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Cookery and classroom sessions at Petworth House

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 October 2014 | UPDATED: 17:00 22 October 2014

© National Trust Images, 2014

© National Trust Images, 2014

©NTPL/David Levenson

Fourteen different and dazzling sessions are on offer throughout November and early December, each including morning coffee and a delicious two-course lunch

Throughout November and early December, Petworth House is inviting you to join in with a leisurely ‘Winter Warmer’ session, designed to delight and inspire.

The historic house has called upon an exciting variety of well-known artisans, bakers and academics to lead small group sessions on their specialist subject areas.

The idea is simple; you select the ‘Winter Warmer’ that appeals to you most, book in and turn up on the day, ready to learn new skills. Ian Pearce, Events Manager, comments:

“The beauty of our Winter Warmer season is that there is something for everyone. Be it whipping up a hassle-free Christmas lunch, to painstakingly perfecting a festive wreath for your front door, we have worked hard to arrange a diary of events that will hopefully pique everyone’s interest.”

“All creative materials or cookery ingredients are provided, as is morning coffee, where everyone in the group can meet and mingle before getting stuck into the task in hand. A delicious two-course lunch then follows, taken from our seasonal National Trust menu in the Audit Room Restaurant.”

Aimee-Louise Richards, who runs boutique papercut illustration business, Mimi Bespoke ( is particularly excited about running her ‘Papercut Picture’ workshop at Petworth:

“I couldn’t think of anywhere better to host a workshop than Petworth House, especially for Christmas Crafting. The house has such a rich history, looks beautiful and provides a little bit of fantasy for anyone, especially this city dweller!”

“People don’t need to bring anything along, although they might like to bring a drawing or object that inspires them to create their own papercut. I will share some templates too. All materials will be provided and can be kept following the session, meaning new paper-cutters can continue practising with their scalpels at home.”

Aimee’s contemporary papercuts are very intricate and fine, and she is often commissioned for artwork or invitations for weddings, anniversaries, engagements and newborns.

Food Historian Mandy Staniford meanwhile, will be looking back in history during her ‘Sweeter Than Candy’ session.

“Participants can expect a workshop where they will have the opportunity to make candies suitable for Christmas gifting. Each recipe will come from a bygone era, ranging from Medieval and Tudor to Victorian and beyond.”

Mandy will also share her vast knowledge of the history of sugar, its production and how each sweet came into being.

She continues:

“Petworth House provides the ideal backdrop for this workshop, with its magnificent historic kitchens evoking an authentic sense of the opulence of sugar work in the past.”

Other highlights include ‘Christmas Crafting’; a session for mums, dads and grandparents to attend, to learn lots of new crafting techniques and ideas to entertain their little ones over this festive season. ‘Lascivious London’ on the other hand, is not for the faint-hearted! City Tour Guide, Alexandra Sills, will scintillate with scandalous tales of our capital’s underbelly.

Lastly and exclusively to this Winter Warmer line-up, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Andrew Loukes, will be looking forward to the major Turner exhibition to be held at Petworth House in the New Year. In his lecture, Andrew will explore pertinent aspects of Turner’s late career, including his time spent in residence at Petworth House in the 1820s.

Places are limited and booking up fast, so you are advised to reserve your Winter Warmer session soon. Tickets 01798 342207. For further information, please visit


Read on

Sunday stroll across Petworth Deer Park

Christmas at Petworth House - seasonal delights


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