When we first thought about moving to Hamilton, we visited the city a lot! We kept driving by this beautiful castle and I knew once we moved here, I had to check out Dundurn Castle! I knew there was a lot of history associated with Hamilton and I was glad to see the city preserving such a beautiful home and encouraging visitors to check it out! When I looked up Dundurn Castle to see how I can visit, I found out that you could actually take cooking classes there too! I was thrilled!
Sir Allan Napier MacNab and his family once owned the magnificent home. When you visit, you can see how grand and beautiful the home was (and still is). With what seems like hundreds of rooms, you get a glimpse of how it was to be rich back in the day! Above
When you visit, you can see how grand and beautiful the home was (and still is). With what seems like hundreds of rooms, you get a glimpse of how it was like to be rich back in the day! Above the stairs is where the MacNab family lived and below the stairs is where his servant lived and served the family. This was the most interesting part to me since this is where the kitchen was! There is also a huge garden where they grow many fruits and veggies on the property and the castle is simply breathtaking. You can usually see a few photographers on the grounds snapping away since everyone loves getting their engagement and family shoots there.
Throughout the year, Dundurn Castle hosts hands on cooking classes with topics from baking, soup making to Victorian style desserts! The best part about these cooking classes is that you can learn both the history of the property and how the servants cooked back in the day. There are no electric ovens or instant pots here! The kitchen is preserved as closely as it was back when the MacNab family lived there. They curate as many kitchen tools and utensils as they can that was true to its time. There are beautiful copper pots and cast iron pans throughout the entire kitchen! (#kitchengoals)
I recently checked out the soup-making course at Dundurn Castle! I was surprised at how simple and easy the recipes were! Usually when you think about soups, you are thinking of using many ingredients to build flavours and hours after hours in the kitchen. However, these recipes really went back to the basics, which was amazing to see and try out! My group made an onion soup and a pea soup. Both recipes were very simple with limited ingredients! I found the recipes focused more on the techniques of cooking to build flavours instead of just throwing a whole bunch of ingredients into a pot and hoping for a great tasting meal! You also get a pamphlet filled with the recipes you are making during the class. The fun part about these recipe books is that there are two versions of the recipes; one is how they were originally written and the other is a modern adaptation.
As the pots of soups were simmering and boiling away, it was fun to chat and cook with like-minded people who also loved history and food! The instructors were all decked out in their historical costumes and was able to really bring you back in time with their extensive knowledge of the MacNab family, the history of Hamilton and how people cooked back in the mid 19th century! It was great to see and experience!
After the soups were made, we all sat around the table and enjoyed our hard work! It was quite rewarding to see how a few simple recipes with some food loving people could bring great conversation and a great meal! It is actually a great way to meet some new people that have similar interests!
I am happy to see the City of Hamilton using this space in a way that not only educates tourists of the city’s past but they have also created programs that interest the community so that they have a reason to keep visiting this grand home! The team at Dundurn Castle and the City of Hamilton should be very proud of this accomplishment!
If you are looking for a fun cooking class, a team building activity or even just a fun day out with your friends and family, head over to their website and see all their upcoming cooking classes (But book quick since many of them are already sold out!) Some of the classes also include a tour of the castle! If you have never been to Dundurn Castle, set aside an afternoon and check out this historic landmark!
Thank you to the team at Dundurn Castle and the City of Hamilton for hosting us!
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