Christmas Gift Guide: Courses and Events

By
Eve O'Sullivan
Added
23 November, 2015

Unwrapping a big gift that’s been waiting under the tree is, of course, one of the best parts of Christmas Day, but for something with a little more longevity, try giving the gift of a food-focussed event; it’s not just the recipient that will benefit.

For the culture vulture


Know a theatre lover? Then look no further. Cooked can think of no better way to spend an afternoon than a backstage tour of the National Theatre, set on London’s vibrant Southbank, followed by tea and cake with a view of the Thames. The hour-long tour takes in all three stages, prop rooms and background workshops… but we won’t give away too much and ruin the surprise. Afternoon tea is served in the House Restaurant, with all treats themed around famous productions. Think Sweeney Todd pork pie, My Fair Lady chocolate marbles and a Cat in the Hat green eggs and ham sandwich, and much more. £35 per person, National Theatre



For the early bird


Billingsgate Market is a British institution and in our opinion, their morning course and tour of the market is a must for anyone who loves to cook fish. We’re not going to lie, it’s a painfully early start - 6.15am - but it’s more than worth it for this in-depth tour, including tips and guidance on sustainability, less common species and preparation techniques. You’ll even get to pick whatever kind of fish you’d like to prepare (there are normally around 130 different species available) before heading upstairs for a hearty kedgeree breakfast. Once you’ve eaten, you’ll have an hour-long session learning how to prepare your fish and the best cooking methods, and if that's not enough, you can discover a bit more about Billingsgate in our article here. £55, Billingsgate Seafood School



For the meat lover


One of the most original short cookery courses out there, in our opinion, Borough Market-based Meat School hosts evenings taught by Adrienne Treeby, an expert in British cured meats, including how to make Lincolnshire chine, a brined, scored and herb-stuffed ham from the neck and shoulder of the pig, and how to cure your own bacon. A two-hour tuition ends with a tasting session and beer, too. From £65, Meat School



For the keen baker


A visit to the Bertinet Bakery, set in the beautiful city of Bath, is a treat enough in itself, but buy someone a classic patisserie course voucher for the Bertinet Kitchen, and you’ll feel the benefits long after the course is over. From proper puff to genoise sponges, Richard and his team will demystify the most tricky-looking of bakes. £165, Bertinet Kitchen



For the kids


We believe that time spent in the kitchen can be heart-warming and rewarding if everyone pitches in, so a kids’ cookery session at La Cucina Caldesi is right up our street. The Mama’s Kitchen courses are for children aged between 6-12, teaching seasonal Italian dishes, and if you come to pick up the little ones a bit early, you’ll get to sample some of their creations yourself. £45, La Cucina Caldesi








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