Hi I'm Flora

Lovely to meet you!

I was brought up in Cornwall during the 1970s and I loved messing about with food from a young age. Unable to buy some of the normal staples of today’s larder, I would watch and help my mother make all manner of things, including her own tagliatelle which was then draped over the kitchen chairs to dry. However, it was a truly sublime lunch at the world famous Cipriani in Venice as a teenager that really opened my eyes to endless gastronomic possibilities and I realised then that food was my real passion.

Later I went on to work for Rick Stein in his Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, but it wasn’t until I moved to New York that I received any formal cookery education, studying at the Institute of Culinary Education. A move to Melbourne gave me invaluable experience working under the highly regarded food critic, Geoff Slattery, at his restaurant.

With four young children, I had my hands full both in the kitchen and out, so I decided that as cooking had always been such a big part of my life, I wanted to share the skills I had acquired over the years and the fun I’d had in the kitchen. In 2014 I opened my own cookery school based at my home in Hampshire with the aim of teaching kids, teenagers, young adults, and indeed anyone who wants to learn how to cook for themselves and others. Today I remain steadfast in my ambition to not only impart invaluable culinary skills to my students but also to imbue in them a passion for producing great food. Whether we are cooking together in my kitchen or via my various online tutorials and Zoom classes, I want the same outcome – for students to take great pride in making something delicious and pleasing for themselves and others.

I am delighted that Flora’s Kitchen is an Approved Activity Provider for the Skills section for Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and for the Residential section for the Gold DofE award. 

Sure of Edinburgh Approved activity provider

The Team

These are my helping hands...


Sara Thomson

Chef and Teacher
With mountains of experience both as a head chef and as a lecturer Sara is a hugely knowledgable member of the teaching team. Students shine under her guidance.
Floras Kitchen Final Logo RGB 1000px


Guest name
Flora's Kitchen loves to welcome guests to come and teach and chat to our students, from masterclasses in specialised cookery techniques and cuisines, to all areas of nutrition.

Harriet Southgate

Harriet is passionate about food and is also a highly efficient qualified bookkeeper. Every business needs someone to keep everything in order and Harriet does just that and more.

A peep into the kitchen

We like to have fun!


(Nice things that people have said)

From the very first email we sent Flora, we were delighted with our choice of tutor. Flora was responsive to us as parents and, much more importantly, supportive and extremely engaging with us and our son all the way through the course. James received fortnightly emails from Flora which contained written recipes, and also included lots of video tutorials on how to use equipment safely, a step-by-step guide on how to create each dish and also how to create ‘sub-dishes’- e.g. chicken stock for a soup etc. Fantastic! James really enjoyed being ‘in the kitchen with Flora’, albeit virtually, and really benefitted from the online tutorials. All the dishes he created were lovely and all the food was eaten! After each dish James cooked, we sent Flora photographs and an assessment form relating to James’ Duke of Edinburgh Award. Flora always responded quickly and with lots of encouragement and support for his culinary skills which improved very quickly indeed.

As a family we thoroughly enjoyed and looked forward to James cooking for us and thoroughly enjoyed the meals he served us. We know this is a skill, not only for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, but also a life skill.  James is eager to move onto the next stage of Flora’s courses. Thank you, Flora!”


I have been reflecting on what an absolutely superb day Ed, Rupert and I spent under your spell last Saturday. Thank you so much for making it so enjoyable – i am not sure i have had more fun in a kitchen. I have been waxing lyrical about it all week and hope to be back for more of the same.

Course: Man Enough to Cook

“I would also just like to say thank you again for this week, it succeeded all my expectations and I’m so happy to have met such wonderful people and your amazing family. You have taught me so much and I’ll be forever grateful.

Course: Uni Basics

“thank you for a throughly well organised fun packed residential course Arjan is a fully fledged advocate of Flora’s Kitchen he has only  had positive comments and many fond  memories, for which I’m very grateful”

Mrs Dhaliwal
Course: Uni Basics

My husband and I booked a personalised cookery course for 6 people, for our daughter Charlies’ 30th birthday. We were a nightmare to deal with. We could never get a date together when we could all be there. Flora was so patient. Charlie chose a menu with an Asian theme and we duly arrived at Floras’ home on a Monday evening to start cooking. It was fabulous. Flora provided everything required and ensured that it was really interesting. There were so many flavours that we had not experienced before. She told us where we could purchase the ingredients (and gave as all the recipes at the end of the evening.) She gave us lots of cooking tips on the way as well. We ate our spoils in the most lovely of dining rooms. We were made so welcome.
I’d do it all over again in the blink of an eye. I cannot recommend Floras Kitchen highly enough.

Course: Bespoke Evening Class

James loved it ! he really thinks he could crack amateur masterchef !!!

Course: Man Enough to Cook

One of the best days of our school holidays!  The sushi, gyozas and nut brittle were all delicious.  We loved doing every single thing from scratch and will definitely be making them again.  Can’t wait to come back, thank you so much.  Please send our love to Pasta and Pickle x

Amalia and Georgia Aged 13 and 11
Junior Cooking Asian

You have the most amazing talent for teaching the girls to cook incredible dishes, learning so many new skills while having an absolute ball.  Amalia and Georgia have loved their days with you and cannot wait to come back.  It is a treat to see them so inspired with cooking, and even more of a treat to get to sample everything they make!  Thank you so much for making them feel so welcome in your beautiful kitchen.

Course: Junior Cooking

“Flora gave an amazing zoom class to my children. Over 90 minutes she taught them how to make Sushi. Not only did they produce some amazing looking food, they laughed their way through their session and were thrilled with the results, delicious and professional looking Sushi. Two weeks later they made Sushi again for a canape for one of their birthdays… so they hadn’t forgotten their newfound skill which really proves what a fantastic cook and teacher Flora is. It’s just one of those experiences that stays with you.”

Course: 2:1 Zoom Class

Rory clearly had a really great time on his University cooking course and the food he has bought home has been fantastic. Tomorrow, he will even be making some more spring rolls!   Thank you so much for giving him such a great week; Rory said you are an excellent teacher, which is high praise from him!
My younger son (who is a great cook, having been in the school cooking club for 5 years), is very envious.  Do you do any courses for non-beginner teens?

Course: Uni Basics

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