Land of Abundance: Top 10 UK Foodie Breaks | travel

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Foraging and wild pizza, Dorset

If you’re looking for a sustainable, eco-friendly gift for food lovers, this coastal food experience with Fore Adventure is for you. Against the beautiful backdrop of Studland Bay, the half-day course begins with exploring the beach for algae, sea vegetables, cockles and crabs before using the ingredients to prepare a “wild pizza” in a wood-fired oven. Stay a stone’s throw away at Pig on the Beach, a beautiful yellow stone cottage with great beach views and chic, chintz-free bedrooms (doubles from £ 215, thepighotel.com). Half-Daily foraging and wild Pizza-Manufacturing of course, £ 50 p. P., foreadventure.co.uk

Wine tasting tour, Kent

‘A range of tour and tasting experiences’: Gusbourne, Kent

English sparkling wine is becoming a serious contender to French champagne, and Gusbourne produces premium white and rose sparkling wines alongside Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The property offers a range of tours and taste experiences; For the ultimate Christmas treat, throw yourself on the estate tour, which includes welcome drinks, an extensive vineyard tour and the opportunity to try some rare and limited wines before a pampering three-course lunch. Stay at Woolpack, a delightful 16th century inn in the quaint village of Warehorne (double rooms from £ 120, wollpackwarehorne.co.uk). Estate tour, £ 95 pp gusbourne.com

Mix your own gin, Cambridge

'The chance to try gin, mix it or simply learn about gin': the Cambridge Distillery.
‘The chance to try gin, mix it or simply learn about gin’: the Cambridge Distillery

Gin has become a national obsession in recent years, and the Cambridge Distillery’s Gin Laboratory is a great place to try, mix, or just learn about gin. The one-hour Make It course explores distillates and botanicals, and allows visitors to mix their own gin, while Mix It is an exploration of the best gin cocktails (Mixology fans should book the two-hour Molecular course). Nearby, the Varsity Hotel is a stylish base, and the rooftop bar and Six restaurant offer more than 30 gins (doubles from £ 178, thevarsityhotels.co.uk).

Courses £ 30pp, cambridgedistillery.co.uk

Learn baking skills, Abergavenny

'There's no better place to brush up on your baking skills': the Abergavenny Baker.
‘There’s no better place to brush up on your baking skills’: the Abergavenny Baker

Famous for its annual food festival and surrounded by specialist producers, Abergavenny is every restaurateur’s dream. The Abergavenny Baker offers classes in everything from Italian and Nordic bread to Christmas and celiac-friendly breads, with gift certificates if you’re unsure which class to choose. Angel in Abergavenny (double rooms from £ 175; angelabergavenny.com) is famous for its gigantic afternoon tea and is right across the street from Angel Bakery, Home to the best breads and cakes in town. A day Baking course, £ 160, abergavennybaker.co.uk

Pork pies, piccalilli, Derbyshire

'Make the Perfect Pork Pie': Hartington's of Bakewell.
‘Make the Perfect Pork Pie’: Hartington’s of Bakewell. Photo: Alamy

Fans of traditional British dishes will love this four-hour class at Hartington’s of Bakewell that focuses on making the perfect pork pie, from hot water crusted pastries to herbs and flavors. After a ploughman’s lunch, the second half focuses on making traditional piccalilli. The class takes place in a converted mill just outside Bakewell, which has its own world famous treat, Bakewell pudding (never a cake!) And visit the Bakewell Pudding Shop (bakewellpuddingshop.de) and stay at the H Boutique Hotel (double rooms from £ 140, thehboutiquehotel.com). Courses from £ 145 p.p. P., hartingtons.com

Seafood safari, Ullapool

“There is no better place for seafood”: the west coast of Scotland.
“There is no better place for seafood”: the west coast of Scotland

There is no better place for seafood than the west coast of Scotland. This full-day safari includes a visit to an oyster farm, lunch at a seafood hut and a tour of Ullapool’s smokehouse, as well as time on a fishing boat and dinner in the Salt Kitchen with great views of the Summer Isles. Make a weekend of it with a stay at Ceilidh Place – a unique mix of art gallery, bookstore, hotel and bunkhouse, with a winter weekend offer of two nights for £ 300 per room with dinner and breakfast (theceilidhplace.com).

Ultimate seafood safari, £ 249 p. P., mountaintoursscotland.com

Cheese making day, London

'How to Make a Perfect Cheese': Wild.
‘How to Make a Perfect Cheese’: Wild

Wildes offers a range of half- and full-day courses that provide an insight into the ingredients and techniques needed to make the perfect cheese. The popular Morning in the Dairy course goes through every step of the cheese making process, from adding the cultures and rennet to breaking the curd and whey. The price includes 300 g of cheese to mature at home. Stay in trendy Stoke Newington, a stone’s throw from Tottenham Dairy, at the lively Rose and Crown Pub (doubles from £ 144, roseandcrownn16.co.uk). Tomorrow at the dairy, £ 45 per person, wildescheese.co.uk

Fish and cook, East Sussex

“Stick with the lazy subject …” Brighton. Photo: Xavier D Buendia / XDB Photography

Plan a trip to the seaside with a weekend-centered fishing and cooking trip on the English Channel. Brighton Lure Boat fishing trips are suitable for everyone from beginners to seasoned fishermen, with the option of catching mackerel, perch, plaice or cod and cooking them at a local restaurant. Stick with the fish theme over dinner at Riddle and Finns (riddlelandfinns.co.uk), one of the best seafood restaurants in Brighton, and a night at the Malmaison in the marina, perfect for stormy walks on the water (double rooms from £ 89, malmaison.com).

Silver Bass Package, £ 230 for up to four, brightonlureboat.co.uk

Chocolate Master Class, York

'Three Hour Chocolate Master Class': York.
‘Three Hour Chocolate Master Class’: York. Photo: Holly Davies

York has been the UK’s chocolate-making capital for over a century, and a weekend on the town – soaking up in chocolates and trying or creating chocolate treats makes a great gift for cocoa bean fans. York’s Cocoa House is the place to start with a three-hour chocolate masterclass that covers everything from tempering chocolate to making ganache, caramel, and fondant. Then dive into Monk Bar Chocolatier (Monkbar.com), which offers 60 different types of handmade chocolates, and stay the night in the Lamb and Lion, a charming pub with 12 elegant rooms, some with a view of the cathedral (doubles from £ 109, lambandlionork.com). Chocolate master class £ 55 pp, yorkcocoahouse.co.uk

Smoking and cures, bath

'Learning How to Smoke Meat and Fish Hot and Cold': Bath.
‘Learning How to Smoke Meat and Fish Hot and Cold’: Bath

For some foodies, the ideal gift is a new technique rather than a recipe, and this full-day course at Vale House Kitchen is just one of many courses in foraging, butchering, game and fishing. Learn how to smoke, cure and pickle meat and fish hot and cold and how to make pancetta, braesola and chorizo. Stay at the charming Carpenters Arms in nearby Stanton Wick, known for its local foods (double rooms from £ 130, the-carpenters-arms.co.uk).

Smoking and Curing Masterclass, February 13, £ 195, valehousekitchen.de


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