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Stir-up Weekend

Get your festive preparations under way with a merry day of Christmas puds, mincemeat, truffles and more!

Join us for a day of all things Christmassy at River Cottage on our Stir-up course, guaranteed to get you in the festive mood and your yuletide preparations under way.

During this most special of Christmas cookery courses you'll learn how to make rich Christmas puddings, boozy truffles, a scrumptious stollen and the best homemade mincemeat.

We'll reward you with a hearty lunch, hot toddies and the chance to explore River Cottage HQ in the beautiful midwinter. Plus you get to go home with your Christmas goodies ready for the celebrations.

Your day

09:30 - 17:00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    You’ll be met at the top of the hill at 9.30 and transported to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer.

  • Make yourself at home

    You will meet your hosts and start the day with tea, coffee and festive treats fresh from the kitchen.

  • Session one

    We'll kick the day off with getting your Christmas pudding under way and stirred-up! You'll leave it to steam gently through the morning.

  • Session two

    Now you'll learn how to make sweet pastry, which will rest in preparation for your tart later on.

  • Session three

    Get your Stollen dough started and learn how to make your own marzipan to add to your enriched dough later in the day.

  • Lunch

    Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and next you’ll tuck into a two-course lunch of local, seasonal fare prepared by the River Cottage chefs.

  • Session four

    Learn how to make a rich crème pâtissière, flavoured with fragrant fresh vanilla to fill your mincemeat tart.

  • Session five

    Next you'll make a luxurious mincemeat - there'll be enough to take some home and enjoy over the festive period, as well as making your mincemeat tart.

  • Session six

    Learn how to make some indulgent boozy Christmas truffles, the perfect gift or after-dinner petit four.

  • Q&A

    By now you will be probably be bursting with questions, so this will be your opportunity to take away some expert tips for success at home.

  • Departure

    There will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team, before being whisked back up the hill by our tractor and trailer along with your homemade goodies.

Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.

On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.

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Further information...

This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.

We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.

If you need local accommodation we have a full list available.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

Sorry, we’re afraid this course is not suitable for those with coeliac disease or wheat intolerances. However we do run Gluten Free Cookery courses.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018