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Ashburton Cookery School

Muddy says: Intimidating? No. Hard to follow? Nope. Fun, engaging and confidence-inspiring? Yep, yeppity-yep! There’s a reason why this super-welcoming cookery school on the edge of Dartmoor has awards and accolades coming from every direction. In fact, there’s at least ten, if we’re being honest.

Ashburton Cookery School academy exterior

If a culinary masterclass can inspire an attitude overhaul in me when it comes to cooking, then as far as I’m concerned it’s a total winner. This nationally renowned school on the edge of Dartmoor, in the super-chic town of Ashburton is a complete joy from start to finish.

You can enrol on more than one course (there are gazillions to choose from) and have a different experience each time, depending on which campus you cook from. The East Street Campus is based in the heart of town with pretty, characterful kitchens and an intimate, cosy feel; while the purpose built chefs academy on the edge of town, has three state of the art kitchens, and views of rolling hills and moorland.   Both are great places to learn, natter with likeminded people and switch off from everyday life for a while.

Throughout the year, you can pick from inspiring half-day, one-day and weekend courses specialising in all manner of cuisines, techniques and levels.  I, unashamedly put myself onto a beginners weekend and I’m transformed (no really, I am, meanies!). But you might fancy brushing up on your knife skills, for example, or perfecting the art of pasta making.

The chef tutors are all highly trained, with brilliant backgrounds themselves and they know exactly how to get the best out of their students.  Class sizes are deliberately small, so you can make the most of plenty of one-on-one guidance; and the ingredients are of the highest quality, with some of the best producers on its doorstep.  And if you really want to take everything home (more than the knowledge), there is a seriously good shop on-site, selling all the gear you could possibly need.  Go forth and conquer your cooking, Muddies!

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Devon