Angela Gray's Cookey School
Hensol Vale of Glamorgan CF72 8GG
It's hard to imagine a more idyllic rural setting for a cookery class than at the Llanerch Vineyard – a hotel, restaurant, vineyard and cookery school all rolled into one sweet little estate hidden amongst the green rolling hills of the Vale of Glamorgan. The school is the stuff of country living dreams, with a large communal dining area, a modern aga, fresh flowers strewn about the room and huge windows providing stunning surrounding views of the beautiful Llanerch estate. Your head chef and teacher, Angela Gray, is a former chef to the rich and famous, including Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, and is a bit of a celebrity in her own right. She thankfully takes the lead from the off and is a warm, enthusiastic and knowledgable teacher. After your cup of tea and briefing, you are immediately led to the kitchen, where you don on your aprons and familiarise yourself with your own personal kitchenette. There's no room for nerves or shyness here, as Angela makes you feel immediately at home and gently instructs you as you prep, and start to cook. The result, is amazing, hearty food using the finest quality, seasonal ingredients – an ethos the school takes very seriously. Depending on the season, you might be lucky enough to cook using vegetables handpicked from the Llanerch gardens itself. The courses, which are naturally structured around the seasons, range from Autumn Italian, to meat and fish masterclasses, pasta-making, knife skills and 'one-pot wonders'. There's also a Saturday Morning Kitchen class where you get to learn and share recipes, and enjoy lunch at the Llanerch Bistro afterwards. If you want a real treat, make a weekend of it and stay in either the Llanerch Farmhouse Hotel, Studio, or self catering cottages.