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Christmas Baking & Pastry

Spend a day in the River Cottage Cookery School perfecting your pastry skills and creating your favourite Christmassy bakes.

Get ahead with your Christmas baking and spend a day perfecting your pastry skills with this hands-on day of learning. You will be taught the tips and tricks to perfecting a variety of types of pastry including - rough puff and shortcrust and how to use these to create Christmas essentials to indulge and impress your family and friends.

With expert tuition from the River Cottage chefs, you will discover that baking can be as easy as pie! Throughout your day you’ll learn to create boxing day buffet favourites such as sausage rolls, cheese straws, savoury tarts, stollen and of course, our twist on mince pies!

And, as with all of our courses, you won't leave hungry, enjoying lunch cooked up by our chefs as well as tucking into some of your efforts for supper, taking the rest away ready for the festive season.


- Create a festive stollen to take home

- Rough puff pastry for chestnut and sage sausage rolls & cheese straws

- Shortcrust pastry for a savoury tart

- Sweet pastry mince pies

- A delicious lunch from the River Cottage kitchen.

Your day

10.00 - 17.00

  • Make yourself at home

    You will meet your host and settle in with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.

  • Session One

    You'll start your day by mastering rough puff pastry. You'll use this buttery flaky pastry to make festive sausage rolls & cheese straws.

  • Session Two

    Next you'll tackle making shortcrust pastry, learning how to blind bake and seal the pastry ready to finish it as an indulgent savoury tart

  • Lunch

    Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a seasonal lunch of local ingredients will be one of the highlights of your day.

  • Session Three

    After lunch you'll turn your attention to all things sweet and create a festive favourite- Stollen.

  • Session Four

    You'll create a sweet pastry and use this to make the River Cottage Christmas classic - frangipane mince pies.

  • To finish

    Relax with a tea of coffee as now is a perfect time to ask your tutor any burning questions and reflect on your day.

  • Departure

    Head back up the hill for 5pm with your pastry goods in hand and the inspiration to create a fantastic festive feast at home.

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.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying 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 allergies or specific dietary requirements. However we do run courses that are gluten free, vegetarian and vegan friendly. Please get in touch if you have any questions or need further details.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

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