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We Smiths like to rank ourselves rather highly in the cookery stakes. In fact, a week rarely goes by without Gareth bringing in baking-parchment parcels containing new-recipe treats or Anthony relaying his latest culinary combinations (eg. pork balls and rice for breakfast). But if there’s any time of year when you need skills in the kitchen, it’s coming up – so stop mass-catering meltdowns forever with a cooking class at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

le-manoirRaymond Blanc’s elegant Oxfordshire outpost is the gastronomic capital of the A40, and at this country manor, you only need to be good at one thing – eating. But first, you need to make things to eat. So, with fine ingredients picked from the resident herb and vegetable garden, and master chefs on hand to show you their tricks, let Raymond’s team lead the way to dazzling dinner parties and smooth-running feasts.

Right up until the end of the year, the Cookery School will be running one-day courses to enlighten attendants with the secrets of happy hosting. As well as your tutoring, you’ll get morning and afternoon tea and a light lunch in the school. And if you book together, you can save £100 (£520 a couple).

The courses coming up are on the following dates: 27 and 29 November, and 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17 and 18 December. Call +44 (0)1844 278881 to book.

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