"Colstoun cookery school is a fresh new way to learn to cook."
Not many cookery schools have their own walled garden, organic farm and full accommodation. Plus we are the only cookery school in Scotland to have all of our hot water and heating produced from a state-of-the-art green wood-chip heating network.
We are dedicated to fresh food prepared well in a sustainable way.
"A unique learning environment"
We believe you will learn more and have a lot more fun in our relaxed country cottage kitchen environment and our results prove it, we have 100% course satisfaction rates since our launch in late 2011.
We give our students more attention per teacher than any other School in the UK with a teacher student ratio of 1:5
We teach you how to prepare delicious food.
give someone you love
the gift of cooking with
one of our courses
Where are we?
Colstoun is just 30 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh in the middle of beautiful East Lothian, for full directions and ways to get here please check out our support center here.
Meet the team...
Fiona graduated with distinction from Cordon Bleu in London, arguably the pre-eminent cookery school in the UK at the time, having completed the one year Diploma course. In the following year she moved to Scotland and for a few years was the head cook at Major Ramsay’s Farleyer shooting lodge in Perthshire, catering for 20 guests and 20 staff for three months each year. She worked in West Berlin for the Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Wales, and was employed for a season by Supertravel managing and cooking for 12 chalet guests in St Anton, Austria.
Setting up her own business, Fiona Fayre, Fiona catered for weddings, director’s lunches, shooting parties and cocktail parties for many years. She has cooked in the boardrooms of some of the best known banks and professional firms and has been employed by a number of private families to cook for members of Parliament and the Royal family. For many years she has been encouraged to pass on the knowledge and skills which she has gained over the years, and Colstoun Cookery School now gives her the opportunity to do so.
Fiona’s experience and simple love of good cooking, with the benefit of years of practical catering is at the heart of the courses, which she facilitates for Colstoun.
Fiona Misselbrook - Course Teacher
Alison Henderson - Course Teacher
In September 1999 Alison spent three amazing months living and studying at Ballymaloe Cookery School, Co. Cork, where she learnt a lot about food!
"It stoked my passion for simple, locally sourced, seasonal produce. A passion rooted in childhood memories such as Dad digging spuds in the garden for dinner or Sunday afternoons spent picking brambles on country lanes, all of us, like steps and stairs- a very efficient way to comb the hedgerow! The smell of blackberries simmering for bramble jelly to stock the larder for Winter is my greatest association with Autumn."
Following the course Alison spent 13 years as Chef manager of Ballymaloe cafe, availing of the amazing larder of local produce in East Cork, the food capital of Ireland.
Alison moved to East Lothian two years ago and works with Heritage Portfolio, cooking for prestigious weddings and Events in venues such as Mansfield Traquair, The Signet Library and Lennoxlove.
"Foraging and provenance are my passion and I'm hugely enjoying exploring Scotland's bread basket. Teaching allows me the opportunity to share this."
Brian is a third generation, professional beekeeper with over 40 years of experience. His fascination with bees was kindled at the age of four, watching his grandfather in Cornwall tending his hives; and has had bees ever since his father gave him his first hive.
Brian has been keeping bees in the Lothian area since 1987, gathering honey from a wide variety of crops including clover, raspberries, lime trees and heather. He has given talks to children in schools, at The National Museum and The Royal Botanic Gardens. He also ran the beekeeping centre at Dobbie’s Butterfly World for many years and provided observation hives and talks at The New Lanark SWT Wildlife Centre. In September 2014, Brian was appointed Beekeeper in Residence by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.
Brian visited Colstoun last year and was so excited to see the flora available for bees especially our avenue of Linden trees. We are delighted to have him working with us as we establish our apiary in the old tennis courts and look forward to learning from him and to have him sharing his knowledge on the fascination of bees on our courses.
Brian Poole - Beekeeper Extraordinaire
We pride ourselves on our environmental credentials at Colstoun, and we continually strive to ensure we reach our aim of being Britain’s most Environmentally Friendly Cookery School.
Whether its our waste management programme that ensures we stick to our policy of reduce-reuse-recycle, our energy policy, our carbon negative aims, our district heating system or our sustainable sourcing policy Colstoun is trying to do its bit.
To find out more about our sustainability practices click on the links below.
Aliona Eardley - Bread & Sourdough Course Tutor
Aliona, originally from Russia first came to Scotland in 1999 having previously studied languages in her home city of Volgograd (former Stalingrad).
"I grew up during truly amazing time in the russian history just when political and economic situation in the country started seeing very dramatic changes. Some of my very early memories associated with food include queuing for a loaf of bread on a freezing winter's day just as in the photo below, then running home with the still warm loaf of Borodinsky, my grand mother slicing it, spreading it with butter and sprinkling some sugar on the top.
And then just a year or so later on a summer camping trip I remember being woken up by a bright light shining into our tent and, subsequently, being told by my mother that we had had a visit from the poachers during the night who sold my parents two litres of black caviar! So this time the humble Borodinsky spread with the most decadent black caviar was my camping breakfast!
Yes, Russia was changing and it was changing very rapidly bringing more and more new foods, tastes and flavours into my life.
Fast forward another couple of years and this is when I first learnt about "real" bread and about slow fermentation. I was fortunate enough to have the most amazing baker as a family friend and a neighbour. This wonderful lady called Alla was arguably the most innovative baker I can remember from my childhood in Russia, in the days when getting good ingredients was a real struggle she managed to create the most delectable cakes, pastries and, of course, bread on a daily basis. Looking back, she was definitely the person who sparked the passion for baking in me.
Ever since those early days I have enjoyed baking for my family and friends learning new ideas and techniques along the way. This has led me to finally starting my own bread baking business "Khleb Sourdough" in 2015 supplying local shops, cafes and private customers with real, local, organic, slowly fermented and patiently crafted sourdough bread ("Khleb" means "Bread" in russian). My business has grown from strength to strength since then and I am delighted with the feedback I have been receiving from my customers. I cannot wait to pass some of my knowledge of sourdough baking onto my future students at Colstoun Cookery School."