Win! A luxury stay in York

Competition: The Grand, York

Enter our competition for the chance to win a two-night stay, including dinner and a cookery class, at The Grand, York

The Grand is a five-star retreat in the heart of the city of York. Its original purpose was to demonstrate the wealth of the North Eastern Railway, one of the most successful businesses of the Edwardian era. The lucky winner and their guest will experience the opulence and charm of this beautifully restored hotel with a two-night stay, including breakfast. The prize also features dinner with wine, plus an interactive class at newly opened state-of-the-art facility The Cookery School at The Grand, York, courtesy of head chef tutor Andrew Dixon. Read on to find out how Director fared at its “Tasty Thai” class.

To enter, send your name, address and IoD membership number to Closing date: 15 May 2019.

Terms and conditions

The winner will be the first entry drawn at random from all entries received by noon on the closing date. Only one entry per person will be accepted. The prize is open to readers of Director aged 18-plus and resident in the UK, except for employees of the IoD and SevenC3; contributors to Director and its supplements; and employees of The Grand. The prize is subject to availability and non-transferable. Peak periods, including Easter weekend and other public holidays, are excluded. Travel is not included. It must be taken within six months of the closing date. It cannot be redeemed for cash. By entering, contestants are bound by the above rules.

The Cookery School at The Grand, York

The Cookery School at the Grand, York

The Grand’s newly opened cookery school, presided over by Andrew Dixon – the former owner of a Somerset restaurant awarded three rosettes by the AA – has a fitting air of sumptuousness about it. Its industrial-chic decor stands in stark, though not incongruous, contrast with the ancient cobbled streets of York.

The school’s aim is to teach you how to produce fare to delight your family and friends, not churn out three-course meals for scores of hungry customers. This gives it a calm and congenial ambience – a world away from the manic atmosphere of Hell’s Kitchen. Despite this, once the heat is on and the slicing, searing, boiling and reducing starts in earnest, one feels an undeniable urge to earn the branded apron that’s provided.

Director attended the “Tasty Thai” express course, a two-hour evening class in how to cook the perfect seafood green curry with fluffy jasmine rice. It began with a step-by-step demo from Dixon, who explained what each ingredient brings to the dish, detailing his preferred brands and where to buy them. He also expertly fielded questions from his eager students, most of whom were fellow foodies.

But the fun really started when they put their new knowledge to practical use. Within moments, the room was filled with the sounds and smells of a busy kitchen. Fish was seared and rice was steamed under the watchful eyes of Dixon and his jovial assistant, who will suddenly appear at your workstation as if by magic, just as a pot is about to boil over or a questionable chopping technique is attempted.

Although the task is challenging, it’s immensely enjoyable. The knowledge that you’re not cooking for anyone but you – and that professional help is at hand to salvage your dish should things go horribly wrong – relieves any self-imposed pressure for perfection. Still, cradling your lovingly made meal, flaws and all, from stove to table and savouring every bite is the ultimate reward.

The Cookery School at The Grand, York, offers a range of classes starting from £45 per head, including full-day, half-day, express, and parent-and-child courses. For further information and to book a session, visit

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Director magazine

Director magazine

Director is the magazine for business leaders. Free to IoD members and available to purchase through subscription, each edition is full of insightful interviews with entrepreneurs and company directors.

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