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Send yourself to cookery school!

If you want to learn how to knead dough, fillet fish or create a mouth-watering chocolate cake, then Britain has the perfect cookery class for you! Here are 17 of the experiences you can enjoy on holiday - and return home an even better cook with delicious new recipes to try out!

1.       Jenius Social, Islington, North London

A new concept that has rapidly become a foodie institution, Jenius Social is all about creating connections through food, so if you like meeting new people and enjoy eating, this is the place for you. All courses are hands on and led by an expert chef, with a wide range of courses covering Mexican to French. Visitors to the country should go for the Best of British, of course! You can also learn how to throw a successful dinner party or try out the ‘Pimp My Profiteroles' course to impress guests with your choux pastry and fill them with things like Blueberry & Star Anise Compote, White Chocolate or Caramelized Apple & Cinnamon, Butterscotch Sauce (£45).  www.jeniussocial.co.uk



2.       Lighthouse Bakery, Bodiam, Sussex, South East England

Bakery schools don't tend to come with an inspiring view over a 14th century castle, but at the Lighthouse Bakery it's all part of the experience. You can try your hand at American, Italian, Scandinavian and Jewish baking (what is more global than bread?!), but the Traditional British Baking course is a must for those on vacation in Britain who would like to take a taste of the country back home. Learn it all, from the Welsh Bara Brith to the Chelsea Bun; courses are £175 and include lunch, recipe notes, an apron and the delicious produce you have conjured up. Trains go from London Charing Cross directly to Robertsbridge, and it's a 10 minute taxi ride to the bakery from there. www.lighthousebakery.co.uk



3.       Claremont Farm, Liverpool, North West England

Cookery courses at Claremont are a guaranteed laugh as well as promising to turn you into a better cook. As it's a farm, all the ingredients are as fresh as can be, so the meal you'll eat as part of your day course will be delicious. Courses range from the sweet - ‘Cakey Bakey Tart' - to the savoury ‘Pickle-Curry-Spice' and full day courses are all priced £89. You can also pick your own fruit and get a first-hand flavour of the British countryside at Claremont from mid-June to August, and if you're around from late April to mid-June you're in for a treat because the farm is famed for its asparagus, which is in season then. Claremont Farm is in the Wirral, 20 minutes from central Liverpool. Liverpool is 2 hours 15 minutes from London.  www.claremontfarm.co.uk



4.       Afternoon tea courses, London

Giuliana Ormes holds afternoon tea courses in her home, giving overseas visitors the chance to experience British hospitality - and have a tour of a real Victorian house in north London. Start your lesson with a brief history of afternoon tea, before tucking into making shortbread, smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, scones and sampling teas, before tucking into your creations. Tea lessons cost £70 per person and take place on Tues, and Giuliana also runs home baking lessons once a week too.  www.afternoontealessons.com



5.       Seafood School, Cornwall, England

Rick Stein put Cornwall on the culinary map with his seafood restaurants in Padstow, and you can learn the tricks of the trade at his Seafood School in the town. The courses are designed to cover every aspect of seafood cookery, in his words: ‘almost without realising it, you will cover it all from filleting a plaice to stir-frying squid, braising brill to steaming sea bass'. To coincide with the launch of Rick Stein's new book, From Venice to Istanbul (and TV series), you can attend a  wo-day exploration of Rick's latest food journey through the Eastern Mediterranean. Cooking from Venice to Istanbul is an exclusive chance to try some of Rick's newest recipes and leave with a signed copy of the book.  Reach Padstow by a four-hour train journey from London to the nearest station Bodmin Parkway, and it's a 15-minute journey from there. www.rickstein.com/school



