When school’s out, parents need some ideas to keep the kids entertained. A family cooking class is a good way to do bring everyone together. Parents get time to bond with their kids, helping the young ones learn a valuable life skill. Just as importantly, it’s something fun for the grown ups too. Some family-friendly courses run during the Summer only, so it’s worth looking around. But here’s a bit of inspiration to start you off.
‘Summer Family Baking’ at Bread Ahead
If you told a nine-year-old they’re going to be in a hot kitchen for hours baking a loaf of sourdough, we doubt it would be met with much enthusiasm. Which is probably why Borough Market favourites Bread Ahead have come up with something a bit more interesting for the little ones – baking and decorating a seasonal combo of raspberry ripple loaf cake and St Clements shortbread. The class is for for five year olds and upwards, while parents go free on a supervise-only basis.
Borough Market, Cathedral St, London SE1 9DE
‘Kids Learn For Free’ at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School
Love him or not, Jamie Oliver’s one of the leading figures in helping children get better access to good food. And what better way than to make it themselves? A significant portion of courses at Jamie’s cookery school have free spaces for kids when you book, encouraging parents and their children to muck in together. For children between 8 and 14, there’s anything from learning how to roll sushi to being taught the secrets of a pukka Thai green curry.
1078, Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, White City, London W12 7GB
‘Sourdough Pizza Class’ at e5 Bakehouse
Unlike the considerably more popular pizza-making workshops, e5 Bakehouse’s goes far beyond rolling out dough, slapping on some toppings, and watching it disappear into an oven. This 3-hour course teaches the fundamentals of sourdough – how to maintain a starter and leaven the dough. From there you’ll knock together tomato sauce from scratch, taking your pick from high quality meat and cheese to go on top, then letting it blister in the oven. Critically, e5 will teach you how to get the perfect crisp base at home. For ages 12 and up.
E5 Bakehouse, Arch 395, Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3PH
‘Cooking with your family’ at Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery School
Once a chef for Pierre Koffmann before later launching her own cookery school, Rosemary Shrager was, coincidentally, one of the judges on last year’s BBC show The Big Family Cooking Showdown. Here her school brings together an eclectic mix of flavours and recipes to one table, and over the course of half a day. Parents and those aged 8-16 years can team up to cook the likes of garlic bread, spaghetti bolognese, spicy turkey burgers (buns made from scratch), and chocolate fondant with crème anglaise.
The Corn Exchange, The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TE
(45-minute train from London Bridge)
Summer Holiday Workshops at The Chocolate Museum
Almost a guaranteed child-pleaser even if they (or you) aren’t too keen on cooking, Brixton’s Chocolate Museum offers summer holiday workshops teaching kids (from as young as six) and parents how to make truffles, temper chocolate, and shape ganache. As well as the workshops, the museum fills children in on ideas like Fair Trade and how chocolate came to be what it is today. You can just turn up for a class, or book ahead to ensure a place.
87 Ferndale Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8BA
‘Child & Parent Cooking Classes’ at L’atelier des Chefs
Across its two London locations, L’atalier specialises in preparing home cooks wanting to lay on dinner parties at home. At their Oxford Circus branch, and for £58 for two, a parent and their 8-11 year-old can work together to chop, roll, bake and blitz a fun concoction for their own lunch. This summer, classes include preparing a menu of of tagliatelle with breaded chicken and garlic parsley butter, chocolate milkshake, and rocky road.
Oxford Circus, 19 Wigmore Street, London W1U 1Ph