Chefs cook up new mix

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014
Hamish Beard
Derek Flynn

Tourist spot: Hamish Beard has opened his Grovetown home, Dartington Barn, for groups to participate in cooking classes, archery and axe throwing.

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A visit to Grovetown for some group entertainment has the potential to arm one with the skills to correctly use a knife in the kitchen, or to just throw one at a wall.

Hamish and Angie Beard, both trained chefs, have opened their home at Dartington Barn for groups of eight to 18 people to participate in gourmet masterclasses, archery and a range of activities they call "archery plus" which includes knife throwing.

The couple have been at the property about four years, and have been slowly building it up to become a tourist attraction.

"We had the space, we've got lots of little small areas around, it's quite a nice environment," he said.

Cooking classes were two to three hours' long, and focused on using Marlborough produce, including mussels, garlic and saffron.

"People love it, they sort of get a bit of wow factor when they do the masterclass, they get the opportunity to ask former chefs questions," Mr Beard said.

"Some people don't know what a reduction is, or how to use a certain knife and we teach them that."

Visitors had the opportunity to pipe chocolate, and make aioli from scratch using eggs from the chickens at the barn, he said.

The "archery plus" section offered those over 18 a chance to do axe and knife throwing, air rifle shooting, as well as archery.

Mr Beard recently joined the Marlborough Convention Bureau, and with conference season approaching hoped the barn would offer visitors something different to do while they were in the area.

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- The Marlborough Express

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