A Taste of the Past
A Taste of the Past

Our Cookery Courses

Our popular bread making and cookery courses are a fun and informal way to learn a new skill.  With only 8 people on each course the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly with plenty of time for individual help and advice.  More importantly, we do all your washing up for you.


All our courses are hands on, you make everything yourself following step by step guidance to ensure that when you get home you will be able to make the recipes again and again.


The price of our day courses includes all your ingredients, course notes, refreshments and a lovely lunch.  Lunch is typically a home made, seasonal soup served with real, fresh bread, home made chutney, a cheese board and grapes.  This is usually following by a small, home made dessert.


We run our courses in Canada Hall in Merstham.  The building has a lovely, vintage feel but with the added bonus a brand new oven.  We like to support out local communty.


To see what our customers have to say, please see the TripAdvisor reviews.


About our prices

I have been trying to keep prices affordable ever since I started the cookery courses 5 years ago.  My general view of life is that I have enough of what I need and I don't need to make a huge amount of profit, merely enough.  However, over the years I have learnt a lot about running a business and even more about politics.


The long and the short of it is that I really want to keep the prices down but I truly believe that all people should earn enough to live off, especially if they are willing to do the jobs that no one likes, such as washing up and cleaning.  The price increases ensure that everyone who works for Taste of the Paste earns the full living wage.  Follow the link below to find out more as the real Living Wage is very different to the government version which is not actually enough to live off.

The Living Wage

What to bring with you

We do provide everything you need for your day of cooking but you might like to bring along an apron and we definitely recommend that you bring something to take your bread home in.  A large box or basket is a good idea, a carrier bag is less good.  At least some of your bread is likely to still be warm so it is important not to wrap it in plastic but let it cool naturally.


2017 and 2018 Course Dates

11th November 2017 Mediterranean Breads Fully booked £70
25th November 2017 Christmas baking special - Festive Breads 1 place left £70




All courses start at 10 am with refreshments available from 9.45.  We am to finish by 3pm but that does depend on how well the yeast behaves.  We do have time to run over a little so no one should feel rushed.


How to Book

We are still working on setting up an on-line booking system.  In the meantime, please call Claire on 07999871053 to reserve your space.  Places can be reserved for 2 weeks to give you time to send in a cheque and booking form.


Please click on the link below each set of course details to download a booking form.  Full payment details and the postal address are on the form.  


If you have any questions about any of our courses though, please do get in touch by phone or email.


 If you no longer have a cheque book the it is possible to pay by bank transfer.


Unfortunately, if you do need to cancel your place on a course then we can only offer a refund if you cancel more than two weeks before a course or if we are able to fill your place.

Festive Breads

This year's festive breads course will be all about small nibbles for buffet style entertaining.


We will be making Swedish Lusse Brod, these are small, safron and almond flavoured buns that are traditionally served on the 12th of December.  The trick with these is to make them into pretty S shapes and twists.  They make for a very tasty nibble indeed.


The secdon bread is also sweet, a chocolate filled sweet bun.  We will be making small versions that cook quickly and make a moreish mouthful or two.


The last bread is a savoury, a cheese filled little bun from Georgia called Khachapuri.  


Lunch will be warming soup, a selection of cheeses and chutney served with mine pies and Christmas pudding to follow.  Mulled wine and the usual teas and coffees will be available all day.


There will be a selection or jams and preserves on sale for £2.50 a jar that make excellent, foody gifts.

Bread Making for Beginners

Tear and share monkey breads from the beginners course

Our most popular course, this really is a guide to bread making suitable for anyone who has never been in a kitchen before or someone who wants to brush up some slightly rusty skills.  

The day starts with tea, coffee and some home made biscuits.  We look at the different types of yeast and flour that are used to make bread.  We then go on to make three types of dough, white, wholemeal and a white sodabread style dough.


While we wait for the yeasted white and wholemeal doughs to rise, we use the soda bread dough to make ourselves scone based pizzas for lunch.  


After lunch we knock back and shape our loaves.  The wholemeal dough is turned into a traditional split tin loaf suitable for sandwiches or toast.  The white dough is made into a lovely tear and share style loaf flavoured with either sweet or savoury toppings.  Popular options in the past have been chocolate and cinnamon or cheese, onion and herb.


By the end of the day you shold have the confidence to go home and make yourself some great loaves of bread.  However, like many things in life, you will only get better with lots of practice.  We aim to give you all the skills you need to get to grips with new recipes and the ability to have a go at other breads you may like.

