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Where

Cotswolds & London

Group Size

8-12 Travelers

Duration

8 Days, 7 Nights

When

April 8 - April 15, 2025

Price

7,500 USD per person

We meet in the Cotswolds, a pre-Roman agricultural region famous for sheep farming, golden-stone architecture and beautiful landscapes. There we’ll immerse ourselves in regenerative wheat farming at a nonprofit farm education center and mill flour at an 8th-generation mill. We’ll also make our own pizzas, eat at lovely pubs, and walk around picturesque villages. Then we go from rural to urban, and from field to kitchen. In London – and at the country’s oldest professional baking school – we’ll roll up our sleeves for two all-day hands-on baking extravaganzas. We’ll make sourdough loaves, cookies, scones, focaccia and more, all with the same flours we learned about as seeds in the soil and grains under the stone in the Cotswolds. Milk Street friends will cook us private dinners and you’ll be set loose on a bakery scavenger hunt across the city.

On this exclusive-to-Milk Street trip, our guides and baking instructors are Elaine Boddy and Sophie Carey, both experts in their fields. On the first departure we’ll also be joined by Milk Street’s Director of Education, Rosemary Gill. 

Farm

Farm

Spend a day immersed in the world of regenerative wheat farming
Mill

Mill

Visit an 8th-generation mill that uses old and new technologies to keep local sustainable grain economies flourishing
Bake

Bake

Use stone-milled flours to make sourdough breads and bake cookies, yeasted loaves & scones
Explore

Explore

Walk in the pre-Roman rural countryside of the Cotswolds and the streets of one of the world’s most exciting cities
Eat

Eat

Enjoy fresh takes on traditional pub fare in the Cotswolds & sit down to private meals prepared by Milk Street friends in London
Farm

Farm

Spend a day immersed in the world of regenerative wheat farming
Mill

Mill

Visit an 8th-generation mill that uses old and new technologies to keep local sustainable grain economies flourishing
Bake

Bake

Use stone-milled flours to make sourdough breads and bake cookies, yeasted loaves & scones
Explore

Explore

Walk in the pre-Roman rural countryside of the Cotswolds and the streets of one of the world’s most exciting cities
Eat

Eat

Enjoy fresh takes on traditional pub fare in the Cotswolds & sit down to private meals prepared by Milk Street friends in London

Your itinerary

Day 1

Arrive and meet your fellow travelers and guide

Arrive and meet your fellow travelers and guide

Step off the train and into Ascott-under-Wychwood, a honey-stone village in the Cotswolds. Just two hours from London, the Cotswolds enjoy a very different pace of life, one centered around agriculture, small towns, contemporary innovations and great food. Get settled in your room at The Swan, the 16th century inn we call home for three nights and then meet the group for our welcome dinner right in the pub below. We’ll walk through the week’s itinerary, answer your questions, and enjoy a hearty meal of local ingredients presented imaginatively. Expect the famous Swan cheeseburger, fish and hand-cut chips, salads of fresh vegetables and baskets of sourdough bread. Our baking teachers Elaine Boddy and Sophie Carey as well as Matthews Cotswold Flour owner Bertie Matthews will join us.

Arrive and meet your fellow travelers and guide

Day 2

Soil: Immerse yourself in the genesis of all great baking

Soil: Immerse yourself in the genesis of all great baking

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at The Swan before we learn about the genesis of all great sourdough bread: soil. During a full-day immersive experience at the nonprofit FarmEd, we’ll learn about wheat growing practices and their effects on your morning loaf. We’ll tour the farm, get our hands dirty in the fields, meet some lovely and important worms and compare wheat grown via different farming practices – all fueled by ample tea, coffee and a seasonal lunch. At the end of our day, Scott Deley will give us a dough-to-pie wood-fired pizza lesson on the farm. Scott uses Matthews Cotswold Flour, some of the grain for which is grown at FarmEd. It is also the flour we’ll learn how to mill tomorrow and use all week in our baking projects. We’ll be full after our pizza party and the evening is yours to enjoy as you like. We can recommend walks, pubs, shops and more.

