Sunday, 24 April 2016

Exeter Cookery School - Opening Soon - April 2016

 I went along to see Exeter Cookery School, Haven Banks, Exeter.  It is still a 'work in progress' but the space is amazing and although it looks a bit bare - it should be fully functioning in June 2016.  The bare brickwork is going to be a feature of the finished school.  I look forward to seeing it as the finished item - but in the meantime, bookings are being taken.

There will be many work stations with state-of-the-art appliances and equipment.  And this will expand later on.  I love the idea of it - we could do with something like this in Exeter.  I think I will book myself in as the enthusiasm of the owners was infectious.  It might be a good idea for something else to do, whilst other members of the family are at the nearby Clip n Climb or are kayaking around the quay.  It would certainly beat going to TK Maxx....
The genial owners (husband and wife team) previously owned a cookery school in the Dordogne, France.  He is the chef, she is the operations manager.  I really liked their plan for a 'chill-out' lounge with sofas near the back of the kitchen.  It sounds silly as cooking is a great and relaxing pastime, but sometimes we all need to sit down and take a breather.  I have been on four previous taught cooking experiences and have found them all to be useful - even an experienced cook can pick up little tips about techniques or suppliers.

Exeter Food Festival April 2016

As usual this was held in the stunning Spring gardens of Northernhay and Rougemont.  I was there today (Sunday) and the sun was shining brightly.

This was the VIP area where you could get tea, coffee, cream teas and manicures....and yes, I did get a manicure and yes, because I am not used to them, I did smudge several of my fingers.

There were many interesting food producers and sellers there.  There was even a Pickled Egg stand.

I enjoyed the chance to purchase many different types of 'fast food' from the high quality vans that were around.  I could also picnic outside as the sun was shining and it felt quite warm.  Speaking to stall-holders, I think the rainy weather on Friday put off some festival-goers and the warm weather on the Saturday meant it was very crowded.

I noticed there was plenty for children to do: activity tents, facepainting, story-telling, ice-creams, petting animals - there were a couple of girls in dresses chasing each other around a tree on a grassy bank, and a serious looking little boy who was wandering onto the flower beds wearing his yellow all-in-one outfit.  This all added to the overall picturesque scene - happy faces, a wealth of local food, young animals, spring blooms and playing children.

I think the Sunday worked well for me - fewer people than Saturday and beautiful weather. This meant that it was easier to talk to food producers and there were no queues.  I also managed to park nearby, which helps.

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