Set in a quaint Georgian market town on the edge of Dartmoor, Ashburton Cookery School is ideal for a rural foodie break. They offer over 40 cookery courses to suit everyone from novices to Masterchef hopefuls, all taught in brilliantly equipped kitchens by charming, knowledgeable professional chefs. HELLO! Online enrolled on the Authentic Indian course co-taught by talented Indian TV chef Monisha Bharadwaj. Our group cooked a fabulous feast including creamy tarka dal, Keralan coconut and tomato fish curry and a rich lamb rogan josh. The town of Ashburton itself is fast becoming a foodie destination, dotted with enticing delis, cute cafes and the restaurants rated highly by locals in the know including the Agaric and the Moorish. Take a room in the cookery school's reasonably priced town house accommodation and make a weekend of it.
Eckington is the place to brush up on classic kitchen skills. Popular courses include Easy Entertaining, Knife Skills, Best of British, Introductions to Bread Making and Pastry and AGA Cookery. The light and airy classroom kitchen is the perfect place to hone your skills, all under the guidance of the fun, friendly and skilled team. The luxury accommodation is a highlight in itself. Individually and tastefully decorated, the tranquil rooms and suites are dotted around the farm's beautifully restored outbuildings. Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the onsite restaurant before exploring the grounds of the working Cotswolds farm which is home to award-winning pedigree herds of Aberdeen Angus and Highland cattle, Lleyn sheep and Gloucester Old Spot Pigs.
Rick Stein's Seafood School, Padstow, Cornwall
Best for: fish
TV chef Rick Stein's famous cookery school in Padstow sits in a breathtaking location overlooking the harbour and beautiful Camel Estuary. Students receive valued guidance from Rick’s talented and experienced team of professional chefs, helping them create mouth-watering dishes. Book yourself onto the Original Fish and Shellfish Cookery course to watch demonstrations by Rick's talented team of professional chefs who will help you create mouth-watering dishes which you can savour while overlooking the scenic estuary, accompanied by a glass of good wine or two. Be sure to stay overnight in the seaside chic accommodation, sample one of Rick's many eateries and explore the stunning Cornish coastline.
One day courses £198 per person or £250 including an overnight stay in one of the guest rooms rickstein.com
Pomp de Franc, East London
Best for: cupcakes
For a lesson in classy cupcake decorating, Katie Franklin is your woman. The artisan baker uses fashion as a starting point for her unique, intricate cake designs and she'll impart her specialist knowledge of techniques including impressive sugar glass lacing. Classes take place in chic east London and participants get eight beautifully decorated cupcakes boxed to take home.
L'Atelier des Chefs, Oxford Circus and St Pauls, London
Best for: speedy courses
L'Atelier des Chefs offers a wide range of interactive cooking classes in their two central venues. Their flagship cooking class 'Cook, Eat & Run' teaches you to cook a main course in just 30 minutes for £15. Other options for the time-poor foodie include one and two-hour classes which cover a variety of cuisines including Thai, French and Moroccan as well as skills such as breadmaking and pastry.