When we started planning our production trip for our January/February 2018 British issue, we knew a visit to John Whaite’s Kitchen Cookery School in rural Lancashire, England, must be on our itinerary. Twenty-eight-year-old John won the third season of The Great British Bake Off; has authored four cookbooks, his latest being Comfort: Food to Soothe the Soul (Kyle Books, 2017); and opened the cookery school on his family’s dairy farm two years ago. Aside from John’s contribution to modern British baking, we simply had to meet the incredibly witty and entertaining baker we’d gotten to know through Instagram (@john_whaite). We secured spots in John’s Beginner’s Bread class and planned our two-day field trip to the English countryside, complete with winding roads through tiny Tudor villages and picturesque landscapes of cattle roaming before stately manors. Our destination: Tunley Hall on Tunley Lane. Discover a few tidbits about our visit below and order our January/February 2018 issue to read the rest and get the recipes we brought back from this quaint English town. (Hint: These gorgeous Cinnamon Swirl Buns are one of them.)
Located inside a 400-year-old stone barn with John’s favorite Farrow & Ball navy paint color on the doors, the cookery school is sleek and modern yet warm and cozy. You’re forced to immediately stop and take in the details. All the details. As you enter the kitchen, shelves hold perfectly arranged and “at the ready” black and silver KitchenAid stand mixers—functional design at its best. Further inside, a large butcher block-topped island spans almost the entire length of the kitchen and provides cooking and baking stations for 10 students. A focal wall of floor-to-ceiling white subway tile arranged in a herringbone pattern meets brass pendant lights, navy blue exposed beams and columns, and concrete floors. Tucked into a corner of the kitchen in front of the only window is a built-in dining area where strong coffee and tea are served as everyone arrives. Students have come from all over England for this intimate, hands-on day of baking. Warm croissants and pain au chocolat get everyone quickly chatting and making introductions before class begins…
To read the full article detailing our cooking school adventure in John’s kitchen (and get the Fougasse and Cinnamon Swirl Buns recipes we baked), order our January/February 2018 issue today!
Add a visit to your vacation list for a lovely jubbly time.
Book your spot
Visit johnwhaiteskitchen.com to reserve a one-day class. Featured classes range from Afternoon Tea and Rustic French to Modern Cakes and Pies and Puddings.
The closest major train station is Wigan North Western, about a two-hour trip from London Euston station. From the train station, take a 20-minute taxi to the cookery school in Wrightington.
The convenient and comfortable Wrightington Hotel & Country Club is located about five minutes from the cookery school.