Over the years, Mike and the boys have got used to my obsession with cookery and all things related. They don't sigh anymore when they ask what I would like for Christmas/Birthday etc, and simply go to my Amazon wishlist, where I have usually bookmarked books, bakeware or some other thing for later consideration and possibly purchase. This Christmas however, they surprised me with a gift voucher for the cookery school at Eckington Manor. As our kitchen is currently out of action due to building work - and I was suffering baking withdrawal symptoms - it seemed like a good time to use this for the weekend and get away from the general chaos and mess that has descended.
|Lower End House Accommodation|
|Coffe Choux Buns|
The course is taken by the wonderful Caroline Richards (who trained at Claridges under Nick Patterson, who in turn was trained by Pierre Herme). The cookery school facilities are fantastic, and arranged so that you share a workbench and oven with one other person. There were 10 of us alltogether. The demonstration area at the front of the class is flanked by two large screen TVs, and Caroline has a microphone attachment, so that you can see and hear everything that goes on.
|My perfectly cooked sweet pastry tart shells - can't believe I made them!|
|Choux buns before baking, glazed with eggwash and sprinkled with almonds|
At the end of what seems like a long day, you then get to parcel up your goodies and take them home. If, like me, you're staying overnight, you can store them in one of the fridges and retrieve them the next day. The school has its own cook shop as well, so you can take home more baking related souvenirs if you want!
|Quiche Lorraine using a flan ring!|
|Cookery school reception and cook shop|
|One tired but pleased and happy baker!|
As work on my kitchen is progressing, I'm hoping to be back in it by the weekend. It's been a long couple of weeks and I sense a baking frenzy coming on... :)