Soil: Immerse yourself in the genesis of all great baking

Day 3

Stone: Turn grain into flour at an 8th-generation mill

Stone: Turn grain into flour at an 8th-generation mill

Today is all about the stone. We’ll spend our morning at Matthews Cotswold Flour Mill, where eighth-generation owner Bertie Matthews will lead us in an interactive learning tour of the property. Bertie will teach us how flour is milled on traditional stones and via more modern technologies, demonstrate why farming techniques affect the milling process, and show us how different wheats produce different flours. We’ll also learn about the local and national grain economy, a system Matthews is actively working to support and improve. We’ll put your learning to the test during a hands-on flour fun quiz and evaluation. Our learning complete, we’ll drop you in a charming local village to find a late lunch on your own and spend some time walking through this picturesque Cotswolds setting. That evening we gather at Chequers in Churchill, a highly acclaimed gastro pub featuring local ingredients and, you guessed it, sourdough bread in another beautiful Cotswold village.

Stone: Turn grain into flour at an 8th-generation mill

Day 4

Travel to London and feast at a private dinner

Travel to London and feast at a private dinner

We’re city bound! After breakfast at The Swan, we say goodbye to the Cotswolds and travel to London via private transfer. We’ll check into the Hoxton Southwark, a chic urban hotel walking distance from Tate Modern, London Bridge, Borough Market and our baking school. We’ll have a few hours this afternoon to visit a museum or take a walk in a park. For the willing, we’ve designed a bakery scavenger hunt that will take you to some of the best bakeries in town. We’ll gather that evening at Uyen Luu’s private Supper Club in Hackney. We’re taking a break from sourdough to indulge in Uyen’s five-course Vietnamese feast. You won’t miss the bread.

Travel to London and feast at a private dinner

Day 5

Sourdough & Sweet: Feed your starters, make cookies. Repeat

Sourdough & Sweet: Feed your starters, make cookies. Repeat

Our hands-on baking education begins today. We’ll meet Elaine and Sophie at the National Bakery School, the UK’s oldest baking institute. From morning to evening we’ll move between sourdough with Elaine and quick baking with Sophie, taking advantage of the long resting and rising times sourdough demands to make quicker cookies and yeasted breads. Everything we make will use the same flours we saw start as grain at FarmEd and milled at Matthews, completing our field-to-oven education. To gild the lily, resident chocolatier Kieran Slator will also help us understand how to best incorporate chocolate into our bakes – sourdough and yeasted, savory and sweet. Lunch provided by NBS and the sweets you make will fuel our work throughout the day. After a long day on our feet, the evening is yours to enjoy as you like. Book tickets to a play, take an evening stroll or enjoy a glass of wine, cocktail or a pint at one of London’s many bars.

Sourdough & Sweet: Feed your starters, make cookies. Repeat

Day 6

Sourdough & Sweet: Turn yesterday’s starters into today’s loaves

Sourdough & Sweet: Turn yesterday’s starters into today’s loaves

Over morning tea, we’ll review the day’s plan, which includes learning several methods for shaping and baking the sourdough loaves we started yesterday with Elaine and scone and hot-cross-bun baking with Sophie. One of the advantages of being in a professional baking school is the variety of home and professional-grade equipment we’ll have to use, and we’ll take time to talk about and use it all. The scones we make early will become our mid-morning snack, served with fresh jam and cream and we’ll end our day with our hot crossed buns and a parade of our freshly baked sourdough loaves. This is another long day of baking and eating, so the evening is yours again to enjoy as you please. You may just want to put your feet up with a glass of wine at the stylish Hoxton.

Sourdough & Sweet: Turn yesterday’s starters into today’s loaves

Day 7

Get personalized instruction with Elaine and Sophie

Get personalized instruction with Elaine and Sophie

Curious about sprouted rye flour or building a 100% whole wheat starter? Want to update your chocolate chip cookies with whole grains or toasted flour? Need help with your scoring technique or curious about the life of a professional baker? Sign up for a 1:1 tutorial with Elaine or Sophie (or, time allowing, with both!). We’ve set up dedicated time for you to meet with our two expert baking teachers and get their help with your personal baking projects. Before and after, the day is yours to explore London before we meet at Honey & Co Daily. Honey & Co founders Sarit and Itamar are great friends of Milk Street and we’ll get to tour their bakery where they make traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern cakes, pastries and breads for their four restaurants. We stay at Honey & Co to celebrate our week together with a big family-style multi-course dinner.

Get personalized instruction with Elaine and Sophie

Day 8

Say Goodbyes and Depart

Say Goodbyes and Depart

We wish you safe travels and continued adventures with sourdough and on the road.

