Cretan Cooking Class with Hand Picked Greece

While we were visiting Kiani Beach Resort we decided to take part in a Cretan cooking class with Hand Picked Greece. It was a decision made on the spur of the moment as the weather had been uncharistically bad. I am so so glad we did as otherwise we would not have experienced such a wonderful evening. Everyone agreed it was our favourite excursion of the holiday and we have made memories which will last a lifetime.

Hosted in a converted stable I would encourage all to take part in this experience. I did wonder with a two year old in tow if it would work, but they were both very accomodating of him. Which actually meant Hubby and I also got a chance to relax and enjoy the experience. We knew we wouldn’t need to worry about Monkey who enjoys helping in the kitchen at home.

Arriving mid afternoon we were greeted with some traditional nibbles and a glass of raki. Which is made on site and a traditional way to welcome people into your home. It definitely blew the cobwebs away. Both boys enjoyed the cheese, olives and bread. I must say the sun dried tomatoes are probably the best I have eaten for a long time.

Normally classes are held outside in a special covered area which can take up to forty. However because of the weather they hosted us inside and we were joined by a further party of four. At the back there was a beautiful kitchen area while in the main room the beams were hung with sage and lavender. Huge glass jars filled with organic hand picked herbs lined the stairs. Around the room there was a number of different handmade oils and condiments. You could not get more ‘perfect’ for learning how to cook traditional Cretan food.

With red and white wine flowing freely we started to prepare the vegetables for the pork dish. It was really good fun standing at the table chatting with the other chefs. Once all the vegetables were prepared, everyone got given a job to do including Monkey who added seasoning to the meat before mixing it in with his hands. Which he thought was a great fun. Once everything was mixed and seasoned we made lots of little parcels of the pork, apple and vegetable mixture ready for the oven.

Our next job was to move onto making traditional cheese parcels, making the dough on the table before letting it prove. Which gave us a chance to step outside and see the sun setting over the mountains. The rain had gone leaving a very fresh smell in the air, but with clouds still caught in the valley. It was truly beautiful. If you visit when its not raining they have a number of animals in the garden including rabbits, chickens, dogs and cats which would have been a hit with the boys. There are also numerous places to relax and wander in the gardens soaking in the atmosphere.

It wasn’t long until we were all back at the table making the little (or not so little in Monkey’s case) parcels. Creating little circles of dough and filling with a cheese and dill mixture. Once we had finished they were fried in a little oil. The last thing we made was a garlic potato. Mashing by hand and adding more garlic that I can remember, before lots of oil which made for a very thick paste.

It wasn’t long until we were all sitting around the table chatting and eating. The food was glorious (of course it would be, since we helped cook it). Watching Monkey soaking in the atmosphere was really something. Its an experience which he won’t forget and for me what travel is all about. Just as we were finishing we were treated to some traditional music. Sitting with the boys listening to the songs with a glass of wine in hand is an experience that is likely to stay with me for many years.  We left mid evening while the party was in full swing.

Thank you Hand Picked Greece for your hospitality we had an amazing evening.

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We were invited to stay at Kiani Beach Resort over the October half term for the purpose of writing a review. This was one of the excursions we took part in during our stay which was arranged via Lets Crete. We paid for our own flights.




  1. Shelley Jessup
    November 2, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    That is so good how it gets whole families to cook & interact together, really impressed.

  2. Laura Turner
    November 3, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    There’s no such thing as too much garlic. SO good for you.

  3. lynn neal
    November 3, 2018 / 1:12 pm

    I love learning about food in other countries and this seems a great way to do it!

  4. A S,Edinburgh
    November 3, 2018 / 6:46 pm

    That sounds really lovely. What a wonderful, warm setting for learning more about the food and culture.

  5. November 3, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    I have always wanted to take a cooking class! So jealous! Everything looks lovely and looks like you guys had a great time! Alright, off to find myself a class! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Susan B
    November 4, 2018 / 5:29 am

    What a lovely idea. It’s great to see children cooking.

  7. Tracy Nixon
    November 4, 2018 / 7:37 am

    Thank you for the review!

