Fancy learning how to make Britain’s best food and drink?
HOLIDAY & ENTERTAINING | September 1, 2018

Fancy learning how to make Britain’s best food and drink?

One of the most pleasing side-effects from the rise of British foodie culture over the last decade or so has been the rediscovery and reinvigoration of our traditional local delicacies. From the capital to the coasts, artisan food and drink producers have mushroomed in this fertile environment, reviving the methods of small scale making and scintillating our tastebuds with new twists on old favourites.

Unbelievably, many of these talented craftspeople want to share their hard-won knowledge with us. And we're keen to learn! For those who'd like to join the fun, we've picked out a few of the best reviewed day classes and experience sessions based in London – all accessible via public transport!

Imagine, snacking on crackers with homemade creamy blue cheese – just as you like it; sipping a stiff Martini made from your personally blended London dry gin; or, in true East End style, turning out the perfect golden-sided pie with plenty of mash and parsley liquor.

Two men holding artisan cheeses

Learn how to make cheese at home

Who with? Wildes Cheese, N17

Nearest stop? White Hart Lane (Overground)

A bucket, a cloth and a colander – apparently all you need to start making cheeses at home. The keen tutors at Wildes Cheese will show you how to make not one, not two, not three, but four distinctly different cheeses from this basic set up!

At the end of their one-day course, you'll be taking home a semi-hard white cheese, a semi-hard blue cheese, a lovely soft curd cheese and a small Camembert-style cheese, all of which you can put in your fridge and mature to your own taste. Four-cheese pizza, anyone?

How much? £150 for a day's course – check dates and availability now... 

Gin instructor teaching a class

Create your own personal gin blend

Who with? The Ginstitute, W11

Nearest stop? Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith and City Line)

Line your stomach beforehand, chaps, as a Tom Collins on arrival is just the start of the necessarily boozy yet immensely fascinating process of blending your own London dry gin at The Ginstitute.

A gin and tonic accompanies your instructor's talk on the "long, and frequently miserable, history of gin", then you're off to tour The Still Room, where the magic happens. Once you've been acquainted with the intricacies of the gin making process, it's time to get in gear with a tutored gin tasting and introductory 'nosing' of the range of botanicals available to gin blenders - some familiar, some less so.

With your instructor's help, you'll select distilled botanicals to create a unique London dry gin recipe, a full bottle of which will accompany you home along with another bottle of The Ginstitute's signature Portabello Road gin. Marvellously, your recipe will stay on their database, so you can buy additional bottles of your dream blend from the website whenever stocks are low.

A final Martini for the road, if you can handle it, and then it's a short stagger back to Ladbroke Grove tube station with your booty!

How much? £120 for a three-hour session – check dates and availability now...

Rolled out pastry in pie tins

Roll up your sleeves for this pastry and pie making class

Who with? Greenwich Pantry, SE13

Nearest stop? Lewisham (Southeastern)

Jump on the trendy "proper pie with sides and a base" bandwagon with this morning class designed by Greenwich Pantry's expert bakers to help you get to grips with the basics: choux pastry, sweet pastry and savoury pastry.

Once you've cracked the pastry code, you'll whip up a sweet or savoury pie – whichever your preference. Just try not to eat it all on the train home...

How much? £69 for a morning of pastry delights – check dates and availability now... 

Beer brewing session

Brew your own craft beer

Who with? London Beer Lab, SW9

Nearest stop? Brixton (Northern Line)

Join head brewer Bruno and the team of instructors for an intensive five-hour session, in which you'll get to sample some of London's finest craft beers with fellow enthusiasts and try your hand at no less than five different recipes.

At the end of the session, those inspired to flex their brew muscles at home can take with them a five-litre starter pack; alternatively, those who prefer the tasting over the making can trouser a gift pack selection of Beer Lab's best.

How much? £80 for a five-hour session – check dates and availability now...

Do you know any foodies who'd love to get stuck in with some artisan making? Or perhaps you've tried similar courses? Share your reviews, tips and comments with Greenredeem via Twitter and Facebook.

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