The Home of Great Cooking: The Women’s Institute Cookery School

With 205 000 members and 6500 federations, the W.I. is the largest voluntary organisation for women in the United Kingdom. The organisation provides a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and a chance to build new skills, as well as taking part in activities and campaigns. One of the most popular activities on offer at the W.I. is cookery, and we have a very wide range of courses available to meet every need, and you do not even need to be a member or a woman to benefit from them.

Set in the picturesque village of Marcham, near Oxford, the WI Cookery School is located at Denman College, a Georgian mansion owned by the WI, surrounded by 17 acres of beautiful grounds, which is its focal point for creativity and learning.  The facilities of the WI Cookery School have been developed to create a relaxed and inviting environment to ensure that students feel at home at their own cooking station.

Each of the cooking bays is fitted with the latest in technology from British appliance manufacturer Stoves, one of the key supporters of the WI Cookery School. There is a choice of gas or electric hobs so students can use the heat source they are most familiar with at home, and there is also an electric AGA for special AGA courses and events.

Drawing upon the amazing range of skills and experience of the Women’s Institute, the W.I. Cookery School has been created to offer courses for everyone from the novice cook to the accomplished chef.  The school offers an extensive range of courses from French Cookery to family baking days, with specialist courses that have been specifically designed to improve key skills and techniques.  Students can choose from a variety of day courses, or for those who would like a more in-depth approach to food styles or techniques, there are a range of three to five day courses that allow you to really develop your cooking skills to an advanced level.

Everyone is welcome – men and women, members and non-members – and the school can even cater for groups of friends or hen parties who are looking for something a bit different. There is also a range of courses for families to attend, so even the smallest members of the family can get hands-on!

The W.I. Cookery School can accommodate 13 students at any one time and there is an additional demonstration station for the tutor acts as the focal point of the room.  One of the work stations has also been adapted for students who use a wheelchair.  Each work station has a hob, fan oven, fridge and full range of cooking equipment and utensils, so everything is on hand for students to use.   With the support of knife manufacturer Zwilling Henkells, each bay is equipped with an array of specialist knives so that more technical dishes can be accomplished with confidence.

A preparation room is located within the complex with a range cooker, additional refrigeration and cupboards that contain nearly every appliance, utensil and piece of cooking equipment that you could imagine imagine. W.I. Cookery School staff prepare all the necessary ingredients for every course  here so that students can spend more time cooking and less time chopping or weighing out.

We really look forward to welcoming you to Denman College and our Cookery School.


Cookery Day School

WI member £115

Non-member: £120

2 day residential cookery courses

WI member £247

Non-member: £282

How to Book

You can book your course online by visiting or by phoning 01865 391991.

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