How to improve holidays with children

Last weekend my kids reached a major developmental milestone: they made me a cup of tea. OK, so it entailed two breakages, a lot of soggy teabags and even some emergency first aid, but the lovely cuppa I got made it all worthwhile.

They've been on a mission to be masterchefs ever since, so I'm thrilled to learn of the new That's Yummy, Mummy cookery break in Abergavenny (01873 890125; theculinarycottage.co.uk). The course has been set up especially for parents who need a little friendly guidance in the kitchen: easy recipes, nutrition advice and fun ways to get your brood cooking.

But for something the kids can really get their teeth into, check out the new gastronomic family holiday in Tuscany being offered by Sapori e Saperi (07768 474610; sapori-e-saperi.com). Budding dough-heads can take informal cookery lessons in the glorious region of Garfagnana. There they can create everything from pasta to panzanella, see how honey is processed, make jam and, best of all, eat like there's no tomorrow.

There's a similarly mouth-watering family offering from Abercrombie & Kent (0845 6182200; abercrombiekent.co.uk). Stay at Le Domaine de la Foncaudière, a restored chateau in the Dordogne, and the resident chef will provide gourmet feasts as well as cookery lessons. There's even a Culinary Kids' Club, where little ones spend the day cooking while the adults sample the wine from the surrounding Bergerac vineyards. If that's what it takes to make us into masterchefs, bring it on.

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