The new year brings with it a range of new goals, and learning to cook (or to cook better) may be at the top of the list for many. There is an incredible range of cooking schools, courses, and classes available in London, with options speaking to everyone from the absolute beginner to the foodie connoisseur.
Whether it’s basic skills you want to learn, specific dishes, or entire cuisines, at least one of the following seven cookery schools in London are sure to grab your attention. Happy cooking!
For wellness: Sauce By The Langham
As well as basic cookery building block classes (think stocks and sauces, scones and jams, and simply tarts), The Langham’s expert cookery school also offers masterclasses with chefs such as Michel Roux Jr, as well as cocktail classes and other options. The most exciting new addition is their Nutrition and Wellbeing class, which is hosted by Matt Gardner. Not only will you learn how to make nutritious meals, drinks, and snacks, you will also have access to the hotel’s beautiful gym and pool, making it a truly unique self-care-inspired experience.
The relaxed option: Food at 52 Cookery School
The East London-based school is ideal if you want to experience a laid-back, homely environment, and to learn with zero judgement or pressure. It all started when food enthusiast John Benbow left his job in film set building, and embraced his life-long passion for food by opening Food at 52 in 2007. The school has experienced rave reviews in its 13-year reign, mostly for its fun and group-led approach to cooking, as well as its impressive range of cuisines on offer. Pick up a voucher for a loved one’s birthday, and let them choose between everything from Mexican to Thai, Italian to Indian.
The professional academy: Le Cordon Bleu
Le Cordon Bleu really is the creme de la creme when it comes to cooking schools in London. It’s the perfect place to go if you take your cooking seriously and want to improve your long-term skills. The London institution is better suited to those hoping to pursue a career in food, or to take it up as a serious hobby. The most esteemed courses last for months at a time, and result in a diploma at the end. They do also offer shorter, one-off programmes however, which include the likes of food and wine pairing, cake decorating, and steak cooking.
The London institution: Leiths Cookery School
Leiths is the ultimate option for variety. As well as one-off cookery classes, they also offer cookery courses, professional courses, and even online courses. It also may sound pretty familiar; yes, The Great British Bake Off‘s Prue Leith is indeed the genius behind the school. Based in the heart of London, this school has impressive resources that mean you get the absolute best for your money. As well as a restaurant kitchen, there is also it also has a purpose-built demonstration theatre, seating 40, and 4 fully-equipped teaching kitchens, each accommodating 16 students. Choose from a huge range of cuisines, as well as classes that cover things such as knife skills.
For keen bakers: E5 Bakehouse
As its name suggests, E5 Bakehouse is the perfect place to go for a spot of comforting baking. The location, which also houses a cafe serving up delicious coffee and baked goods, specialises in bread making, but also offers baking retreats and other wider classes. They’re also pretty affordable, with many classes costing as little as £70.
The unique one: Borough Kitchen
Dotted around London (in Islington, Hampstead, and Chiswick), Borough Kitchen Cook School is another trusted and reputable institution that you know you can trust for quality and experience. It’s also another ideal place to buy gift cards from, so that the recipient can pick out their ideal class. Options range from pastry and pasta making to more unique classes, including fermentation and pickling and mindful eating, as well as tools-led courses like knife skills. Remember to pop into the brand’s Borough market-based store to pick up some cookware to show off your new skills in, too.
For beginners: Waitrose Cookery School
With a great range of options for beginners, the Waitrose Cookery School is ran by expert chefs who know their stuff. The great thing about their classes is that some of them cover a full cuisine, while others are focused on a single dish. For example, you can learn to make perfect Pad Thai within 90 minutes for just £35. Facilities are unparalleled (unsurprisingly) and the range within their class directory is pretty impressive. We guarantee you won’t just stop at one class here.