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 Reply

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

  2. Laura Turner Reply

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

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

  4. A S,Edinburgh Reply

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

  5. 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. 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 !

  7. 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.

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

  9. Rebecca Whatmore Reply

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

  10. Phillipa Hunt Reply

    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!

  11. 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.

  12. Gervin Khan Reply

    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!

  13. Bindu Thomas Reply

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

  14. Margaret GALLAGHER Reply

    Amazing place – great fun – an experience id love too

  15. 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!

  16. Nigel Soper Reply

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

  17. 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

  18. love faith more Reply

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

  19. Peter Watson Reply

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

  20. Jayne Townson Reply

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

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

  22. kelly wheelhouse Reply

    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

  23. Rebecca Nisbet Reply

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

  24. 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 🙂

  25. 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

  26. Lorna Ledger Reply

    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

  27. 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!

  28. Jeanette Leighton Reply

    Wow all that lovely food looks delicious I love Greek food

  29. Lyndsey Cooksey Reply

    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!

  30. Shelley Jessup Reply

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

  31. Nancy Bradford Reply

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

  32. Natalie Crossan Reply

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

  33. Elaine Kidd Reply

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

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

  35. Laura Robinson Reply

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

  36. A S,Edinburgh Reply

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

  37. Rebecca Johnson Reply

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

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

  39. Theresa THomas Reply

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

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

  41. Rebecca Heminway Reply

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

  42. Laura Turner Reply

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

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