Booking Form
booking form.docx
Microsoft Word document [16.3 KB]

Breads of Britain

British Bread is great! When properly made, we have some of the tastiest bread around and it does best the things that we want it to do.  It is dense but light with a good texture and no bubbles (hopefully) so all that lovely butter and home made jam or marmalde stays put.  While I love all sorts of bread I thought it was time for a celebration of British Bread.


This course will be suitable for complete beginners and will start with a look at different types of flour and yeast depending on the previous experience of the people booked on a particular course.


On the first course in October we will be making stotties, lardy cake and a cottage loaf. 


For anyone who hasn't tried the Norrh East delicasy that is stottie, they are flat, dense loaves that make great butties and pizza bases.  Making a good cottage loaf at home is all down to the oven and how you cook it.  It is not easy to make but even if the result ends up looking a bit wonky the bread will still taste fantastic.  Hopefully we can send you home with enough tips to make this classic bread again and again.


On future courses there will be the possibility to make other breads including:

Bara Brith (the Welsh Tea Bread), Chelsea buns, safron buns and crumpets.  The content of this course can really be altered to best suit the tastes of those attending. 


Booking Form
booking form.docx
Microsoft Word document [16.3 KB]

Mediterranean Breads


There is nothing quite like the taste of freshly made croissants, straight out of the oven and dripping with your favourite jam.  On this course we use a recipe from the Roux Brothers to make authentic French croissants.  Unfortunately, the full recipe takes a very long time, so on the day we will be able to learn how to make the pastry including all the rolling, turning, chilling and shaping that goes into making a good croissant.  Then you will have to cook them at home.  Depending on how long your journey home is, you have the choice of either letting them rise naturally in the car (it will take about 2 hours) and then cooking them or you can get them home quick and freeze them uncooked.  


The photo above is from a student who took them hoome and baked them straight away.


If you do freeze them then all you need to do to defrost them is take them out the night or several hours before you want them and let them come back up to room temperature and rise and then cook them.  Great for serving fresh croissants for breakfast.


There is only one word of warning, do not expect them to last long.  I usually spend hours (on and off) making them and then all get eaten in under ten minutes.  I have never had to think of a good left over croissant recipe to stop them going off.


Also on this course we will be making fougasse which is a very quick French bread and looks amazing.  It also tastes fantastic served with dips.  


Lastly we will make Ciabatta.  This bread introduces the idea of long, slow rising to get the characteristic open bread.  To get this open texture we use a pre-ferment that has been left a full day to rise and mature before being incorporated into the bread dough.  Working ciabatta is quite a challenge but a lot of fun as well.

Booking Form
booking form.docx
Microsoft Word document [16.3 KB]

European Speciality Breads


On this course we will be making a Northern European style rye and wheat sour dough bread, a French pain viennois and pitta breads.


The sour dough bread uses an organic rye starter culture.  Before we make the bread we will look at how to start a sour culture, how to look after it and most important, just how it is supposed to look and smell.  Sour dough is pretty smelly stuff and at first can seem to just smell very wrong indeed.  Once we have a feeling for the fruity beeryness that is our sour culture then we will mix it with strong, white flour to make a traditional shaped loaf of bread.  There will be a choice of flavouring this with cheese or mixed seeds.


Pain viennois a brioche style bread enriched with eggs, sugar and butter.  We will use the dough to make little bread rolls that you can either serve with sweet or savoury fillings, a popular thing in France and Spain is to spllit the rolls and insert a small chocolate bar as a treat.


Fresh, home made pitta bread is a much loved stable around many areas of the Eastern Mediterranean.  Forget the tasteless versions from the shops, these are lovely.   Easy to make and satisfying to eat.  There will be choice of making these as plain loaves or flavouring them with nigella seeds.

Booking Form
booking form.docx
Microsoft Word document [16.3 KB]

Canada Hall  - how to find us


Canada Hall is on two bus routes that run from Redhill Bus Station which is nicely opposite Redhill train station.

The address is: Canada Hall, Battlebridge Lane, Merstham, Surrey. RH1 3LH.

 There is also a train station in Merstham itself but you would have to walk from there.  There is plenty of on street parking available near to the hall.



We are located at:

80 Orpin Road

Merstham, Redhill, Surrey


Contact us today!

If you have any queries or wish to book a cookery course, please contact us:


Call Claire on:




Or use our contact form.

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