Say Goodbyes and Depart

Meet the Crew

We are firm believers in the power of local knowledge. Our guides and the culinary masters and other artisans who are part of our trips all deeply reflect that. Meet some of our local heroes:

  • Elaine Boddy

    Elaine Boddy

    Sourdough simplifier, cookbook author and teacher
  • Sophie Carey

    Sophie Carey

    Professional baker and recipe developer
  • Bertie Matthews

    Bertie Matthews

    8th-generation flour miller
  • Ian Wilkerson

    Ian Wilkerson

    Regenerative farming innovator
  • Scott Deley

    Scott Deley

    Pizza pro
  • Uyen Luu

    Uyen Luu

    Chef, cookbook author and Supper Club host
  • Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich

    Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich

    Chefs and cookbook authors

Where you’ll stay

Hoxton Southwark

This week’s focus on deeply local experiences and places is also well reflected in our choice of accommodation. We always select boutique and independent places, ones inspired by international standards while staying loyal to the area’s local heritage – that’s the balance we seek for more than a good night’s rest.

The Hoxton Southwark offers a vibrant urban oasis in the heart of London’s cultural scene. This stylish hotel features chic rooms with contemporary designs and thoughtful amenities. Guests can enjoy delectable dining options at the trendy onsite restaurants or unwind with craft cocktails at the lively bar. With its prime location near iconic landmarks and trendy neighborhoods, The Hoxton Southwark provides the perfect base for exploring the dynamic pulse of the city.

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The Swan

Nestled in the idyllic village of Ascott-under-Wychwood, The Swan exudes quintessential English charm. This historic inn offers cozy rooms adorned with traditional décor and modern comforts, providing a peaceful retreat in the Cotswolds countryside. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the countryside while enjoying delicious meals crafted from locally sourced ingredients. Whether exploring nearby attractions or simply unwinding in the charming surroundings, The Swan promises an unforgettable escape amidst rural serenity.

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Hear what travelers are saying

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I'm actually a pastry chef for a living but when I got on the sourdough band wagon I didn't feel confident. I found Elaine’s book and . . . it was the best thing I ever did! Since then I've baked dozens of loaves and feel confident and proud!

Sam G.

Sam G.
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I had a fantastic Vietnamese meal last night. Thank you Uyen! The sea bass congee with kale and ginger – wow! Great noodles, amazing exciting shredded salads with lovely spicy vinegar and nut dressings and Saigon summer rolls to name but a few!

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver
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Elaine makes this so easy, fun and rewarding!

Carole R.

Carole R.

Know before you go

Pricing and Accommodation

The total cost of this trip is $7,500. For travelers wishing to have single accommodations during the trip, an additional $1,250 supplement will be due at the time of the final payment. A $500 non-refundable deposit per traveler is required to secure space on the trip. The balance is due 90 days prior to the start of the trip.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking two to four miles each day and remaining on their feet for periods of time. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get hands-on during a couple cooking workshops.

Arrival and Departure

You are responsible for getting to Cotswolds (an easy train ride from London) by 3 p.m. on Day 1 and departing anytime on Day 8 from central London. We’ll provide the option of booking additional nights at our group hotel before and/or after the tour, and are more than happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see on your own.

Inclusions

• All accommodation throughout the trip in stylish, boutique hotels.
• Professional team throughout the entire experience.
• All meals and drinks included in the above activities.
• Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events.
• Private coach for visits inside and outside the center city
• A hungry group of Culinary Backstreets and Milk Street travelers, excited to explore and bake!

Exclusions

• Private individual arrival & departure airport and rail to Cotswolds (transfer back to London in coach is included)
• Airfare and transportation to/from the start and end destination
• Meals beyond those specified in the itinerary above
• Alcoholic beverages other than those served at the table
• Accommodations outside those noted, including pre- or post-trip hotel nights
• Activities, tours & entry fees not included above
• Personal purchases and incidentals at hotels

Dietary Restrictions

We encourage an adventurous palate! We try our best to accommodate dietary restrictions, though ingredients cannot always be substituted or omitted from particular dishes. This trip is centered around baking and may be challenging if you adhere to a gluten-free diet. If you have other food allergies or intolerances, please contact us to find out if this is the right trip for you.

Notes on Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Safety and Sustainability

We have reinforced our commitment to sustainability and safety with new guidelines to assure maximum safety of our guests on our trips while maintaining the quality of the experience. All of our experiences are designed to have minimal impact on the community and environment. For more details on our precautions, read here.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel 90 days before the start of the trip and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after 60 days before the start of the trip there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after 30 days there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).

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