Leo Bear and her daughter Clementine head to Lucknam Park in Bath to test out its innovative cookery school
Lovely Lucknam Park is every inch the Jane Austen fantasy. Its grand suites with open fireplaces, writing desks and four-poster beds have long attracted couples on romantic weekend breaks, but now there’s a reason to bring the kids along too: a roster of excellent parent & child cookery classes held in the hotel’s smart little cookery school.
Former head chef Ben Taylor runs the courses and is part-BBC presenter, part-MasterChef contestant. When attention spans wane, he’ll whizz up a tray of honeycomb (it bubbles up like sugary molten lava), however our guinea pig Clementine, age nine, was enthralled throughout the half-day session.
She learned how to cook a full Italian meal from scratch: spaghetti with pork meatballs and a healthy tomato sauce, along with a tray of brownies to take home.
All the participants (kids aged six to 13) were delighted to be given free rein of a Kitchen Aid, to set oven temperatures and to guide lumps of dough through snazzy pasta-makers. They stirred, tasted, chopped, pounded – and giggled. Best of all, they made new friends to play with later on.
Stay overnight and you can dine in the brasserie attached to the spa, which has an excellent kids menu, or why not give your budding chef a soupçon of the real deal in the hotel’s Michelin-star dining room? Children are welcome so long as they skedaddle before 8pm.
Final verdict from Clementine “It was amazing. I want to be a chef even more now but the ketchup was disgusting. It tasted like jam.”
Parent and child cookery classes (ages six to 13) are available during all school holidays from £95. Visit lucknampark.co.uk.
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