Edinburgh New Town Cookery School puts the fun into festive

As Christmas starts to make its presence felt everywhere, and thoughts are turning to menu planning for the big day, Edinburgh New Town Cookery School has the answer with a range of cookery courses and events designed for the festive season.

These are not only the ideal way to brush up on cooking and baking skills to take the stress out of Christmas, but are also the perfect way to celebrate with friends or work colleagues as an alternative party. Everyone leaves the baking classes with treats they have made themselves to give as presents or share with friends and family.

Situated right in the heart of Edinburgh, the school is ideally located for Christmas shopping before or after courses, and it even has its own shop for cookery-themed gifts or cookery course gift vouchers for those hard-to-buy-for people.

Fiona Burrell, Principal of the school, said: “We know that many cooks dread the onset of Christmas and find it quite stressful.  But Christmas is a time for everyone to enjoy, hosts included, and people have found our courses inspire them and give them confidence to produce great food without losing out on the fun.  They are also a sociable way for groups of work colleagues or friends to come together as an alternative to a Christmas meal or an evening at the theatre in the pub. What everyone loves is the fact that they take away lots of delicious treats to enjoy at home at the same time as learning something they can put into practice over the holidays.”

Special festive courses include:

Carving Demonstration and Dinner. Thursday 4 December, 6.30pm – 9.30pm

This evening course with dinner is for anyone who has find the prospect of carving a joint of meat daunting.  Participants will enjoy a glass of wine while learning about keeping knives sharp and watching various joints of meat being carved, with an opportunity to have a go themselves. Afterwards a sociable two course dinner, including the carved meats, is served with more wine and  followed by dessert and coffee.
Cost: £55

Christmas Baking.  Saturday 6 December, 9.45am – 4pm

Recipes will include chocolate fruit Christmas cake; stollen; mince pies; cinnamon shortbread stars; and pear, pecan and cranberry muffins. The course includes lunch in the school’s beautiful dining room and there will be plenty of baking treats for you to take home with you.
Cost: £150.

Three Day Essentials. 10 – 12 December, 9.45am – 4pm
This three day course, intended for novices, will teach  the basic cookery skills which are essential for every cook to know and particularly relevant in the run up to Christmas. Each day students cook a variety of dishes some of which they will eat for lunch and the rest they  can take home. As the days progress everyone’s confidence increases and by the third day they will leave with new recipes and new skills.Techniques covered will include: knife skills; browning meat; pastry making; cooking with eggs; cake making; bread making; roasting; fish cookery; and cooking vegetables.
Cost: £420

Christmas Sparkling Wines. Thursday 11 December, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Come and join us for a wine tasting of all that is frothy and frivolous, and learn of the many ingenious ways man has sought to put bubbles in wine. By comparing Proseccos, Champagnes, Cavas and New World sparklers you will discover the fizz for you. This will be a fun and sociable evening and would be a perfect early Christmas present.
Cost: £40

Christmas Easy Entertaining. Saturday 13 and Saturday 20 December, 9.45am – 2pm

Learn to cook new dishes at a Saturday practical cookery class in Edinburgh New Town Cookery School’s stunning kitchens. These cookery courses are designed to inspire participants with new ideas for dinner party dishes – just in time for the festive season.  The day starts with coffee or tea and a short demonstration and introduction to the day’s recipes. Then everyone cooks three courses before enjoying the meal, sitting round the kitchen table, with a glass of wine. The day will finish at approximately 2 - 2.30pm - leaving plenty of time for Christmas shopping as well.
Cost: £100

Christmas Canape Demonstration. Tuesday 16 December, 10.30am – 12.30pm

The morning starts with coffee and shortbread before a two-hour demonstration showing how to create several festive savoury and sweet canapes.  Participants will enjoy a tasting of the finished results with a glass of prosecco at the end.
Cost: £45

Children’s Christmas Baking Courses. Friday 19 and Tuesday 23 December, 9.30am – 12 noon; and Friday 19 December, 1.30pm – 4pm

For children who love baking, and for parents who want to amuse their children during the holidays with something a little different these December half day courses are the perfect antidote to winter holiday boredom as children learn how to make delicious cakes and biscuits which they can pack up and take home. They may turn out to be the perfect Christmas Present for Granny! Suitable for children aged 9 – 13 years old who will learn to bake Chocolate Kisses, Lemon Drizzle Muffins and Shortbread Stars.
Cost: £45

Children's One Day Course. Monday 22 December, 10.30am – 3pm

During the Christmas holidays why not send your child for a one day cooking course at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School. Designed ages 9 – 12 , children will be taught cooking skills using the best seasonal ingredients, cooking dishes that they can easily recreate at home. The children will be taught, and encouraged, to clear up and wash up as they go – something that every parent will appreciate! They will cook a simple lunch and they will take some of their cooked treats home.
Cost: £60