It was a rather unpromising start to the Harthill Cookery School Open Day. The mist hung low over Harthill, near Burwardsley, on the Sandstone trail in Cheshire and it was pretty chilly to say the least.
Chef Brian Mellor was opening his cookery school for the day so that visitors could have a taste of what goes on there, as well as having the opportunity to taste and buy some local produce.
There were lots of activities planned over the day, including a bread making demo. My attempts at bread making have been disappointing, well actually they’ve been dire. You could club someone to death with the loaves I’ve made. I was very keen therefore to get some tips on how to do it properly. It looked surprisingly easy in the hands of Brian and his little audience helper and I could see almost immediately where I’ve been going wrong. Patience is required when kneading and my patience is often in short supply!
I loved the ambiance of the school hall, which until a few years back belonged to the village school. My friend Linda and I have made a pact to sign up for some lessons later this year! There are so many to choose from but we’re thinking either the introduction to Indian cuisine, or classic British puds, or maybe both!
A bonus on the day was that the local church was open for people to look round. It’s a beautiful old church which has been out of use for a few years and now there’s talk of making it a heritage centre for the Sandstone Trail. This is Linda, Shaun and Steve at the church.
Next on our agenda was tea and cake at the fabulous onsite pop up vintage café. Loved the retro look and the mismatched china.
As it was so cold, we headed home before the BBQ and band, but not before we’d bought locally produced honey, jam and pies from some of the lovely stallholders that were there for the day.
Can’t wait to report on my upcoming cookery lessons!