Skip to navigation | Skip to content | Skip to footer

Stir-up Day at River Cottage

Kick off your Christmas preparations with a traditional day of festive baking.

Stir-up Sunday heralds the beginning of our Christmas celebrations here at River Cottage. Each year we uphold the tradition of making our mincemeat and Christmas puddings on the last weekend before advent and prepare for the exciting season ahead.

Join us for this festive one-day cookery course and learn how to Stir-up the River Cottage way. Our RC Chef Tutor will teach you how to make rich Christmas puddings, boozy truffles, sweet pastry and the best homemade mincemeat. You will also tackle the more complex, but totally worth it centrepiece, stollen, a fruity, nutty, spicy, marzipan flecked bread.

During the day there will be a chance to explore our beautiful walled kitchen garden, enjoy a hot toddy and sit down to a hearty late autumn lunch prepared by our chefs. You will head back up the hill at the end of the afternoon, a bag full of your handmade bounty and a heart full of Christmas spirit!

Your day

10:00 - 17:00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    You’ll begin your River Cottage experience with a 10-15 minute walk through the pathways down to the farm, enabling you to really soak up the views of the valley.

  • 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 heading back up the hill at 5pm 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.

Interested in this event?

Click the ‘notify me’ button below to receive an email when new dates for this event are released. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Notify me

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 who are vegan or wheat intolerances.

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