Cookery at Winston House
Muddy says: Looking for something a bit different to do with your bezzies? This home-grown cookery establishment delivers fun culinary inspiration, fab fodder and a stunning, ‘I’m on holiday’ setting.
Whether you’re looking for a big celebration day out or just a fun way to spend some time with friends and get out of a cooking rut – spag Bol on Tuesday, chilli-con-carne on Wednesday, die of boredom on Thursday? Anyone else? Or is that just me?? – we at Muddy have discovered a cookery establishment that delivers a whole lot of fun while putting some pizzazz back into your culinary life.
Founded by Carolyn Denny, who earned her chef’s stripes at the Leith School of Food and Wine and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons no less, Cookery at Winston House runs demonstrations for groups that make you feel like you’re on holiday. For starters, the setting is divine – a Grade II-listed, 16th-century former abbots’ residence in Standish, a properly pretty hamlet not far from Stroud. When you arrive you feel like you’ve walked into a period drama, honestly!
The kitchen, where all the action happens, is also delectable with its country-living aesthetic, and is the most perfect spot to soak up culinary inspiration – and Carolyn’s insider secrets from her tempting menu of wittily named demonstrations that hit just the right tone. There’s always something new with demos changing with the seasons, but at the time I jumped on the website, I was particularly drawn to “OMG… what’s for supper tonight?” and “The Pudding Club… sheer wicked pleasure”. There was also “I can’t get into a thing… I’ll start tomorrow”, a nice counterbalance to The Pudding Club!
Coffee and tempting home-made treats keep everyone fed and watered during sessions, plus you get to sample all the goodies Carolyn whips up, and you get lunch (à la flavours of the day) in either the dining room or, if it’s nice weather, in the gorgeous garden. Like I said, you’ll feel like you’ve been on holiday, with the added bonus of going home filled with inspiration and armed with new tips and tricks. Result.