6.       Butchery at the Ginger Pig, London, England

Hands-on butchery classes at The Ginger Pig in central London's Marylebone are carried out by a team of skilled butchers and they offer a range of evening courses aimed at teaching all about meat; where it comes from, how and when it is used and also a range of basic butchery skills. You will learn about all aspects of cutting meat, the ageing process, how to make salami, cured meats and sausages. Also, the cutting of beef, lamb and pork will be covered on the respective evenings. All the London classes are held at the Ginger Pig's Marylebone and Shepherd's Bush, west London, shops - it also has a stall in Borough Market, close to London Bridge. Classes cost £155 per person and include the lesson, a two course meal with wine and the joint or sausages you have prepared to take home with you. www.thegingerpig.co.uk/butchery-classes



7.       Llanerch - a cookery school with a vineyard next door, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

Angela Gray's cookery school uses the best seasonal ingredients, so the classes vary according to what is available at the time of year. They also offer themed classes - cooking for the Chinese New Year, Christmas or Easter. The cookery school is part of Llanerch Vineyard, a working Welsh vineyard in the Glamorgan countryside, and you can find it 20 minutes from Cardiff, with a bistro, restaurant, hotel rooms and self-catering cottages on site. www.llanerch-vineyard.co.uk/angela-gray-s-cookery-school



8.       The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School, Bath, England

Do you feel a need to knead? The Bertinet School in the centre of beautiful, historic Bath, specialises in bread-making, for both amateurs and professionals. Richard Bertinet, originally from Brittany in France, trained as a baker from the age of 14 and, having moved to the UK in the late 1980s, cooked at Chewton Glen Hotel before opening the school in 2005. As well as baking classes, there are lessons for kids too - ice cream making among them. Reach Bath in 90 minutes by train from London or in just an hour from Wales' capital, Cardiff.  www.thebertinetkitchen.com  



9.       Demuths Vegetarian Cookery School, Bath, England

Bath is home to another great cookery school specialising in the needs of non-meat eaters. Local produce is the name of the game, as is creativity, with courses inspired by cuisines from all over the world, and fun events like Walking Bath with Wild Plant Forager Christopher Robbins - a different way to explore the Georgian streets (£15) or stay indoors and indulge in an evening of Craft Beers & Rustic Canapés (£20). www.vegetariancookeryschool.com



10.   Cooking with Claire, Kinloch Lodge, Scotland

Celebrated Scottish chef Claire Macdonald runs 3-day residential courses at Kinloch Lodge, a luxury hotel on the romantic island of Skye. She is married to Lord Macdonald, Godfrey Macdonald of Macdonald, High Chief of Clan Donald, and the hotel has a Michelin star, the kitchen headed up by Brazilian-born Marcello Tully, with whom you can also learn to cook. The courses combine teaching cookery skills with a chance to explore this beautiful Hebridean island. A 3-day course with all meals, accommodation and two mornings of cookery demonstrations cost between £650-750 depending on the room. It's a great opportunity to drive the 60-miles from Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands, through some spectacular scenery. The city of Inverness itself is served by an international airport. www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk/CookeryDiaries



11.   Bettys, Harrogate, Yorkshire, England

Bettys has been serving up delicious food from its famous Yorkshire tea rooms since 1919, and it also runs cookery courses at its Harrogate premises, where you can master everything from bread-baking to chocolate-making, or from one-pot wonders to lavish 4-course meals. There are dozens of courses: try ‘Yorkshire Entertaining' for a true taste of the region, where you'll use local ingredients to whip up a delicious meal (all day, £185); ‘A Slice of Bettys', that unveils the mysteries of the tea rooms' famous sweet treats (4.5 hours, £100); or ‘Naughty But Nice', which teaches you the art of afternoon tea treats like Yorkshire spiced tea cakes and Viennese whirls (all day; £180).  Harrogate is just a 45-minute drive from the historic city of York, and a three-hour train journey from London.




