Guide to Chester Food and Drink Tours and Experiences
There are plenty of experiences in Cheshire for food and drink lovers. From brewery tours to cooking classes, visitors and residents alike can learn more about the region's ales, cheeses, and much more with a fun evening or day out. Here are just a few of the tours and gastronomy experiences in and around Chester.
Farm and Brewery Tours
Cheshire Cheese is one of the oldest named cheeses in the UK, if not the oldest. Cheese-making in Cheshire dates back to when Chester was a Roman garrison town. Several farms and factories around Cheshire offer tours, giving visitors an up-close look at traditional methods of making the region's celebrated cheese. The Bourne family has been making Cheshire cheese since 1750. Since 1930, the family-run Bank Farm has produced H.S. Bourne award-winning Cheshire cheese using traditional techniques. Anyone can visit the farm to see how the cheese is made, although advance notice is needed. To arrange a tour, contact the farm at www.hsbourne.co.uk.
Educational and entertaining, the Robinsons Brewery Tour is a great way to learn about brewing beer. The Robinsons family has been brewing beer at the brewery since 1838, when William Robinson purchased a small pub and called it the Unicorn Inn. The one-hour tour includes three 1/3 pint samples of Robinsons' ales. Visitors learn about how ingredients are selected and how they produce distinctive tastes and aromas. Technical information on the brewing process is also provided, and you get to learn about the brewery's hopnik and cereal cooker. Recognised as the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year in the Marketing Cheshire Annual Awards 2014, the brewery features a visitors' centre with interactive and informative exhibits. Got to www.robinsonsbrewery.com/brewery-experience for further information.
Corks Out is an award-winning wine shop with several locations in and around Cheshire, including in Chester's Independent Quarter at 21 Watergate Street. A thirteenth century crypt provides a unique setting to enjoy excellent wines and refined spirits, as well as interesting brews. There are regular wine tastings, gourmet dinners and other events that provide opportunities to learn more about wine and how to properly enjoy a glass. Featured on Channel 4's 'Come Dine with Me', there is a wide selection of over 2,000 wines and spirts on offer. In addition to being a wine shop, Corks Out has its very own wine bar. Find out more at www.corksout.com.
The Harthill Cookery School provides visitors with a brilliant day to learn new baking and cooking skills. Named the UK's best small cookery school in 2014 at the British Cookery School Awards, the school is located in Tattenhall south-east of Chester's city centre. It is managed by Brian Mellor, an award-winning master chef that was the BBC's head check and an executive chef for Granada TV. Available courses include full-day offerings on cooking and baking techniques. There are also half-day and evening courses, as well as advanced courses for more experienced bakers and cooks. Whether you want to learn how to bake delicious dinner party desserts or cook succulent meat or made Spanish dishes, each course provides a different view into the world of cooking and baking. Got to www.brianmellor.co.uk for more information.
West of Chester is Cheshire Cooks, a cookery school at Lakeside Barn. Situated in Tarporley, Lakeside Barn is a restored two-story conversion with bed and breakfast accommodation. Everyone with a passion for food is welcome in this relaxed and fun learning environment. Each course focuses on a set of ingredients and techniques, providing participants with a starting point for more experimenting at home. There is also an option to stay at the farm, giving you a chance to take a cookery course and stay a night in a luxury double bedroom. A full Cheshire breakfast and return transport between the school and a local restaurant is also included. Find out more at www.lakesidebarn.co.uk/index.php/cookery-school.