Food & cookery experiences
For all food lovers out there, from amateur cook to enthusiast, a chance to get hands on at a cookery school or spend some time with our passionate producers.
Hone your cooking skills and pick up top tips on one of these excellent courses.
- Arches Cookery School located in the northern end of the North York Moors is based on the family's working farm, and is firmly committed to using local producers. Sarah Muir, chef and teacher, has plenty of tales to tell of her former life as chef to rock stars on tour. If there's any type of cooking you fancy having a go at, we can guarantee Sarah will have a course to suit. The Rainy Day Courses for up to 5 people with just 3 hours notice are great to have as a backup plan.
- Chocolatier Kala King runs chocolate and patisseri making workshops in Hutton le Hole where you'll learn how to make and decorate your own truffles and understand tempering techniques. Children's chocolate workshops available too. The best bit, you get to take your chocolates home!
- The latest opening in Yorkshire's Food Capital is the Malton Cookery School. Making full use of the bounties of the area (game from the moors and seafood from the coast of course), improve your skills in a state-of-the-art kitchen where the emphasis is on having fun. Also on offer is the chance to join the 'Chef's Table' where accomplished chefs from the area's best venues cook dinner before your eyes. Plenty of child friendly courses too.
- Autumn is the perfect time for a foraging experience, see our list of fungi and foraging forays here but do book far in advance, as these are very popular.
Food and drink experiences
If eating it rather than cooking it is more your style, try one of these gourmet days out.
- Ampleforth Abbey, home to the largest Benedictine community in Britain, and a chance to sample spirits of a different kind here too. The monks have been growing apples for over 100 years, so who better to show you around their orchard after the summer’s sun has done its job and the crop is ready to harvest? Take an autumn tour through the 2,000 apple trees and 40 varieties in the company of the Orchard Manager, Cameron Smith, before heading to the Cider Mill to see how Ampleforth’s cider and cider brandy is made. There’s a tasting or two, not to mention a slice of Ampleforth’s famous cider apple cake. You won’t want to miss trying Ampleforth Beer either, Britain's first monastic beer since the Reformation based on an ancient monk's recipe. Blossom tours run from April to June, Twilight tours from June until September, and Apple tours run from July to October.
- Ey up! A brewery tour of the Great Yorkshire Brewery has to be on your list. Born and brewed in Yorkshire, their unique humour comes through on this light-hearted jaunt around their plant, hidden away in an old quarry on the edge of the National Park in Cropton. Their real ales are superb, cider, proper Yorkshire lager and red lager complement the range, while they like to have a go at concocting a record breaking beer each year, Top of the Hops 2016 has 2016 hops, no doubt a 2017 version will follow... All topped off with their own brewery tap, the New Inn, perfect for sampling a pint or two.
- Discover the coast and all its treasures on a Real Staithes experience with fisherman Sean Baxter and his family. Sustainable food is at the heart of their trips and experiences – like the Coastal Crafts Day Course, where you help haul in lobster pots, bait lines and forage for shellfish and edible seaweed. Look for fossils, jet and spot seabirds too. Lunch is campfire soup, boiled lobster, hand-picked seafood and homemade cake, served up at their fisherman’s hut in Port Mulgrave, a hideaway corner of the coast.
- Take part in a Yorkshire Food Finder Trail, each themed trip starts and ends at one of the area's top-class eateries. Expect a North York Moors tour to include the famous Star Inn at Harome, combined with a visit to Botton village creamery where Alastair Pearson will explain the secrets to making their delicious range of artisan unpasteurised, raw milk cheeses, or a chance to take in Taste Tradition, admiring their Long Horns, Herefords, Galloways, Aberdeen Angus and Dexter cattle. Farmer Charles Ashbridge supplies any manner of top eateries including St John, Roast, and the Star Inn. They'll also make time to fit in a lunch at one of the North York Moors' fine traditional pubs.