As noted in our Terms & Conditions, to make a change to a class booking we require 28 days notice. Where customers are unable to give us 28 days notice then we will firstly try to pass the place on to someone else. If we are able to do this then the customer is welcome to move to a new date of their choosing. If we are unable do this they can of course send someone else in their place, but if this is not possible then the place is technically lost (just as a theatre ticket would be). However, in order to ensure that customers in this position do not lose out entirely, we offer a Late Availability scheme. Under this scheme, customers are contacted where any places remain on classes at one or two weeks notice and offered a place. There is no guarantee that the courses offered will be the same class or even on the same day of the week, but we try very hard to ensure that we offer everyone on the scheme something they will enjoy and benefit from. You do not have to take the class you are offered. We will continue to offer up to 6 places or over 6 months whichever is the longer.
With the implementation of stage 4 of unlocking this week, we wanted to set out for all our customers how we intend to manage the COVID19 risks for both our customers and our staff (some of whom are as yet unvaccinated or partially vaccinated due to their age).
We will be returning to our usual capacity of 12 people on each adult class and we also propose to remove the plastic screens in the kitchen to improve your experience however, we will be maintaining masks for all our staff and will be asking our customers to do the same, unless they have a medical exemption.
In addition, we will be trialing the use of the NHS Covid pass app or overseas equivalent for all adult classes from August 2021. As such, we will ask all customers attending classes to do ONE of the following three things:
- Confirm that they are double vaccinated and either have their app ready (or NHS Covid Pass letter) to confirm this on arrival at the cookery school at the start of their class / course. We can accept either the NHS app or, for overseas customers, their national equivalent if it is in English or French and the vaccine is on the WHO (World Health Organisation) list of approved vaccinations*. If it is an alternative language, we will ask you to use method 3 below;
- If method 1. is not possible, take an NHS lateral flow test the day before the class and log it with the NHS app and have the app ready to confirm this on arrival; or
- If neither methods 1. or 2. are possible let us know in advance and arrive for the class at 9.30am to do a lateral flow test on site. We will provide the test.
Any customers testing positive will be asked to defer to a later date.
We apologise in advance for any inconvenience but we believe that this is the best way to protect everyone and to ensure that we are able to remain open and operating during what we think is likely to be a very difficult few months. We ask customers with any concerns to get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity. We will be keeping this policy continuously under review and will remove these requirements as soon as we believe it is safe to do so. Thank you for your co-operation.
We have heard from our payment provider Opayo / SagePay that they are having issues processing card payments today which may mean that our site will not accept your payment. As an alternative you can process any bookings or orders through Paypal but if you do not wish to do this please contact us on 01225 445531 and we will take your payment manually.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.
Re-opening planned for 12 April 2021
We are thrilled to announce that (based on the information about re-opening available at this time and subject to any further changes that may be issued by the UK government), the cookery school has received confirmation from our Local Authority that we can plan to re-open with stage 2 of the re-opening road map on (no earlier than) 12th April.
As such, we are proceeding on the basis that all adult classes scheduled on or after Thursday 15th April will be able to go ahead. In the event that there are any changes to the published regulations or to the date on which stage 2 unlocking can take place, we will write to those customers who are affected.
Children’s classes scheduled for 13th and 14th April will be able to go ahead regardless of any changes as they fall under stage 1 of the reopening. Virtual (One to one) Baking clinic sessions will also take place as planned.
The Covid Safe rules (that we put in place after Lockdown 1) will continue to apply, we think probably until stage 4 in June (including enhanced cleaning measures, customer and staff temperature checks, the use of perspex screens and the wearing of face coverings). While things are a little different, we have and will continue to work hard, to ensure that our classes are just as much fun, educational and rewarding as they have always been.
Customers are reminded that while domestic overnight stays and stays in self contained accommodation are likely to be permitted from (no earlier than) 12 April, hotels will remain closed until at least 17 May. Customers travelling from outside the UK may be subject to individual visa requirements and will be subject to Covid testing and compulsory quarantine provisions on entry to the UK so would need to enter the UK at least 2 weeks prior to the course date.
We ask that anyone who is unable to travel to attend a class for COVID reasons should please get in touch with us as soon as possible in order that we can re-schedule your booking for a time when restrictions are likely to have been lifted.
We are very excited to be able to plan for re-opening and can’t wait to welcome you back to the school.
While we still have to digest the detail of the government announcements this afternoon, we very much hope that we will be able to re-open in line with other indoor leisure activities from 12 April.
We will therefore be writing to all customers booked prior to this date tomorrow (Tuesday 23 February) to let you know about the alternative dates and availability.
Please do bear with us and if possible, wait to receive this communication (by email), before contacting us about your booking.
If you have not received an email from us by the end of this week (26 February) then please do both check your Spam folder and, of course, get in touch.
Customers booked for dates in February have already been contacted. Again if you have not heard from us, please check your Spam folder and then get in touch.
It definitely feels like we are on the home straight so please do stay safe and we will look forward to welcoming you back to the kitchen very soon.
Richard & Jo Bertinet
We do hope you are all well and finding solace in your baking and cooking at this difficult time.
We have already been in touch with everyone who is booked onto a class up to the end of February. If you have not received an email please do check your Spam and / or drop us a line.
We are waiting for the government announcement regarding the Roadmap to reopening and the end of Lockdown 3.0 which we believe will be made on / in the week of 22 February. We will then get in touch with everyone who is booked before the likely reopening date in order to reschedule their bookings. However, if you are booked onto a class in March and would like to re-arrange your booking now, do please take a look at our Next Availability page HERE and drop us a line telling us which course you would like to move to.
