By James Palmer Rosser’s own admission, the Kent Cookery School is a labour of love – one, he says with a hint of cheek, he took to delay the decision to start a family. Housed in an old listed barn in a pretty courtyard in Mersham Le Hatch, this brick-and-timber baby has been with James and his wife Autumn since 2016. It’s since found a new, more youthful lease of life, making the most of visiting chefs with a crowd-pleasing programme of classes ranging from Vietnamese street food to mastering the art of barbecue. Beginners are well catered for, with detailed demonstrations covering basic knife skills and deep-fat fryer safety, and instructions for more complex dishes are kept easy to understand, allowing you to pack a full three-course meal into a day. James and Autumn have ambitious plans to grow their own produce in the years to come, but in the meantime make do with Kent’s bounty: locally milled flour, Chegworth Valley fruit and fresh-off-the-boat bass. In fine weather, lunch is cheerfully taken alfresco around a long communal table. Don’t expect to be master of your own hob if you visit solo: cooks are paired at one of six stations around the central table, meaning there’s always time to linger over a glass of wine or a spoonful or three of tiramisu. Don’t be in a rush to run off with your well-packed spoils, either: the next-door bar hosts live music, wine tastings and gin masterclasses too.