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“Not just for the ladies, men are welcome as well!”
Review of WI Cookery School

WI Cookery School
Reviewed 22 February 2016

I have just returned from my fifth cookery course at Denman college since first "discovering" that men are allowed to go on the courses as well. As with each occasion I have gone home enthused with lots of new ideas, skills and techniques to improve my cooking and had a hugely entertaining weekend into the bargain.

My choice this time was a Tour de France where we learnt a range of classical French recipes but often with a modern twist to make them more accessible for everyday cooking. Indeed one delicious meal we cooked to bring home took no more than 15 minutes start to finish - Jamie Oliver eat your heart out!

Accommodation is in purpose built, well appointed en-suite bedrooms located right next to the fantastically equipped cookery school. Our tutor on this course, Peter Lien, has received positive recognition from no less an icon than Mary Berry so from a teaching perspective we were in very good hands from start to finish!

The residential courses include three meals a day and whether you fancy a full English breakfast, a light buffet lunch or your choice from an a la carte three course dinner you are guaranteed never to go hungry. Alcohol is also available from the library bar, all at great low prices.

In response to demand, Denman seems to have expanded its range of weekend courses this year so making it much easier to take advantage of the great value courses if like myself, you are in full time employment.

Whilst men are still very much in the minority here, there were several men attending one course whilst their wives did another, and whether you go with friends or on your own, the warmth of the welcome that everyone gets at Denman is fabulous. I cannot recommend these courses highly enough.

Date of experience: February 2016
1  Thank snowydog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 13 of 15 reviews

Reviewed 23 May 2015

Denman College is set in beautiful grounds, in a 17th century 'gentleman's residence', which is beautiful too! I have not experienced the cookery school, but knowing the WI, it will be brilliant!

Date of experience: February 2015
Thank SallyMabey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2015

fantastic value for money. food amazing and plentiful. rooms really comfortable and quiet. Cannot fault our weekend away. company really amusing, tutors enthusiastic and fun. we didn't actually use the cookery school but did watercolours, flower arranging and drumming would recommend all three.

Date of experience: March 2015
Thank LFennelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2014

Went for a day course which was excellent. But, lunch was a key part of the day but we had to sit at cramped tables on very uncomfortable chairs and service was slow. The food did not live up to its WI billing. I was even more astonished to see the the tutors had a beautiful dining room with white linen on round tables with personal service. Our group could not sit together as it was like school where tables are filled up as people come in. Truly a disappointing experience.

Date of experience: November 2014
5  Thank Carole H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 August 2014

Following a recommendation from a friend I booked myself on a Moorish and Moroccan Cookery course at the WI Cookery School based at Denman College in Oxfordshire. As a man and therefore a non-WI member I wasnt sure what to expect but from the moment everyone I met went out of the way to make me feel very welcome.

My particular course lasted from Wednesday afternoon through to Friday afternoon and included all tuition, all ingredients, all meals (including afternoon tea and cake!) and all accommodation at the dedicated WI training centre for just a tad over £300 - an absolute bargain.

There were just 11 of us in the class (3 of us men!) and our tutor, Peter, has recently won the 2013 Best Tutor award at the British Cookery School awards so the quality of our tuition was second to none. Having clearly demonstrated a recipe, Peter was very hands on supporting and offering advice as we each cooked the same dish at our own cookery workstations, each of which was better equipped than my own kitchen!

The range of dishes was great and there was ample opportunity to swap ideas and talk food with my fellow classmates who ranged in age from early 40's to mid 70's.

Accommodation was in my own comfy en-suite room located in the beautiful grounds of Denman College.

Meals were taken in the college dining room where I had chance to chat and relax with some of the other students who were attending one of the many historical/craft or lifestyle courses going on at the same time. As you might expect from the WI the standard of the food from the full english breakfast right through to the three course evening meals was lovely.

Overall this was one of the best short breaks Ive been on and certainly the best value.

if like me, you thought that you had to be a member of the WI (or at least a woman!) to attend one of these courses the great news is that you dont and I will certainly be back to attend further cookery courses in the coming months.

Date of experience: February 2014
1  Thank snowydog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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