Welbeck puts on a Royal reception

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1n)
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1n)

PRINCE Charles gave students’ homemade bread the Royal seal of approval following a visit to Welbeck.

Crowds gathered to welcome The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to the School of Artisan Food on Tuesday.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1c)

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1c)

The school is dedicated to encourage people of all ages to explore the benefits of using local produce with traditional methods of baking, butchery and cheese making.

It also offers a range of classes, including how to make your own beer.

During their visit to the school, Prince Charles stated there was “nothing else like it in the country”.

Director Alison Swan Parente played an active role in the Royals’ visit.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1q)

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1q)

She said: “It was extremely successful and they were very impressed.”

“It gells with his kind of thinking for education and he is very interested in craft, real food and training young people.”

“He was extremely relaxed, very enthusiastic and extremely supportive.”

“It was an uplifting experience.”

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1j)

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1j)

The Duchess, who arrived by helicopter, was wearing a raspberry wool coat, black knee-length boots and a grey paisley dress for the visit to the school.

It was the couple’s first visit to the area.

Their Royal Highnesses also met with tutors, trustees and sponsors and were presented with a hamper of food produced by students at the school.

The year-long courses, which offer 40 hours a week training with experienced tutors, was introduced in September and costs students £14,000.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-2c)

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-2c)

From the short-term courses previously run at the school, several students have gone on to community bakeries and are making hand made produce.

Student Lee-Anne Rennie, 25, said she wanted to own a farm in Scotland after finishing her course.

“It’s a way of life and I want to leave something behind that my children, when they are old enough, can be proud of.”

“It upsets me the attitude we have towards food and our reliance on supermarkets.”

On a tour through the butchery HRH greeted the class, who were preparing pigs’ trotters.

Student butcher Lisa Lewin, 30, shared a joke with the Royals.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-2g)

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-2g)

She said: “It was really good and exceeded my expectations.”

“Prince Charles asked me how many times I had cut myself – quite a few times until you realise it hurts.”

On their way through the bakery, the Prince expressed his satisfaction for some ciabatta the class had prepared.

Vanessa Hollaway, 35, added: “He said it was delicious.”

“He was going to try some walnut bread later with some stout and blue cheese – that was my recommendation.”

The school is housed in an 1870 Grade II listed building in the heart of the Sherwood Forest and a £900,000 funding grant from the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) helped the building’s renovation in January last year.

It is the UK’s only not-for-profit charitable school dedicated to artisan food production.

Prince Charles, who took the Royal train to Creswell ahead of his visit to Welbeck, was greeted by children from Creswell Infant School.

Headteacher Margaret Burdett said the children had made their own Union Flags.

“He got off the train and spoke to the children for 10 minutes.”

“It was very nice and he was good with the children.”

“A few parents also came up.”

Before making his way to the School of Artisan Foods, The Prince of Wales visited the recently completed Carriage Court development – a £2.1m investment for the use of creative and digital media businesses.

Trustee Susan Amaku said the visit had flown by.

She added: “He had a look at the grounds and really enjoyed looking round.”

“The new offices were previously used by the MoD, as a combination of a medical centre and accommodation.”

“They seemed to be very impressed.”

Whilst on the estate, the Prince and Duchess unveiled a plaque to commemorate their visit, which was greeted by a warm round of applause.

Chairman of Bassetlaw Council Kenneth Bullivant added: “This is the third time I have seen him this year.”

“It is pleasing to know they have made use of this magnificent building.”

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1x)

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit the School of Artisan Food, Welbeck Estate. (w110125-1x)