The Mersea Island Cookery School

Interactive, hands-on cooking classes with top chefs from busy successful restaurants in a relaxed and friendly environment.

See our upcoming cookery course dates

The school primarily uses seasonal and local produce with classes that range from pastry and baking to seasonal entertaining and cuisine from around the world. You will be shown how to select fresh ingredients and how to prepare them for cooking.

The courses that we offer are aimed at everyone regardless of ability or cooking experience, from the complete beginner to the more experienced. We also offer classes for those with special dietary needs such as gluten free. The classes are small and intimate, to ensure an attentive and informative experience.

More information about our courses and the latest available course dates.

About us

The Mersea Island Cookery School was set up by Amanda Woodcraft. Ben and Amanda Woodcraft run a thriving business on Mersea Island supplying restaurants with fish and other produce called Ben's Fish. With such wonderful ingredients on their doorstep a cookery school seemed like a good idea.

The school is in a restored, listed, traditional Essex barn, with views accross the Blackwater estuary, and lends itself well to a cookery workshop.

With the expertise and help of Ilia Makri and Jo Mould the school offers a unique and special cooking experience.

Where to find us

The Mersea Island Cookery School is situated, as you might guess, on Mersea Island in Essex. Mersea Island is 10 miles from Colchester which has a direct rail service from London Liverpool Street station which takes just 50 minutes. The school is located in the village of East Mersea and can be found in Rewsalls Lane near the Mersea Island Vineyard.


From Colchester follow the B1025 Mersea Road towards Mersea. When you cross the Strood causeway to get onto the island take the left hand fork, turning towards East Mersea. After about 1 mile (shortly after the East Mersea sign) turn right into Rewsalls Lane, sign posted to Mersea Outdoors and the Mersea Island Vineyard.

Mersea Island Cookery School is located in the converted barn about 200m down Rewsalls Lane on the left hand side.

Find us on Google Maps

Please contact us for more information.


Course Dates

Gluten Free Advanced
Tuesday 20th June
In the Gluten-free Advanced course, you will learn how to make delicious gluten-free brioche, rough puff pastry and choux buns. You will make some brioche buns, a savoury pie with rough puff pastry and chocolate profiteroles.
Greek Summer Flavours
Thursday 22nd June
In the 'Greek Summer Flavours' course you'll learn how to make some truly authentic Greek dishes. You'll make Tzatziki), Dolmades, Spanakopita, Greek salad, Moussaka and Galaktoboureko.
Greek Summer Flavours
Friday 4th August
In the 'Greek Summer Flavours' course you'll learn how to make some truly authentic dishes. With our guidance you'll make tzatziki, dolmades, spanakopita, greek salad, Moussaka and galaktoboureko.
Curing and Smoking
with Mike Keen
Sunday 20th August
Learn how to make your own cured and smoked meats and fish. Mike will guide you through the process of curing, hot and cold smoking, and how to build your own smoker at home.
Introduction to Patisserie
Tuesday 5th September
In the 'Introduction to Patisserie' course, you'll learn how to create a selection of patisserie classics. During the five hour workshop, you'll make Profiteroles, Millefeuille with crème patisserie and Glazed fruit tarts.
with Mike Keen
Wednesday 6th September
Spend the day with the lovely Mike Keen and learn how to make sushi. Mike will teach you all the skills and techniques you need to make delicious Sushi at home.
Macarons & Marshmallows
Monday 11th September
In this course, we'll make some beautifully coloured French macarons and will create some delicious marshmallows in various flavour combinations. Learn tips and tricks to introduce flavour variations giving a contemporary twist to your confectionery creations.
Flavours of the Middle East
Tuesday 12th September
Take a gastronomic journey through Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt and learn how to make some truly authentic dishes from the region. These include: Pittas , Boreks, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Tabouleh, Ta'miyya, Kofte and Baklava.
2 day Artisan Bread Making
14th and 15th September
Learn how to enhance the flavour of your breads by using pre-ferments such as biga, poolish and sponges, how to create, look after and use sourdough starters and how to bake wholemeal, rye and enriched breads.
Introduction to Gluten Free Baking
Monday 18th September
In the 'Introduction to Gluten-free baking' course, you will learn how to make delicious gluten-free bread, pastry and cakes. This workshop includes demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to achieve good results with gluten-free ingredients.
Healthy Family Meals
Tuesday 19th September
Focusing on good quality ingredients and home cooking techniques we'll show you how you can make nourishing and exciting meals for your family. Discover new healthy alternatives that will become part of your everyday meal repertoire.
British Breads
Monday 25th September
Taking part in the British Food Fortnight initiative, we are showing our love for British food with one of nation's most favourite foods, the bread. In this class you'll learn how to make, shape and bake a selection of British breads.
British Sausages
with Mike Keen
Tuesday 26th September
Learn how to make your own proper sausages. Mike Keen will guide you through the process of selecting the meat and spices to make and fill a selection of sausages. You'll then cook some classic British sausage dishes with a twist or two.
British Fish and Seafood
with Mike Keen
Thursday 28th September
Taking part in the British Food Fortnight initiative, we are showing our love for British fish and seafood. Mike Keen will take you through the different stages of preparing and cooking a delicious 3 course lunch, focusing on British Fish and Seafood and let you into tricks of the trade.
British Pastry and biscuits
Friday 29th September
Taking part in the British Food Fortnight initiative, we are showing our love for British food with nation's favourite pastries and biscuits. In this class you'll learn how to make a bakewell tart, Eccles cakes, shortbread and Gingernuts.
British Apples
Monday 2nd October
In this class you'll learn how to make apple crisps, apple chutney, mackerel with apples and beetroot, a casserole of apple, cider and pork, and an apple snow pudding with gingernut biscuits.
British Pies
with Mike Keen
Tuesday 3rd October
Learn how to make a selection of British pies. Mike will guide you through the process of making a delicious range of pies from hand-raised pork pie to the most delicious steak and ale pie.
Classic British Cakes
Thursday 5th October
In the 'Classic British Cakes' course, you'll learn how to bake successfully a Victoria sandwich, a Chocolate Swiss roll and Gingerbread. You will take home the cakes you have made during the workshop along with a recipe and method booklet, to remind you of what you have learnt.
Chocolate Desserts
Thursday 12th October
Build a repertoire of impressive chocolate desserts by learning how to make bitter chocolate mousse with cherry sauce, chocolate fondants with salted caramel sauce and individual rich chocolate tarts with orange and hazelnuts praline.
Friday 13th October
In this Seafood course, you'll learn how to choose, prepare and cook different types of seafood. We'll prepare and cook dishes with prawns, scallops, clams or mussels, and calamari.
Vegetarian Autumn Flavours
Monday 16th October
Whether you are a vegetarian wanting to get some ideas for new flavours, or just looking for some great tasting alternatives to meat dishes, discover some gems from the Mediterranean and Middle East, and build an impressive vegetarian repertoire.
Introduction to Bread Making
Tuesday 17th October
In the 'Introduction to Bread Making' course, you'll learn how to make, shape and bake three different types of doughs. With these skills you'll be creating a white loaf, a Focaccia bread and delicious Chelsea buns
Thursday 19th October
Learn the tricks and techniques to make three classic types of pastry. During the workshop, you'll make shortcrust pastry, pate sucre and flaky pastry. You'll put them to good use creating a Leek and Gruyere tart, a Salmon en Croute and a Lemon Tart.

Children's Parties

If you fancy doing something a bit different for your child's party why not try a Cooking Party?

Parties can be booked Monday-Friday 4pm-6pm.

For more information please contact us.