  8. November 4, 2018 / 11:46 am

    This sounds like a truly amazing evening! The food, the wine, the music, the atmosphere – so perfect! And that sky looked so beautiful! Cheers to more unforgettable experiences like this !

  9. November 4, 2018 / 5:05 pm

    That is so good how it gets whole families to cook & interact together. That sounds really lovely. What a wonderful, warm setting for learning more about food and culture. It’s great to see children cooking.

  10. November 4, 2018 / 6:00 pm

    This resort looks amazing! It is cool that they had this class for you during the bad weather. I love Greek food!

  11. Samantha O'D
    November 4, 2018 / 6:40 pm

    What a great experience, lovely photos

  12. Rebecca Whatmore
    November 4, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    What a great idea – never thought of doing anything like this. Love Greek food and how fresh it all is.

  13. Angela treadway
    November 4, 2018 / 10:29 pm

    looks like everyone had a great time x

  14. Phillipa Hunt
    November 4, 2018 / 10:47 pm

    Looks like a great place to go to and good to get kids involved too. A special way to learn about the culture and food from somewhere you’re travelling to!

  15. Danielle
    November 5, 2018 / 1:45 am

    This looks so fun! I would love to take a cooking class someday to sharpen my culinary skills. I bet it was fun to involve the kids.

  16. Gervin Khan
    November 5, 2018 / 2:08 am

    Wow, this is so great and it is really a great to learn to cook other countries cuisine together with your family, such an amazing experience!

  17. Bindu Thomas
    November 5, 2018 / 5:07 am

    It looks like you everyone had a great and funny time. Really lovely! Photos are amazing.

  18. November 5, 2018 / 5:42 am

    I love Greek food! Your post made me really really hungry

  19. Sarah Mcvicar
    November 5, 2018 / 8:52 am

    wow this looks brilliant, the food looks amazing too!

  20. Margaret GALLAGHER
    November 5, 2018 / 9:15 am

    Amazing place – great fun – an experience id love too

  21. November 5, 2018 / 10:16 am

    What a wonderful experience. This is something my 8 year old would really enjoy, she loves to help in the kitchen just like Monkey! 😀

  22. Tess D
    November 5, 2018 / 11:43 am

    what a great experience – I love Greek Food

  23. Megan
    November 5, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    Yum, this looks like a fab experience! I want to try! 🙂

  24. November 5, 2018 / 2:08 pm

    This looks like a lot of fun and a great thing to do together with the family 🙂 It’s good that they are good with young children too, as it helps them to learn this skill from a young age. Would have loved to go to something like this as a child!

  25. Nigel Soper
    November 5, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    Why aren’t all Cretans very fat with such delicious cooking?

  26. Annabel Greaves
    November 5, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    Looks like lots of fun

  27. November 5, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    I just love that you had a family cooking lesson while on holiday. It’s brilliant! It looks like you had such an amazing time x

  28. love faith more
    November 5, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    It is so really a fun adventure together with your loved ones. Yes! that precious memories can’t really be forgotten.

  29. November 5, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    This looks like fun. I love the way the little one is managing the rolling pin like a pro.

  30. Peter Watson
    November 5, 2018 / 6:58 pm

    Crete is such a special place.The olive oil is the best in the world.

  31. Jayne Townson
    November 5, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    What a great experience it looks like your children have really enjoyed themselves.

  32. November 5, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    Ah I saw this on Instagram it looked fantastic. I could really go for one of those cheese parcels haha

  33. kelly wheelhouse
    November 5, 2018 / 8:53 pm

    this sounds fantastic! I’d love to experience something like that on a holiday 🙂 I never go abroad though, but I bet there are similar things in the UK to this

  34. Ashleigh Allan
    November 5, 2018 / 9:59 pm

    Sounds brilliant

  35. Rebecca Nisbet
    November 5, 2018 / 11:06 pm

    My daughter loves cooking and baking, be nice to try and do some experimenting with her.

  36. November 6, 2018 / 2:54 am

    Hand Picked Greece sounds like a lovely place. Your resort is great to have organized such a lovely day for you and your little ones. Loved the photos 🙂

  37. November 6, 2018 / 8:50 am

    What a superb experience to have had as a family! I’d love to do something like that with my kids.

