Cookery School at Little Portland Street
15B Little Portland Street London W1W 8BW
This central London cookery school, just two minutes' from Oxford Circus, has been established for just over ten years, the brainchild of South African-born teacher-cum-chef and entrepreneur Rosalind Rathouse. Passionately devoted to cooking with seasonal, sustainable ingredients, they run a wide range of classes, from beginners to advanced levels, but what they all have in common is a high student-to-teacher ratio, and an excellent hands-on attitude. It's not at all cheffy and a wide range of different basic disciplines taught, from pastry-making to cakes to sauces; plus there's a real emphasis on seasonal ingredients and sustainability – they never use clingfim, for example, and recycle pretty much everything. Plus, like most cookery schools, you get to either eat what you cook or take it home. Their six-week intermediate course is a fantastic primer for the keen amateur cook, and they're due to start advanced classes from 2013.