Bored of baking and can’t cut it in the kitchen? Let the wonders of Wifi transport you to digital dinner parties, culinary challenges and interactive tastings. From a tour and tasting of Devon’s finest artisan products to Michelin mastery led by none other than Ollie Dabbous and Benoit Blin from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, to learning how to taste chocolate like a pro – it’s time to turn to technology to transport you on a delicious virtual experience at the click of a mouse.
Wine & Cheese tasting with Sharpham
Bring the delicious delights of Devon into your home with Sharpham cheese and wine. Whilst we’re unable to visit their 500-acre farm, Sharpham have jumped on the virtual bandwagon to allow us to sample two of their most popular artisan products safely at home. In partnership with Virgin Experience Days, their Wine and Cheese Pairing allows you to sample a bottle of their award-winning Dart Valley Reserve wine, accompanied by their internationally acclaimed Sharpham Brie.
Embarking on a virtual tour of the vineyard, winery and dairy, Sharpham’s team will give you an at-home insight into their delicious English cheese and wine with tasting notes and information as you go along. A virtual staycation, let Sharpham whisk you away to their rural fields and ancient woodlands with a little history lesson in the heritage of their thousand-year-old farm which includes their elegant manor house designed in 1770 by Sir Robert Taylor.
This edible English tour and tasting costs £40 for two people and can be purchased from Virgin Experience Days.
Jimmy Garcia’s Virtual Dinner Parties
Jimmy Garcia, aka the ‘pop up star’ is running a series of Virtual Bespoke Event Boxes, allowing us to reconnect over digital dinner parties – so 2021. This hero of hosting really knows how to impress your mates, which is evident from his best-selling cookbook – Social Eats which give us all the tips and tricks needed to rustle up easy sharing dishes to impress your friends.
No stranger to the big screen with appearances on Sunday Brunch and This Morning, this spring, Jimmy is throwing the rule book out the window and giving people what they really want: to be entertained by food. From dinner on the Emirates Cable Car to interactive BBQs in the summer and fondues in the winter, whilst we stay home is Jimmy’s Digital Dinner Parties and his Lockdown 3.0 Boxes.
With the option to add one of Jimmy’s live chefs to lead a cook along, recent boxes included virtually transporting guests to the Spanish mountains with an ultimate tapas feast, to a Mexican fiesta of tuna ceviche tostada, chipotle avocado purée, pink pickled shallots and crispy pork belly bites. Looking ahead to Mother’s Day this weekend, their boxes will include smoked haddock scotch eggs, truffle stuffed free-range chicken and dauphinoise potatoes.
Live gin tasting with Pixel Spirits Distillery
Gin lovers rejoice! Sip and savour an evening of botanical discovery with Pixel Spirits Distillery’s live at-home gin experience. With two 50ml bottles of the Scottish distillery’s signature Devil’s Staircase and Drookit Piper gin, a selection of Fever-Tree tonics, branded glasses and a tasting set, everything you’ll need is provided for this interactive guided virtual tour of the distillery led by none other than the Master Distiller.
A craft distillery set in the scenic grounds of the Loch Leven Hotel in the Scottish Highlands, learn all about the award-winning gins and their distilling process, favourably followed by the tasting experience where you’ll sample the variety of unique gins with their perfectly matched tonics. Whether you’re a full-blown gin enthusiast or just wanting to learn about this popular spirit, this is the perfect excuse for an evening of gin, whilst being educational, too, tick, tick!
Live gin tasting with Pixel Spirits Distillery is £45 for two people and can be purchased from Virgin Experience Days.
Virtual chocolate tasting
Switch Saturday night scoffing for a refined virtual chocolate tasting experience with Hotel Chocolat. Inviting us to discover a new mindful way to savour the good stuff, this fun at-home virtual experience will take your appreciation for cocoa to new heights. From learning how and when to taste the chocolate and what to look out for, this interactive tasting is hosted by a live expert who will teach you the ins and outs of the wonderful world of chocolate.
Purchase the experience online and the Hotel Chocolat team will send you one of their most popular Everything H-Boxes which you’ll have to patiently work your way along throughout the tasting. For a minimum of five people at only £20 each, you’ll give Willy Wonka a run for his money. Now, where’s that golden ticket?
Learning with Experts’ Culinary Challenge
Looking for a culinary challenge? Prepare your kitchen appliance and test your skills with the ‘Learning with Experts’. For their latest online course, they have teamed up with Tatler to gain unprecedented access to the iconic title’s illustrious address book. Let Tatler bring to your home four of the world’s best chefs who lead an immersive learning experience all about fabulous fine dining and Michelin mastery. Covering each element of a fine dining menu, this new course challenges you to cook alongside your peers, trying out new techniques whilst receiving feedback.
You’ll start by learning about appetisers & bread from acclaimed Ollie Dabbous at HIDE, then on to starters & fish with Kerth Gumbs at Ormer, Mayfair. Main course & sides courtesy of Peter Gray at Heston Blumenthal’s, The Hind’s Head in Bray and finally, dessert with Chef Patissier and host of Bake Off: The Professionals, Benoit Blin from Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. And it doesn’t stop there, each chef will even talk through their recommended wines, as suggested by their in-house sommeliers. Très bien!
A delicious showstopper, Learning with Experts has a two-course option at £430 for personal tuition, whilst group peer courses are £120.