December is a month of social engagements, festivities and indulgence – but this whirl of jollity can be a source of stress, particularly if you are hosting and cooking.

The Cookery School at Daylesford is here to help you embrace this time of togetherness with minimal anxiety, so you can take pleasure in the process of celebrating, sharing delicious food and entertaining in style over the Christmas period.


Make it easy for yourself
Now is not the time to fret over tricky new dishes and fiddly canapés. Choose tried-and-tested recipes you can depend on, to give you the freedom to enjoy yourself. Go for things that can be prepared in advance such as these brilliant sage & onion roulades.


Invest in good equipment
In the same way, we advise choosing recipes you can trust, you also want pots, pans and other kitchen tools to be reliable. Keep your knives sharp and use them properly. With a sharp knife used correctly, you are more efficient, and chopping becomes easier and more enjoyable.


Shop wisely
Always use seasonal, good quality ingredients – you won’t need to do much to make them taste great. Here is our guide to the best fruit and vegetables in season now.


Hold back
While some leftovers are often welcome to help construct a Boxing Day sandwich, this year try to limit wastefulness and overloading yourself with work. You will save yourself time and money by being realistic: if you are offering several different side dishes, people are unlikely to need three whole carrots each!


Spread the workload
If guests offer to help, let them! Repetitive tasks like peeling, chopping or even washing up can be genuinely fun and convivial if done together. Food is a wonderful way to bring people together so make sure that everybody is involved.


Enjoy the preparation
Pour a glass of wine and put on some music while you set about your to-do list. Clean as you go along so that you are relaxed while you cook.


Trust your instincts 
It is always best to read through recipes before you begin and make sure you have everything you need to avoid any last-minute panics. Baking is more of an exact science but for general cooking, we do believe in using recipes as a guideline and not a rule; for example, we encourage substituting ingredients with what you have available.


Taste, Taste, Taste!
Taste the dish at every step of cooking and adjust the flavours using salt and other forms of seasoning.


The Cookery School at Daylesford is located in the heart of the Cotswolds near Kingham, Gloucestershire.

Find inspiration and learn simple, effective techniques, recipes and skills to make the most of fresh, seasonal ingredients and change the way you cook forever. From complete beginners to the most proficient home cooks, our wide range of courses include practical and demonstration cookery sessions. We welcome corporate and private groups to enjoy bespoke curated full days, half days and evenings.


We have a variety of festive courses to dazzle your dinner guests, entertain with ease and get your yuletide preparations underway. The PERFECT CHRISTMAS TABLE offers tips and techniques, nibbles, stunning centrepieces and seasonal drinks. EFFORTLESS CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINING focuses on tried and tested recipes to guarantee great results and FAMILY COOKING TOGETHER at Christmas is the ultimate day out with a friend or a loved one.

Booking in advance is essential. Please call us directly a call on 01608 731 620 or email us [email protected].