Bread Baking at Daylesford Cookery School (and our mini break to the Cotswolds)

I’ve never really thought too much about having a “bucket list”. Sure it sounds like a good idea, but when it comes to travelling, for me there’s always been too many places I want to visit to actually put too much thought into it. If I was start one, cooking at Daylesford Cookery School would be right up there. I’ve been to Daylesford farm a couple of years ago and if I were to run away – this is where I’d run to. Talk about being a mecca for food enthusiasts. From the Cotswold stone barns, the amazing array of fresh, local, seasonal produce filling every nook and cranny in the farm shop to their state of the art cookery school all tucked away a stones throw from one of those dreamy Cotswold villages…Sigh.

So last month we finally headed back to Ireland to visit family after the crazy that has been the last two covid-filled years. I’m never one to stay in the same place for too long when travelling (too much to see!), so I somehow bribed my ever-patient husband to hop on yet another plane and head to the Cotswolds as a sort of belated big birthday present to myself. And yay for me, the stars aligned and there was a day course in artisan bread baking at the cooking school scheduled for the days we could pop away!

Anyway, a picture tells a thousand words, so I thought I’d pop together a bit of a run-down of our little mini break and my day at Daylesford cookery school. If nothing else, its a bit of eye candy!

The details…

What is “Daylesford”? An organic farm shop full of delicious, seasonal organic food located just out of the picture perfect village of Kingham in the Cotswolds, UK. As well as the farm shop, they also have a cookery school, cafe, farm, market garden, spa, floristry school and homewares store – which has literally doubled in size since our last visit. Their sustainable approach to organic farming working in harmony with the land and nature is truly inspiring and basically makes me want to turn our little suburban block into a micro farm complete with pig pen and beehives!

Where did we stay? At The Wild Rabbit in the Nestling Cottage. It was a two bedroom cottage over three levels packed with country Cotswold charm. I’m talking stone fireplaces, timer beams, and even a white Aga in the kitchen. Total dreamboat stuff!

Where did we eat? Would have loved to eat at The Wild Rabbit but they were booked solid for our stay. We made do with walking across the road each afternoon for a glass of rose (or two) on the terrace! Instead we headed to another totally gorgeous pub The Kingham Plough just a short stroll through the village. Ps, the guinea fowl and potato cake was out of this world! On our second night, we stocked up on all the provisions we could carry from the farm shop and threw together a cheese plate and big bowl of pumpkin soup to eat alongside the remnants from a day of bread baking!

What cooking class did I do? Artisan Bread Baking. An intensive five hour course going over the finer points of home bread baking. From soda bread to sourdough, as a somewhat experienced baker, I still learnt SO MUCH. But here’s a quick breakdown of what we made…

  • Spelt soda bread with homemade butter
  • Hot smoked salmon (we had this for brunch on the soda bread with scrambled eggs)
  • Malt loaf
  • Pain de mie (milk loaf)
  • Bagels
  • Potato sourdough

We ended the day with a walk around the market garden led by the chef. The best part… being encouraged to pick produce and eat straight from the vines… and the piglets. Too cute for words!

Would I go again? Yes Yes Yes. I literally want to move in and volunteer to work there!

If you have any questions, pop them in the comments

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Let’s get our bread baking on…

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