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3 day residential bread and wine retreat


About the Course

The dream pairing

Enjoy wine workshops interspersed with sourdough breadmaking sessions over the course of 3 days at the White Cottage Baking School in the heart of rural Cambridgeshire. We will start at the very beginning and cover all the basics regarding bread making and wine tasting. We will taste/drink over 20 wines, eat a lot of our own homemade bread, and enjoy some relaxed tasting sessions in the kitchen or outside in the cottage garden.

You will return home capable and confident - reading a wine list, selecting wine in a shop and producing your own sourdough loaves.

Between wine sessions and breadmaking workshops we will sit for lunch at the Bakery, and for those that choose to stay at Kingston Barns, our fabulous accommodation for the duration of the course, drinks and dinner will be served.

The bread course:

Using only naturally occurring wild yeasts, we will make classic sourdough loaves, mastering the techniques for making, shaping, and baking this marvel of ancient alchemy with just flour, water and salt. Over the course of the three days we will explore the nature of wild yeasts and get hands on with the dough.

What you will learn about bread:
You will receive instruction on the techniques involved in sourdough-making, all the while working with our fresh, additive-free and locally-sourced ingredients to put what you're learning into practice with plenty of hands-on experience.
How to care for your organic starter
How to master the art of kneading the high hydration (i.e. wetter than normal) dough
How to shape and score your sourdough to achieve consistently good results in your own kitchen.
You can expect expert tips and tricks from Helen - she loves to share the knowledge and passion for bread-making she's developed over her time as a professional baker. You'll leave with all the skills and enthusiasm you need to make delicious bread in your own kitchen!

The wine course

Taught by wine expert, Emily O'Hare, the Level 1 WSET course is a beginner level introduction to wine suitable for all those who enjoy wine and would like to deepen their knowledge. This qualification provides a hands on introduction to the world of wine. You will explore the main types and styles of wine through sight, smell and taste, while also gaining the basic skills to describe wine accurately, make food and wine pairings and feel confident in spotting a faulty wine.

Because we are teaming this course with bread-making, it makes sense that we also take a look at the action of yeast in winemaking - comparing wines made with cultured yeasts and wild yeasts (touching on some of the ‘natural wine’ conversation) and having a taste test of a range of Champagnes and ‘traditional method’ sparkling wines from England, Spain and Italy so as to be able to bandy the word “autolytic” around in pretentious wine company. Fortunately we will have plenty of bread to soak up all these samples!

Upon successful completion you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin.

​About Emily

​​​Emily O'Hare moved to Italy 5 years ago after 10 years in the London wine trade. She made her name as Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at The River Café and as a writer specialising in Italian wines for Decanter and various national publications. In 2014 she qualified as WSET approved programme provider and now, based in Siena, spends her time teaching WSET Levels 1,2 & 3 both in Italy and the UK. She is a VIA Italian Wine Ambassador and writes for both Decanter and The Florentine.

​What you will learn about wine:
The main types and styles of wine
Common wine grapes and their characteristics
How to store and serve wine
The principles of food and wine pairing
How to describe wine using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine® (SAT)

​​Kingston Barns is an exceptional barn conversion that offers well-appointed luxury accommodation with uninterrupted views over the Cambridgeshire Countryside just a short drive from the bustling City of Cambridge.

The barns are located on the edge of the small, peaceful village of Kingston, a short walk from White Cottage Bakery and Baking School where all classes and workshops will be held.


Residential, full board, ensuite Single occupancy- £825
Residential, full board, ensuite Double occupancy (per person, based on 2 people sharing) - £725
Non Residential - £585

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

WSET Course Level 1 Tuition and all course materials are included: study guide, stationery, food and wine samples (over 20 wines from around the world will be tasted including the wines of Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Barolo) and final exam.
All Sourdough breadmaking sessions with Helen
Welcome breakfast at White Cottage Bakery
Lunches and light snacks and hot drinks during coffee breaks on Tues 19th and Weds 20th
For residential guests: all breakfasts, lunches, evening aperitvi and meals with wine

*For those who have chosen to book without accommodation but would like to join for drinks and dinner, this can be organised with Helen and costs £30 per person per meal including wine.
Look forward to...

Day 1

09:30 Welcome breakfast in the bakery before Breadmaking begins.
11:30: Coffee break and then the WSET Level 1 course begins, “Introduction to wine”
12:00: Sourdough making
14:00 Lunch prepared for us by Helen, served in the cottage or outside in the cottage garden if weather permits.
15:00 Wine sessions continue: “Types and Styles of wine and the Principal Grape Varieties”
17:30 Check in and free-time for those who have booked accommodation.
19:00 Aperitivo and dinner with wine at Kingston Barns.

Day 2

Breakfast 08:00-09:30 at Kingston Barns (residents only)
10:00 at the Bakery: The wine course continues with a food and wine workshop: “The principles of food and wine matching”
11:30 - 13:00 Coffee break followed by breadmaking session
13:00 Lunch prepared by Helen served in the cottage or outside in the garden, weather permitting.
14:00-15:30 Wine session “The characteristics of the Noble Grape varieties.”
15:30 Coffee break followed by wine session: “The Common wine faults, service and storage”
17:30 Free time
19:30 Drinks and dinner at Kingston Barns

Day 3 -
08:00-09:30: Breakfast at Kingston Barns (residents only)
10:00 - 11:00 WSET Level 1 Multiple Choice exam (45 mins)
11:00 Coffee and departure

​(Typical itinerary may be subject to change)


Helen Underwood at White Cottage Baking School
Carey Hill, Church Lane,
CB23 2NG
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Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Residential
  • UK Holiday

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