Baking with Cookery School at Little Portland Street


A Second Serving reviews the Ultimate Afternoon Tea class at Cookery School at Little Portland Street...

Cookery School at Little Portland Street is one of the oldest venues in London for amateur cooks - and London's leading teaching kitchen. They offer over 30 different classes that range from daytime and evening class sampling - from bread and cake making to gluten free cooking and knife skills, to the regional cuisine of the Middle East and Mexico. The Cookery School aims to demystify cooking with an emphasis on it being fun, friendly and accessible. Most of the classes are aimed at amateur rather than professional chefs, who, like me, want to pretend they're on Masterchef! Every session provides lots of hands on practice and there are ample opportunities to ask questions and hone your skills. I was invited to the Ultimate Afternoon Tea class and took my sister Rebecca... who was just as rubbish as me!

The sponge cake of dreams (I actually made this!)

Why go?

Upon arrival we were welcomed with a glass of bubbly (hell yes!) and handed an apron with our name on. Before long the class had started and we were split up into pairs and allocated tasks to begin. My sister and I decided to start making the sponge cake, which had a cream filling and chocolate ganache topping - something I'd never dared attempt before. Fortunately, all of the ingredients were weighed up ready for us to use so we had to just follow a simple set of instructions... easier said than done if you confuse salt with sugar. Guilty as charged! As the class progressed, the chef stopped at moments to show us different things, and we were assigned other tasks. As well as the cake, we also helped make the scotch eggs and scones. The chef was fun, if a little sarcastic about our cooking skills, but it was all in good taste and made the class a real laugh. The three hours seemed to whiz by and before I knew it the food we'd made was all cooked and laid out on a table in front of us.

Scones and lemon tarts
Egg rolls in homemade bread and sarnies

At the end we all sat down together and enjoyed the food that we'd made, along with another class of fizz and a cup of English tea. We made classic scones with cream and jam, cheese scones, lemon tarts, cucumber and salmon sandwiches, egg mayonnaise on homemade mini rolls, scotch eggs and a sponge cake. I tell you what everything tasted so much better knowing we'd made it ourselves! We were also given a handy little pack to take home with us which contained all the recipes should we wish to give them another try. While I very much doubt the class made me a potential Masterchef contestant overnight, it was heaps of fun and I did pick up a few tips along the way. The best one? Crack an egg on a hard work surface, not the side of a bowl. Sounds silly I know, but six cracked eggs later and not one piece of shell was in that mixing bowl. So proud!

Ready and raring to go!


Everyone in our group was fairly quiet and I couldn't help but feel like it would have been a bit more fun if we'd known each other before. Saying that, it was probably just pot luck, and because they were quiet it meant we stuck our hands up and tried more things. This class would be great to do with a small group of friends or maybe even a hen party looking for a fun activity.


15b Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BW

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