These Kid’s Cook classes at Cookbook Café allow mums and dads a casual dining occasion with their children at the Saturday Brunch. The raft of food on offer will tempt the pickiest of young eaters. A little taste of this, a thin non-threatening slice of that. The waffle station will be a draw – the chef will make huge waffles to order and before your very eyes. Adults will appreciate the complimentary fizz and Bloody Marys while they unwind, and then it’s cooking time!
Food seems to be a big leisure trend. It has been for quite a while. Smart 30-somethings talk a good story about their favourite caviar, that little bistro around the corner and the latest Gordon Ramsay TV mega-series. I say ‘talk’ because it seems there is more chat than culinary action, and there is a reason for this.
Hands up who remembers cookery lessons? OK, just as I thought. Only me and that nice lady at the back. We have, in this country, bred a couple of generations of people who know all about the nutritional value of a carrot but can’t cook one and might not eat one. Cookery lessons took the fear out of food and allowed some children who only ate processed meals at home to experience fresh ingredients and to eat the fruits of their labours. These days many parents have a love of food but might not have the confidence to take their children on that first essential foodie step.
The Intercontinental on Park Lane offers its Cookbook Café as the most ideal venue for a few mini masterclasses in cooking, and these are especially designed for children. At only £10 a head it’s also one of the best value classes around. Parents can relax and enjoy the celebrated Saturday brunch while the youngsters are engaged in an amusing learning experience. Our Saturday afternoon class was about bread, fruit pie and chocolate.
Bread-making is that fascinating combination of cooking and alchemy. It’s a process that has all the elements designed to give children a love of the interior of a kitchen. A sticky and thoroughly child-friendly dough is transformed into a warm and fluffy monster, a golden teddy bear or even a banana …or is that a breadfruit? Parents should know that there will be a corner missing from these works of art before they even reach Hyde Park Corner underground station.
Pie-baking is an outlet for delicious artistry. Ready-made pastry was filled with chopped apple and formed into satchels as part of a back-to-school theme. Mounds of fruit were deftly crimped into parcels by small hands, with perhaps a little assistance for a three-year-old from larger chef’s hands. Yes, even children that young will enjoy the experience. Rather shy at first, he was soon pulling, pressing, and decorating along with the older children, and was delighted to present his mum with his first attempts at cooking.
The event finale was icing and decorating a chocolate bar. It’s true that lots of those sweet silver balls didn’t quite make it as far as the top of the chocolate, but there were plenty left that did, along with Smarties and coloured icing. The kids let their imagination run riot to create bejewelled gems of totally original confectionery.
These classes are for all ages and temperaments. Timid youngsters can keep one eye on mum and dad, and older and bolder kids will immerse themselves in kitchen exploits while parents go shopping or take a romantic walk through the park. Yes, it’s great fun but it’s also an amazing introduction to cooking and it will give parents ideas for their own cooking projects. The whole family will take away memories and inspiration. Outstanding value for money.
Classes are held on Saturdays 12:30-16:00
Reservations: 020 7318 8563
The tiny London Fashion week menu
Mini wannabe fashionistas can design their own fusion line of ready-to-wear edible treats such as pretty pretzel bangles, pizza bags and chic choc badges.
Boo! Tasty not terrifying Halloween
Goulish gastronomic delights and hair-raising happenings await the kids. Making creepy cakes, bone-shaped bread and gooey choccy worms has never been such devilish fun.
A touch of Magic
Wee witches and warlocks whip up magic spells. Big black cauldrons boil up wizard treats. I see munchy, cheesy broomsticks, mouth-watering wands and owl-shaped biscuits in my crystal ball.
Breakfast: 06:30 – 11:00
Lunch: 12:00 – 15:00
Dinner: 18:00 – 22:00
Saturday and Sunday Weekend Brunch: 12:30 – 16:00
Cookbook Café at InterContinental London Park Lane
1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London W1J 3QY
Phone: 020 7318 8563 / 020 7318 8768 (office)
Visit Kid’s Cook classes here
Cookery class review by Chrissie Walker © 2018