Pioneering Bakewell Cooking School Up For Sale After More Than A Decade Of Inspiring Foodies
Published On Wednesday 25 Oct 2023 by Sticky Beak
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A pioneering cooking school that brought food and drink enthusiasts to the Peak District from around the world is for sale.
When Hartingtons School of Food in Bakewell opened in 2010, owners Chris Horne and Julie Ryalls wanted to combine their love of ‘real’ food and the region.
They brought experts - from celebrity chefs to third-generation cheesemakers - to teach artisanal classes, inspiring dozens of people to launch new businesses.
People travelled from as far afield as Australia, India and Hong Kong to undertake courses in a former timber mill called Rutland Mill next to the River Wye.
Chris said: “We were at the vanguard of everything changing in the world of food and drink. People were just starting to experiment with buying sourdough bread and to think about where their food came from.
“One early event we held was a gourmet supper club where a chef cooked a seven-course tasting menu. We tried to make it a bit like a theatre production.
“Things like that were happening in London then, but not in the Peak District.
“It was very hands-on. As the owner, I would wash up for nine hours while Julie helped the tutor!”
Over time, the school grew to bring in food experts from around the country. That included top chef Stephanie Moon and TV presenter Rachel Green, all offering individual courses as well as corporate team building events.
The school’s traditional pork pie masterclasses - one of the only ones in the country - became one of their most popular courses. Every participant, whether on a foraging or fine dining course, was left weighed down with food to take home.
Later, a sister venture called Brew-School tapped into the trend for micropubs and boutique distilleries.
More than 60 new businesses have been set up globally as a result, including Eyam Brewery, Hathersage’s Shivering Mountain gin and a Portuguese craft brewery Musa.
Chris added: “The school was always about the people behind the food and their stories. “That’s why we loved it.”
“Somehow, we never got a sign for outside the business.
“So people walking past in Bakewell wouldn’t necessarily know what we did. But people were flying over from Hong Kong for our distilling courses.”
Now Chris and Julie want to pass the baton on. They hope to sell both the commercial property and the adjoining two-bedroom apartment.
Once used for storage, the modern flat in central Bakewell is now a successful holiday let.
Chris added: “We want to travel more and pass the place on to somebody younger, with new ideas and enthusiasm.
“The space is all kitted out and ready to go as a food business. Or somebody could turn it into a prime piece of real estate along the river, subject to planning permission.
“One of the reasons we chose the location is because the Peak District is within an hour’s drive for 20 million people and three hours from London, so there’s lots of potential.
“It’s a beautiful, unique place. It could make somebody’s dream come true.
“They just need to get somebody else in to wash up!”
Rutland Mill is for sale at a guide price of £600,000 to £650,000, including the apartment and commercial space.
Requests to rent the business or space will also be considered by contacting them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Saxton Mee estate agents in Bakewell on 01629 815307 to organise a viewing or visit the listing webpage for more information.
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