Lucknam Park, six miles north-east of Bath in Wiltshire, already has plenty to recommend it. The magnificent 18th-century country-house hotel and spa (first picture) nestles in more than five acres of gardens within 500 acres of listed parkland. It’s also a member of the luxurious Relais & Châteaux collection, so guests can expect exceptional service, elegant rooms and fabulous facilities, including one of the UK’s best spas and an equestrian centre.
Of course, the finest dining is also on offer there. Hywel Jones, executive chef at its The Park restaurant (second picture), holds a Michelin star and won Hotel Chef of the Year in 2007, while Hrishikesh Desai, head chef at The Brasserie, was named National Chef of the Year in 2010. Anyone who has a passion for cooking will no doubt be thrilled to hear that both chefs are involved in Lucknam Park’s new Cookery School, with Desai as head chef and Jones providing advice and leading some of the 26 courses, including a masterclass.
The school – based in a house on the estate and featuring a kitchen designed by Stephen Graver with top-of-the-range ATAG and Fhiaba appliances – opens on Monday November 19 with the adventurous-sounding Michelin Star Cooking at Home. Seasonal Brasserie follows on the 20th, and A Masterclass with Hywel Jones the next day. There really does seem to be something for everyone – though perhaps not the absolute beginner. Other courses include Indian Street Food, The Perfect Afternoon Tea, Meat Cookery and Seasonal Vegetarian Cookery, with some classes tailored for Christmas (from baking to foodie gifts via Christmas dinner itself). Many recipes will include fresh produce from the hotel’s kitchen garden and the school’s herb garden.
Classes will have a maximum of 12 students, so everyone can count on receiving some individual attention, with a wealth of ideas to help them learn new skills and master techniques, plus a folder of menus, culinary tips and a certificate.
Even if you’re no cook, why not book a kitchen-smart loved one on a course here and a Grand Suite for both of you? It should be the perfect recipe.