The Beaverbrook Estate is a one-stop resort for almost everything, and those everythings will be to a very high standard. The House, the more formal hotel, is large and from the outside looks rather imposing, but is in truth stylish and accessible. There is a smaller building on the estate and that’s the Garden House Hotel, and it has a very different character.
This intimate hotel gives one the impression of staying at a friend’s rather well-appointed home. The restaurant and the guest rooms are superb, but there is another asset: a cookery school, and that’s well worth considering. I have visited many such schools but this is one of the best.
The School of Cookery at The Garden House presents the opportunity for a casual and personal learning experience where you can master the preparation of delicious recipes and learn culinary skills from in-house chefs. There is a variety of interactive courses available, from sushi-making for kids, to pasta from scratch (this will likely be my next course), and how to cook steak or game.
Ideal for team-building or as part of a family vacation
The classes are usually small and can be booked for a group, so ideal for team-building or as part of a family vacation. One might even have the opportunity to spend a few minutes in the professional kitchen next door. Not only will you learn how to make some delicious dishes, but the recipes are already printed for you to take home. Friends and family will be impressed by your newly acquired gastronomic prowess.
Our Italian lesson with Chef Barret Jones was both fun and informative. He put timid would-be master-chefs at ease and offered support and anecdotes throughout the morning. I finally mastered the art of gnocchi. Learning in a hands-on fashion is totally different from using just a cookbook. One feels the ingredients, one savours aromas and has helpful tips from a professional chef. I cooked perfectly, for the first time, gnocchi with brown butter.
But however proud I was at meeting and defeating my gnocchi nemesis, I was just as happy to learn the finer points of other Italian dishes, from salad to dessert, and a main course too. Chef Barret also had the advantage of being able to use the best fresh produce from the hotel kitchen garden. One would leave this morning course being able to present a full meal. Add a bottle of a cheeky little Italian and your evening will be complete! Perhaps there will be plans hatched for a few more lessons, and for turning your rose-bed over to some herbs and a row or two of peas!
Future lessons with the Estate chefs include:
26th May 2018 1.5 hours – Masterclass of Fresh Seafood
30th May 2018 3 hours – Italian Spring Lunch
2nd June 2018 1.5 hours – Art of Sauces
6th June 2018 3 hours – Master class of Fresh Seafood
9th June 2018 1.5 hours – Children’s Sushi Masterclass
13th June 2018 3 hours – Japanese Feast
16th June 2018 1.5 hours – Classic Apple Tarte Tatin
20th June 2018 3 hours – Pasta from Scratch
23rd June 2018 1.5 hours – Strawberry Eton Mess
27th June 2018 3 hours – Petit Fours
30th June 2018 1.5 hours – Art of Sauces