Swinton Estate has teamed up with Darlington College to train the next generation of Chefs


FOOD fans are being offered a career on a silver platter as a leading college teams up with a renowned hotel to train the next generation of chefs.

Darlington College is launching a catering academy with Swinton Estate, the 21,000 acre estate of Lord and Lady Masham and one of North Yorkshire’s premier culinary jewels.

Three lucky candidates will be offered the chance to become apprentices at an establishment, at Masham between Ripon and Leyburn, which has just invested £8.5m in a new spa.

Featuring a 32 bed hotel, Swinton Estate boasts Samuel’s, a three rosette AA fine dining restaurant, The Terrace and Bivouac café.

It has also run a catering school for many years and has now linked up with Darlington College to deliver a full-blown apprenticeship scheme with tutors assisting and assessing candidates and organising master classes to enrich their studies.

Darlington College marketing manager Claire Turner said: “This is a rare opportunity for anyone with a passion for food.

“The apprenticeship is designed to cater for all abilities, from food preparation to high-end cuisine, giving them the chance to work on the full range of catering, from events such as weddings, to breakfasts in the hotel and a-la-carte in the restaurant. It isn’t just for young people either but would suit anyone who has ever wanted to work in the diverse world of catering.”

Swinton Estate chef developer Kevin Hughes said: “The industry is crying out for chefs globally and there is no better place to train than with Darlington College and Swinton Estate.

“As a chef it provides a unique environment to hone your craft, in a beautiful Yorkshire Dales setting, with some very talented professionals.”

If the pilot is successful it could be extended to people interested in beauty therapy who would craft their skills in the new spa with the college’s help.

Anyone interested in the catering apprenticeship should email

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A venue with endless possibilities…

You arrive on the Swinton Estate a long time before you catch sight of Swinton Park, through winding country lanes and stunning ‘everyone knows everyone’ type villages, by the time you get to the hotel gates you’ve already relaxed into the country lifestyle.
Nestled in the 20,000 acre estate, the hotel’s elevated position offers unrivalled views of the surrounding area of outstanding natural beauty. Inside the décor has a genuine stately home feel with antique family artwork, elaborate plaster ceilings and many original pieces of furniture, you really feel like lord of the manor!
After a warm Yorkshire welcome, we headed to our room to get ready for dinner, our room Semewater, had the largest bath I’ve ever seen, and all the little extras, such as homemade biscuits, sloe gin and petit fours made us feel very at home.
Our group had pre-dinner drinks and canapes in the drawing room before moving through to Samuel’s restaurant. At dinner we had the seven course tasting menu, for me this was the highlight of our stay, by far the best combination of flavours I have ever experienced.
The following day we cooked our own breakfast in the cookery school, a fabulous experience and a great opportunity to pick up some tips from the professionals. We then had a full tour of the conference facilities – the individually styled rooms vary in size and they all have grand views of the estate. The library was a favourite of mine, with floor to ceiling windows, light décor and a grand fireplace.
To say that the hotel offers an abundance of team building activates would be an understatement, from archery and a 4×4 experience to shooting and even a bird of prey centre on site, your imagination can go wild. Our afternoon was spent at the Hill Top Farm Adventure centre and involved sheep gathering, tractor racing and pig herding, it was refreshingly different to any other team building activity we’ve done before, very well organised and lots of fun. Our morning finished with a leisurely walk to the captivating Druid’s temple, which is to the north of the estate, followed by a late lunch at the nearby Bivouac café.
If you’re looking for a venue that offers delegates a diverse and engaging experience, Swinton Park is the perfect choice.


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