A Day At Bettys Cookery School

Bettys cookery school review

Ian and I share a love of good food, wine and cooking. He strives constantly to improve his techniques and recipes and it’s something he excels at. So I decided to buy him a one-day course at Bettys Cookery School for Christmas. I had a brilliant experience cooking at River Cottage about 18 months ago and I have wanted to do something similar ever since so I bought one for me too. Of course, it goes without saying that it’s lovely to spend time together too.

There are all manner of courses at Bettys Cookery School from chocolate making techniques, to baking artisan breads and from delicious dinner parties to seasonal suppers. The school runs courses mainly at the weekend, but there are some on weekdays too. The one we did was called  “Go With The Grain” and it started at 9am on Sunday. When we arrived the course host welcomed us and offered tea, coffee and pain au chocolat.

We made three dishes throughout the day, (all ingredients provided). Chef tutor Chris Taylor demonstrated each one in turn which we subsequently prepared ourselves.

Bettys cookery school review chef demonstration

Our course was fully-booked with 18 people. Each person had their own workspace with their own knives and utensils and a recipe folder.

Bettys cookery school review kitchen equipment

A lot of the ingredients were pre-weighed, pre-prepared or pre-mixed to save time. For example, chicken thighs we used in one dish had been marinating overnight and some of the spice mixes were all ready to go. I would love someone to do that at home for me to eliminate the more laborious part of cooking prep. We still had to do our own washing up though…

As the title suggests, our course focussed on different grains. The first dish we prepared was ras-el-hanout chicken with Israeli couscous, pomegranate, honey-roasted peppers and rose-scented sour cream. I love couscous but have never used the giant, Israeli type before. It was a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. The pomegranate seeds look like cabouchon rubies among topaz apricots.

Bettys cookery school review israeli giant couscous

We both found it very satisfying bashing the pomegranate seeds out with a rolling pin.

Bettys cookery school review preparing pomegranate

After the first dish was finished, it was time for tea, coffee and Betty’s biscuits. The second dish we prepared was halloumi, feta and courgette fritters, wild lemon rice with green bean and fennel. Here I am grating the courgette into fine ribbons.

Bettys cookery school review grating courgette

Once the whole dish was prepped, it was lunchtime. I knew that lunch was included but I didn’t know whether or not it would be one of our own dishes. It wasn’t. It was pan-fried salmon with sundried tomato and tarragon pesto with artisan breads, followed by meringue. The wine was Swiss, (Bettys was built on the entrepreneurial spirit of a Swiss confectioner), and very, very drinkable.

Bettys cookery school review lunch

Bettys cookery school review Swiss wine

Bettys cookery school review meringues for lunch

The wine meant I had to concentrate that little bit more on the final dish of the day which was pakora king prawns with a mixed grain salad, (freekah, red quinoa and spelt), pickled cauliflower and cucumber dip.

After mid-afternoon tea and scones, (we were exceptionally well-fed), chef Chris showed us how to pull everything together to present the finished three recipes.

Bettys cookery school go with the grain review

i love the vibrant pakora prawns.

Bettys cookery school review

Throughout the day, we put everything in individual foil trays for ease of transport home. Both Ian and I remarked that we should have hosted a dinner party that evening.

Bettys cookery school review

The day was very-well organised with expert tuition and beautiful, fresh ingredients. I would definitely do another course. There’s one called Christmas Cakes and Puddings which will take place in October. That’s something I’d love to do along with perhaps a fish one and the seasonal suppers day too.  I’d say you need to feel confident in the kitchen but don’t necessarily have to have a certain level of skill- not for this particular course anyway. There are others however for more advanced cooks and bakers. If you love cooking and want something different to do, then I’d recommend Bettys Cookery School. It certainly was a lovely way to spend a Sunday with my fiancé.

I paid for our courses. I wanted to write about it simply because it was a lovely experience.


  1. March 19, 2019 / 6:43 pm

    That’s a perfect present, Liz! It looks delicious and I’d love joining a course too!
    xx Annette

    • elizabeth
      March 20, 2019 / 1:32 pm

      It was so delicious Annette. I noticed they do veggie courses too, so maybe you should come over and do one!!! xxxx

  2. Rosemary
    March 19, 2019 / 7:46 pm

    The cookery course and your whole day sounds wonderful. Great to be served dishes prepared for you at lunch etc and to be able to take yours home … they all sound delicious. I’ve wondered about doing one of the Christmas courses. Jess and I did a cookery session at our hotel in Mauritius once on holiday … great fun as well as learning new skills and the social aspect of chatting with other guests over lunch etc Thanks for sharing this Liz … 😘 xxx

    • elizabeth
      March 20, 2019 / 1:31 pm

      Well Rosemary, as much as I love Bettys and Harrogate, I reckon a cookery session in Mauritius might take the biscuit!!! Wow,what an amazing time you must have had xxx

  3. March 19, 2019 / 8:28 pm

    This looks amazing, a really special experience to share. Fabulous photos. Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • elizabeth
      March 20, 2019 / 1:30 pm

      It was fabulous Jacqui. We learned a lot and as you say, it was a really good experience to share. That in itself is all too rare xxx

  4. March 19, 2019 / 8:39 pm

    So hungry right now! 😉
    Actually this is something I’ve always thought would make an excellent gift for Mark too. He’s also a keen “chef” but lately he hasn’t had the time to practice cooking. His birthday is coming up in June, perhaps I’ll do some investigation here in Ridgewood. Thanks for reminding me Liz! xx

    • elizabeth
      March 20, 2019 / 1:29 pm

      Oh you should definitely look for something similar in that case. I didn’t know Mark likes to cook xxxx

  5. March 20, 2019 / 3:11 pm


    Flippin eck – what an incredible feast you two must have had when you got home… I just wish you DID put on a dinner party and invite me, lol!

    I think it’s absolutely wonderful that you did this with Ian, what a fantastic gift (I might consider something like this for Keith). So Ian cooks, he takes your outfit photos, he likes cheese and wine… is there anything he can’t do?!!! 😉

    C x

    • elizabeth
      March 27, 2019 / 11:47 am

      Hee hee!!! I really do have the perfect man don’t I!!!! And you should definitely do something with Keith. It’s lovely to spend time doing something different but productive xxxx

  6. March 31, 2019 / 11:52 am

    What a fun experience, I’d love to do something like this and its good that the class wasn’t a huge group of people. All the food looks so mouthwatering! I’m pleased you enjoyed it 😀 xx

    • elizabeth
      April 3, 2019 / 9:30 am

      It was such a good day. something different and as you say, the class size was just right! xxx

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