  38. November 6, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    It’s so exciting !!! I love cooking and I’ll make a cake with my sister oneday ^^ Love your pics

  39. November 6, 2018 / 4:29 pm

    I love Greek food, it’s always so delicious. Sounds like you had a great experience.

  40. November 6, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    I’d love to try this with my two. They have absolutely NO interest in learning to cook. I think doing it in a situation like this would be more appealing to them both 🙂

    Louise x

  41. Andi Gurney
    November 6, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    I would love to do this with my 2

  42. November 7, 2018 / 8:57 am

    What an amazing experience. I’d absolutely love to do something like this!

    Katie xoxo

  43. Lorna Ledger
    November 7, 2018 / 7:18 pm

    Mmmm, love the visuals! I am never sure what Greek cuisine is, so it would be good to learn! Nibbley bits are my fav, tapas style stuff

  44. November 7, 2018 / 8:09 pm

    Fab idea to get everyone cooking looks tasty and healthy too

  45. john prendergast
    November 10, 2018 / 7:55 pm

    the food looks lovely and fresh

  46. paula cheadle
    November 11, 2018 / 11:53 am

    I love this type of food, makes meals more varied

  47. Carolyn E
    November 11, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    What a great way to spend a few hours. Looks like a relaxed cooking session, the kind of home cooking style. I’d do this if I were there!

  48. Jeanette Leighton
    November 11, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    Wow all that lovely food looks delicious I love Greek food

  49. Lyndsey Cooksey
    November 15, 2018 / 9:19 am

    How lovely to get to cook in a different country! The children look like they enjoyed it and that’s lovely to see. I like that big pan!

  50. Shelley Jessup
    November 15, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    The food looks so fresh & tasty, I hope you all enjoy your time together creating wonderful food.

  51. Nancy Bradford
    November 17, 2018 / 8:54 am

    I love how healthy all of the food looks as well. I’m sure it must have been really fun.

  52. Natalie Crossan
    November 18, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    I’m a big fan of teaching kids to cook , what a great review 🙂

  53. Elaine Kidd
    November 20, 2018 / 9:23 pm

    I wish that cooking classes in this country were as family friendly

  54. lynn neal
    November 24, 2018 / 8:23 am

    It is great that all the family are included!

  55. Tracy B
    November 24, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    Oh I love how the whole family is included. Just how a kitche should be in my opinion! Looks incredibly yummy too

  56. Michelle Sykes
    November 26, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    So much fun my kids would love it

  57. Laura Robinson
    November 27, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    Looks so tasty and encourages kids to cook and understand what they’re eating!

  58. November 28, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    I love making any recipe that involves mixing with your hands..! Great time!

  59. A S,Edinburgh
    December 3, 2018 / 2:26 am

    This looks and sounds like so much fun; I’d love to spend a day this way.

  60. James Travis
    December 3, 2018 / 10:56 pm

    This looks really fun, bet the kids enjoyed it

  61. Rebecca Johnson
    December 4, 2018 / 9:31 am

    Sounds like you made some really delicious food here and had a lovely time!

  62. Tracy B
    December 4, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    I love how hands on this is, even for the children. Brilliant experience.

  63. Theresa THomas
    December 4, 2018 / 11:23 pm

    What a great idea – never thought of doing anything like this. Love Greek food and how fresh it all is.

  64. Amy Simpson
    January 31, 2019 / 10:13 am

    Looks like a great experience

  65. Sharon Freemantle
    February 13, 2019 / 12:48 pm

    Looks like you all had a fabulous time

  66. bev
    February 28, 2019 / 8:06 am

    How do you spell “jealous”?! Looks an awesome activity – wow!

  67. Robert Price
    March 9, 2019 / 8:46 am

    I must try more Greek food

  68. Rebecca Heminway
    March 14, 2019 / 10:10 am

    This looks amazing! Love oils and bread and Mediterranean foods… so delicious 🙂

  69. Gemma Hendry
    April 16, 2019 / 8:50 pm

    what a wonderful experience for the boys

  70. Laura Turner
    April 22, 2019 / 4:35 am

    So tasty and so healthy. A double win. Olives and Ciabatta. nom nom.

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