As a small business we don’t have a budget to advertise and a large percentage of booked come via personal recommendation, so please do take a moment to read what others have said about their visit ……. and thank you very much to everyone who has taken the time to write a review – every one really does make a difference.
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Whether you're an experienced sourdough baker or just getting started, this is the class to take! From the moment that I stepped into the gorgeous Sourdough School I felt at home! Such a warm and inviting atmosphere, and Vanessa couldn't be more amazing as an individual, a total natural when it comes to teaching with so much passion and love! She has a wealth of knowledge and such a beautiful way of expressing all things Sourdough related! This past weekend was truly one that will go down in the books as a being a very special highlight in my life!!! I look forward to now using the skills I feel that I have learned and to continue this passion that is Sourdough! Thank you so much Vanessa for such a gorgeous experience!!!! =)
An outstanding weekend course! Vanessa’s Sourdough School is a real place of learning, but also a place of fun and creativity. She is a dynamic and vivacious teacher with a vast knowledge of all aspects of baking, but of course with a special passion for sourdough.The content of the course was inspiring and hugely interesting. Not only did we make some delicious sourdough bread, but we were also able to share experience and to discuss some of the more unusual uses of sourdough and fermentation.Although this was a beginners’ course, almost everyone had made sourdough bread to a greater or lesser degree - there was even a professional baker on the course using the opportunity to perfect skills - which meant there was a huge amount of experience being shared, and for a beginner like me, with very inconsistent success in my sourdough baking, this shared experience combined with Vanessa’s incredible knowledge, was invaluable.I would urge anyone with an interest in sourdough baking to sign up to one of Vanessa’s courses; you won’t regret it!
Vanessa's sourdough course is fantastic - she is an engaging, informative and enthusiastic teacher - who has a lot of time for her students and makes you feel warm and welcome. The course itself is brilliant - so much detail, so much rigour but all done with great oratory and performance. If you have digestive issues, it's also a really good course to learn about the benefits of sourdough for IBS etc. It's definitely the best cookery course I've ever been on.
First of all I am a good baker when it comes to yeast/flour and water bread, so how hard could it be to make sourdough bread? Very hard. I made some large flat pancakes that my wife tried to be complimentary about but in the end gave up and told me to either stop or learn properly. I chose to do the latter.The 2 day beginners course is way more than the description. It was a revelation, when the loaves came out of the oven at the end of the second day I had tears in my eyes ( I am saying that knowing that no one who knows me will read this!).I have (seriously) lost sleep with worry about how well I would get on with my first attempt at sourdough after the course. I had every intention of photographing the loaf and sending it to Vanessa saying "SEE!!! I can do it!" but we ate the thing instead. Oh dear, I now just have to do it twice........... more sleepless nights are forecast.If you have any doubts about doing this course, will you learn anything, is it worth it? etc then lose them, yes you will learn, even if you have made sourdough before you will learn new skills, is it worth it? Oh yes, very much so.On a technical front, the room you learn is great, very good lighting, very large table with enough space for everyone to sit comfortably at, lots of tea or coffee and the lunches are fantastic. You get plenty of hands on, you feel and smell the dough's etc at various stages, no-one gets left out, there is no such thing as a daft question. Vanessa is a a very good instructor who really engages with the students.I would recommend this course to anyone interested in learning how to make sourdough or who wants to improve their skill levels.I will be practising for the next few months and then look to book another course with Vanessa.
I've said five stars but Vanessa is a one woman constellation. She is a charismatic and engaging teacher, hugely knowledgeable, and her reputation as the doyenne of sourdough bakers/tutors is well deserved. I've only just completed the intermediate course and have yet to put what I learned into practice but I have no doubt it will revolutionise my bread making. So many crucial tips and techniques. It's intensive (I'm absolutely cream crackered) but still carried out at a pace that allows you to properly absorb the information. If you want to take your sourdough skills to a new level, this is the course to choose.
Thank-you so much to Vanessa for my September Intermediate Course itwas a truly inspiring and such an enjoyable experience, I came awaywith my head crammed full of knowledge, and even more enthusiasm (which would be hard!)I was asked by a fellow student why I came from Scotland with a renowned breadschool close to home. I said that I came to learn from Vanessa as I loved thewebsite.Having completed the course, I would add that not only the course content,but the whole weekend, working alongside like minded people which was lovely,being welcomed into Vanessa's home was a real priviledge, we all felt part ofthe family,and a great team! I really hope to be able to do another course oneday in the future.Sourdough is of course central to Vanessa's course but, I came away with somuch more! Above all my bread is better already due to starter care. Mindyou, I am back to working through the 50 recipes on the website but, withmy new found knowledge, much more success.I have made so much bread since my course two weeks ago that I am giving toall my friends and neighbours!
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and feel that I have learnt a lot. Vanessa knows her stuff but more than that she has a passion for sourdough/good food and a passion for teaching. She is truly inspirational. As a complete beginner, what I really liked was that she took time and effort to explain the basics (starting the culture, what a successful leaven and dough look and taste like etc). She really hit home for me when she explained that making sourdough (which is a long process) is about getting into a rhythm which suits your individual circumstances. At the end of the weekend, we were all raring to have a go in our own homes and what makes that easier is being a member of the Sourdough Club. This is a wonderful addition because we can continue to get advice, try new recipes etc. The whole experience has been a positive one.
This may have all been said before, but I had the most inspiring, pleasureable, tiring, exhilarating sourdough experience. I felt honoured be welcomed in as a member of the 'family', the weekend Sourdough intermediate/advanced course was about mucking in, helping to prep and tidy as well as to absorb the information and teachings from Vanessa. It created great teamwork from our group, I think it all helped to enable me to absorb maximum benefit from the course. But it doesn't stop there! The huge benefits of being a member of the sourdough club will become apparent as time goes on and I start building my baking experiences. This club I feel is worth the course fee on its own. A huge thank you to Vanessa and her team for the most unforgettable experience!! Oh and the food.....what can I say?? !!
