provided with a gorgeous customised hessian bag for life and containers to take your treats home to show off and enjoy with friends and family.
If you are a foodie enthusiast and would love to recreate some of your finest dining experiences at home, then this is perfect for you! You can enjoy the classes on your own, or as a party, as part of your stay at Chewton Glen Hotel, or as day guest.
Class prices are as follows:
Seasonal Full Day Class - £155 per person
Cookery Full Day Class - £175 per person
Half Day Class - £85 per person
Junior / Teen Chef Class - £45 per person
Full Day Celebrity Chef Class - from £175 per person
Cook with James Martin Half Day - £350 per person
Visit the website here