A lift to Paddington (thanks Matt!), a train to Exeter St David’s, a bus to Newton Abbott (ah, doncha love Sunday services?) and a taxi to Ashburton, shared with another cookery scholar and I’m here.
The cookery school is split between two beautiful old stone buildings which sit opposite one another in the middle of the town. Home for the week is a spacious double room at the top of the building that houses Kitchen One, which is also my kitchen for the week. And is also known as “the building with hot water” after the boiler gave up its last over the road. So no shower rota needed for me. My room in the eaves is lovely – I’ll add photos once I’m back home as I forgot a USB cable: technology fail. A cosy double room with en suite shower room, TV, kettle and most importantly for this week, excellent and free wifi! If the iBook wasn’t on its last legs, this would be the perfect blogging environment. But hey, I’m coping without the “n” key quite nicely.
We met over the road at No.79 for tea and scones at 6pm, followed by a very brief talk about time and place for breakfast and suggestions for the best pub and places to eat tonight. During the week we’ll have little need for the eateries – we’ll be eating what we cook. Bring it on!
There are two Intermediate courses being run simultaneously this week, so it’s going to be a busy place. And a lot of names to remember. But to get things off to a sociable start, those of us whose eyes lit up at the best pub recommendation are meeting downstairs in 10 minutes.
Everyone seems lovely so far: a couple from Hungary who have recently done the foundation course here and are back for the next level, a lady whose family thoughtfully – and generously – bought her this course as a gift, and two more keen beans willing to travel for the experience: one who has driven down from Newcastle, and another who flew from the Isle of Man. Most seem to be here for fun, but with a eye on the possibility of a new career, or side project, or something similar.
So at 9:20 tomorrow, we’ll be in our respective kitchens ready to be briefed by the chef, and launch into our first dish.
I can hardly wait.
But first, to the pub!