Thank you Vanessa for an inspiring day and welcoming me to your home. I loved your tips and absorbing your scientific brain about digestabiity and sustainability. The size of the class was just right, the flexibility of your schedule was perfect and the one to one advice about how to be a better baker was really appreciated. Looking forward to doing your high hydration course next and I can't wait to start practising my bread making! X
Vanessa thank you so much for such an inspiring course! Not just by demystifying the process of making delicious sourdough bread, but the whole ethos that you presented, the food you so casually whipped together to feed us lunch and your charming and vibrant personality. The lunch… (feel like Pavlov's dogs here...) ...homemade pickles, kimchi, sourdough pizza, cake, the different drinks, kefir... (Yes all homemade!). I think that on its own was worth the trip & money! Thank you!
I thoroughly enjoyed my day. Vanessa is certainly the guru of sourdough and extremely knowledgeable and experienced. It was a hugely instructive day being guided through the science and complexity of sourdough and bread making interspersed with entertaining stories by Vanessa. The loaf we took home was absolutely delicious. I’m very inspired to reach that same standard and with Vanessa’s detailed instructions and online advice, I’m confident I’ll be able to.
Not just another bread course….If you find yourself struggling though another recipe trying to find create that perfect loaf of bread….stop right there. I had heard via the grapevine that Vanessa’s course was the place to go to learn the ins and outs of sourdough and she did not disappoint! But that’s not all you’ll get from her instruction. She is vivacious, knowledgeable and a charismatic instructor. She not only teaches you the technique of how to create that perfect artisanal loaf, but the chemistry of why it all comes together. Vanessa captures you the minute you walk into her class. Her hands on lectures teach you about the basics of bread, the fundamentals of creating a great loaf, but her story also weaves you through the importance of eating well. Her discussions on food and sustainability methods left an impact on me into why it is so critical to choose and source our ingredients carefully. Her seminar was also a cultural walk of sharing experiences, of laughter and of devouring her incredible organic feast at mealtimes. But most of all she laid the principals and foundations of confidence that we all needed to experience in order to create a simple, wholesome, beautiful sourdough loaf. And that in essence becomes a sharing & gifting of our time with the ones we love.
An excellent course that demystified sourdough. Having tried and failed in the past to make the divine loaf I learnt very quickly exactly where I was going wrong - pretty much every stage. Vanessa is welcoming, funny and incredibly knowledgeable not just about bread but about the science behind the making and eating of it. I was very interested in what she had to say about gut health and digestibility of sourdough. A great day out and a great experience; as an added bonus, lunch was fabulous and I took home a loaf of proper sourdough! I have now bought all the kit I will ever need to make a proper loaf, the Vanessa Kimbell way.
Had previously made Sourdough but wanted to gain more knowledge about the process and particularly the starter and leaven so this course proved to be the cajones. Vanessa imparts a lot of her considerable knowledge in an understandable format and her able assistant Issy adds to the homely feel. Learnt a lot and have now produced some good whole grain breads so delighted !! The lunch was excellent with some lovely green leaves from the garden, bresaola, jamon, home made houmus and of course some great bread. Give it a go you won't be disappointed.
The weekend course on digestibility and nutrition with Nick Barnard and Vanessa.....a very informative and most enjoyable two days...with opportunity to hear latest developments, to enjoy tasting healthy food made, to practice skills needed in sourdough bread making and given advice where needed on how to improve... in very pleasant surroundings together with others who are also passionate about sourdough and fermentation...
An amazing weekend - learnt a lot and laughed a lot.
Busy Saturday in Vanessa's kitchen.Good fun , practical and comprehensive.. All my mistakes cleared up and am now producing reliable sourdough loaves – most of the time anyway
Here we have a Guru of sour dough that has character and the ability to make you feel relaxed and digest (sorry!) all the info thrown at you and at the same time help you to feel confident that you will eventually get to producing a decent well balanced loaf.Vanessa has HUGE knowledge and understands why things can go wrong as well as right and imparts you with names l cannot remember but gets you to the finishing post. A enjoyable day, funny and witty not only by her and her considerate assistant but with the other 10 women who surrounded my self and Antony with constant laughter and fun.Would l return again, yes l would drive the 4.5 hours up and 3 hours down from Kent but next time l would want to spend 2 days getting my techniques right and getting deeper into the subject.
With Vanessa leading and us following what a great day I had! I have for ages wanted to move on from traditioal bread making to soughdough but books, websights, utube just didnt do it! I gave up! But now thanks to your enthusiastic and explanitary teaching, I have had ago! After refreshing my starter! Which initself was me taking control I managed the French one day. Even my husband was impressed! I still have a great deal to learn but am readyto have a go at the San Francisco at the weekend . I am facinated with the technics and the science and feel I am learning a whole new skill. Thanktyou and to Kurt for a great day. If you still want a willing student for your photo shoot do let me know.
What Vanessa offered that no book or website could ever teach was a real understanding of the importance of using your senses when making sourdough, you simply CAN'T make the perfect loaf by just following instructions. My sourdough baking since finishing the course just a few days ago has become much more intuitive and instinctive, which also makes the whole process far more interesting and enjoyable. I simply can't imagine other sourdough courses would have got this across quite so well as Vanessa can, on top of teaching all the basics and demystifying the role of the sourdough starter.The day itself was so much fun, Vanessa was a brilliant tutor in a very relaxing space. I didn't want to leave! Thank you.