12.   Gluten-free cooking at River Cottage, Dorset, England

TV chef and writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall offers a range of courses at his Dorset cookery school (around 30 miles from the city of Exeter in Devon, south-west England) from ‘Pig in a Day' to cheese-making. But for those with special dietary needs, there is a chance to learn more about gluten-free cooking. The day combines hands-on cookery and demonstration-based recipes, giving you the support and tuition to follow a gluten-free diet. It all starts with a tractor ride down to the farm, to meet host and nutritionist Naomi Devlin, and see for yourself the famous River Cottage farmhouse and kitchen garden. Courses include seven practical sessions, morning tea, lunch and a tractor ride to the cottage for £195.  www.rivercottage.net/shop/product/gluten_free_cookery



13.   The Culinary Cottage, Abergavenny, South East Wales

The Culinary Cottage is a cookery school you'll leave from armed with new ideas and the motivation to put all your skills into practice! Courses are run by Penny Lewis, whose teaching skills match her culinary talents (attested to by the dignitaries, celebrities and royalty she's cooked for), with courses that are accessible and easy to follow - and that lead to delicious results. There are several courses that last three to five days, but if you're time short, try the half-day Cakes & Bakes or Vegetarian Entertaining, if meat is not your thing. Half day courses cost £65, one day courses £120 and longer courses are priced depending on length and whether residential or not - you can stay in lovely four-star accommodation, and enjoy walking in the beautiful Black Mountains. www.theculinarycottage.co.uk



14.   Artisan food in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England

In a Nottinghamshire location more commonly associated with the folk hero Robin Hood, the School of Artisan Food offers courses in bread-making, cheese-making, brewing, butchery, charcuterie and preserving. Learn about English Cider with an Introduction to Artisan Cider Making a 1-day course (£145), or the teaming of beer and cheese in a half day course (£35); if you have longer there are 3-day courses in cheese-making and artisan baking. The school is easily reached from London; a 2-hour train journey to nearby Nottingham, which in turn is a 45-minute drive. www.schoolofartisanfood.org



15.   Local treats - and BBQ skills - at Belle Isle, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Belle Isle Cookery School opened its doors in 2003, in state-of-the-art facilities in the grounds of Belle Isle Castle by Lough Erne in County Fermanagh (around a 2-hour drive from Belfast) - the first school of its kind in Northern Ireland. It offers a wide range of courses for both complete beginners and those who are more experienced. Fish and seafood lovers can be guaranteed the local catch to learn to fillet, prepare and cook, or for those keen on outdoor cooking try the 1-day BBQ Master Class (£85). www.irishcookeryschool.com



16.   Nick Nairn's cookery school, Aberdeen (north east Scotland) and Lake Monteith (Stirling, central Scotland)

Nick Nairn has had a long and pioneering career as a chef, and is one of the UK food industry's heroes - he's run restaurants, been a celebrity chef and food campaigner, and even cooked the banquet for The Queen's 80th birthday celebrations.  Nick set up a cookery school on the beautiful Lake of Menteith (2-hours from Edinburgh by train) in 2000, and he opened another in the centre of Aberdeen in 2012. Though other chefs work at the schools, you can choose to have Nick Nairn himself teach you all about Scottish cookery, learning to prepare and cook a 3-course meal from the master for £249. Or else there are 3-hour classes for £79, where you could whip up a Sirloin steak and white choc brulée, or else go for a Quick Cook class, and perfect a one dish to impress everyone back home (£59).  www.nicknairncookschool.com



17.   Luxury and Michelin-star chefs in the heart of Hampshire, England

Join Head Chef Olly Rouse at SEASON, the new luxury cookery school at Lainstone House Country House Hotel, and feel like a contestant in MasterChef in the state-of-art kitchen for a truly luxurious cooking experience. Seasonal vegetables, fruit and herbs are picked in the 17th century hotel's kitchen garden - just a stone's throw away from the school and complete with its own Falconry.  Classes on offer at SEASON are as diverse as the perfect dinner party, show-stopping meat dishes, classic cake making, knife skills, vegetarian cooking, chocolate masterclasses from a Chocolate Master, cooking for students, parent and child cooking and many, many more. You can choose a class by type, by a particular chef or by date. SEASON is currently offering 25% off all full day classes 1 August - 31 October 2015. Lainstone House is 1-hour direct from London Waterloo to Winchester by train and a 5-10 min taxi ride from Winchester train station. www.exclusivehotels.co.uk/cookery_school

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