Do please stay safe. Remember our mail order service will remain open for baking equipment, flour, yeast and all your other supplies.
Richard & Jo Bertinet
Our Dried Sourdough Starter bag contains 50g dried ferment.
This post tells you how to use half of it. The remaining 25g is a back-up.
To rehydrate your ferment
25g dry ferment
50g strong white bread flour (or a mixture of strong bread flour with some rye and/or wholemeal)
60g warm water
Mix everything well and leave for 24 hours in a warm place.
After 24 hours refresh by adding the following to you ferment
75g strong bread flour
40g warm water
Mix all well and leave for 24 hours at room temperature.
After 24 hour the ferment should look really active and just needs one further refresh. Add 250g flour and 130g of water warm to your ferment. Mix together but take care not to overmix. Place it in a plastic container and leave it at room temperature for 6 hours. Then place in fridge covered with a plastic bag or the lid of the container a little ajar so it still breath and doesn’t built up too much condensation inside the container.
The ferment can be use straight from the fridge after a further 12 hours and can be left (or used) for up to 4 days before refreshing. My usual rule when baking is to use about 300g of ferment per 1kg of flour. But you can use less than this (things will take a little more time) or you can use some in conjunction with yeast to make levain and levure loaves. For my levain & levure I use 250g of ferment and 5g of fresh yeast per 1kg of flour.
Maintaining your ferment
The more regularly you bake the better as the routine is good for the ferment and will allow you to see how your ferment evolves with time.
Each time you bake and use some of the ferment, aim to refresh the rest, so it is ready for you again when you need want next.
For most home bakers (baking once or twice a week) I would suggest maintaining a ferment of about 150g after taking out what you need to bake. In order to refresh this amount, add 300g of strong bread flour and 150g warm water. This may mean discarding some ferment from time to time. See below for ideas of what to do with this excess ferment.
If you know you’re going away for a couple of weeks refresh your ferment and place straight in fridge ensuring the lid is NOT on tightly so the ferment can breathe. It will develop more slowly this way and therefore be happy on its own for 2-3 week. On your return, discard and outside crust (it may be thicker and slightly discoloured) and use the inside of the ferment (150g) to refresh and it will get back or normal.
Storing your ferment
Your ferment should be stored in the fridge. Put the ferment in a plastic tub and cover the tub with a cloth and then with a lid. Leave the lid slightly ajar to prevent any build up of moisture in the lid. There is no need to clean the container before you put the refreshed ferment back in, just scrape out the excess of dough and place the refreshed ferment back in.
Variations on the ferment
You can vary your ferment to your own taste by replacing the 500g white flour with half white and half brown or with a proportion of rye or spelt.
Using excess ferment
Check our recipe for sourdough crackers (in Crumb), give it away to friends as gifts, or use the ferment with everyday baking with a little yeast (to make a levain & levure loaf).
Following the government announcement on 30 December, Bath has been moved into Tier 3 and sadly therefore the school is required to close temporarily.
We are currently away from the office but will start contacting all customers booked onto classes in the next 2 weeks (ie. until the next review date) on our return to the office on 4 January in order to re-book them onto a future date.
If you are booked onto a class, there is no need to contact us, we will be in touch with you by email in due course. We will work through the classes in date order as quickly as we can.
Do please stay safe during this difficult time and keep baking. Remember our mail order service will remain open for baking equipment, flour, yeast and all your other supplies. If you have placed an order over the Christmas period it will be fulfilled on our return to the office.
The whole team would like to wish all our customers the very best for a happier and healthier new year.
Our office is closing for Christmas today but we are mindful of the individual positions of those booked for classes early in the new year following the introduction of Tier 4 and the recent tier review.
We would ask all customers booked on classes in January to follow the following procedure.
- If you are booked on classes in the first 2 weeks of January: wait until the next tier announcement on 30 December. If following this you are in either tiers 3 or tier 4 and unable to travel, please send us an email immediately to [email protected] and we will move your booking to a new convenient date. Please do not telephone as the office does not re-open until 5 January, but we will be picking up emails and managing movers by email, through the holiday period. Where possible we will ask customers to move to the next available slot (for example in February). We know this may necessitate a further move if the situation does not improve, but we also need to get customers booked back in, as soon as possible, rather than creating a bottle neck in the summer.
2. If you are booked on a class later in January then please wait for the tier review following the 30 December, which we assume will be on 15 January (or thereabouts), in order to see if you are prevented from travelling.
Thank you for your co-operation in managing what we appreciate is a very difficult situation for everyone.
We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and hope that you are able to find a way to spend time with your loved ones, even if that is only virtually.
Merry Christmas. Stay safe.
Following the update from the government today, regarding the various tiers that the country will be placed into at the end of the current lockdown, we wanted to set out the position as we believe it to be.
The cookery school is in Tier 2 and is therefore able to re-open and run classes. As you would be in a restaurant, you are socially distanced from all other customers who are not within your household and separated by perspex screens.
If you are booked onto a class in the few weeks following 2 December and you live in tiers 1 or 2 you are able to attend the class unless
- you have any Covid symptoms;
- have been asked to isolate by your local authority or Track & Trace;
- or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid and are self isolating as a consequence.
If any of these circumstances apply then please contact us at the earliest possible opportunity (by email to [email protected] or by leaving a message on 01225 445531) in order that we can move you to a new date.
If you are booked onto a class in the next few weeks and you live in a tier 3 are then you will not be able to attend. If this is the case please contact us immediately (by email to [email protected] or by leaving a message on 01225 445531) in order that we can move your booking to a new date.
Once again thank you for your understanding and co-operation in these tricky times.
Richard & Jo Bertinet and the team at The Bertinet Kitchen