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Prep school - South West cookery courses

Published on October 18, 2016
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Forget Latin and logarithms, boarding school timetables never looked this delicious.

Head back to the classroom with a mini break at one of the South West’s most intriguing cookery schools, and not only will you chop and blend your way to the top of the class, you’ll also enjoy a culinary adventure in an idyllic countryside location

Thyme Cookery School Gloucestershire

Thyme’s tables

You won’t just want to cook and crash at Thyme, a fab boutique hotel on Gloucestershire’s Southrop Manor Estate. With its medieval barns and pretty stone cottages, it’s the ultimate break-out-of-the-city retreat. Bask in the bounty of nature as you create a culinary triumph with ingredients gathered, grown and reared in the kitchen garden, from wildflower meadows and on its farm. Learning the times table was never this much fun.

Time table in

Classes ranging from world street food to choux pastry, all taught in the ultra modern kitchens.

Fave subject

Check out a charcuterie course with the legend known as The Cotswold Curer. Peter Crumby shows you how to wet and dry cure bacon, pancetta and hams, using pigs raised on the estate.

Dorm and dine

Shrub off your cares with a quirky botanical cocktail in the sheep-themed Thyme BAA before enjoying supper in the estate’s own pub, The Swan. Then cosy up for the night in one of the gorgeous Thyme House guest rooms.

Extra curriculum

Get out on two feet or two wheels and explore honey-hued bucolic villages, quaint tea shops and the undulating scenery of the Cotswolds.

Coombes Head Farm

Horticulture meets home ec.

Exhale fully and let go of the urban grind. A romantic courtyard, free roaming chickens, flagged floors, huge fireplaces, cosy sofas open beams and copious amounts of edible goodness fresh from the Cornish countryside, make Coombeshead Farm near Launceston a haven of pastoral peace and plenty.

Newly opened this summer by top chefs April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig, New York) and Tom Adams (Pitt Cue Co, London), the farm-come-guesthouse, discreetly tucked away down a green leafy lane is a foodie retreat definitely worth setting the satnav for.

Time table in

Whole carcass butchery, sausage making, curing, pickling, preserving, bread making, and all things dairy. Contact the farm for a class customised to you.

Fave subject

Shape up your sourdough and brioche skills with master bread maker Ben Glazer.

Dorm and dine

It doesn’t come much better than feasting tables loaded with home-cured charcuterie, oysters, wild mussels, freshly baked breads, curds, pâtés and pickles followed by whole roasted pigs heads and exquisitely prepared veg. Curl up in front of the fireplace with a nightcap before heading upstairs to one of five characterful bedrooms with views stretching to Dartmoor.

Extra curriculum

Pull on the wellies and stroll by oak-lined streams in acres of pretty meadows and lush leafy woodland.


Rural studies

There’s no resisting the sylvan charms of The Cookery School at Daylesford. Think organic veg plucked from the market garden, cheese ripened in its own creamery and loaves crafted each morning in the bakery. Schooling takes place in a converted pig barn surrounded by flourishing farmland and the charming Cotswold countryside.

Time table in

Everything from bread making to butchery, alongside quirky topics like How To Pack An English Picnic.

Fave subject

Sign up for the Showstopping Canapés class and wow your friends with fab finger food.

Dorm and dine

See if you can spot any “slebs” while eating at The Wild Rabbit in nearby Kingham – after all the area is the stomping ground of Kate Moss and Alex “big cheese” James – before sleeping it off in one of Daylesford’s delightful stone cottages.

Extra curriculum

If you are not content with long walks and evenings spent by open fires, take a trip to Blenheim Palace or nearby Cheltenham and Oxford.

Lucknam Park Bath

G(Astronomy) lessons

Forget Hogwarts, boarding schools don’t come much more magical than five star Lucknam Park near Bath, where you can study all kinds of kitchen wizardry. The stunning Palladian mansion, in the heart of the English countryside, makes for a luxurious academy where you can acquire spellbinding skills to impress your guests.

Time table in

A plethora of world flavours with classes ranging from tasty American street food to French family favourites.

Fave subject

Master an array of multi-coloured macaroons wickedly oozing with curd, ganache and buttercream fillings.

Dorm and dine

Top off a romantic evening of elegant fine dining in Michelin-starred The Park by sinking into a four-poster bed.

Extra curriculum

Explore 500 acres of parkland on horseback at the Equestrian Centre or chill out in the spa and hydrotherapy pool.

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