Afternoon tea at Tante Marie on diamond day

THE team at a leading culinary academy marked their 60th birthday by inviting special guests to celebrate with them with a toast on Friday.

Woking MP Jonathan Lord, borough council Chief Executive Ray Morgan OBE, and the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Derek and Rosemary McCrum, joined Tante Marie’s Principal Andrew Maxwell and staff for the diamond occasion.

RAISING A GLASS – Principal Andrew Maxwell and MP Jonathan Lord with Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Derek and Rosemary McCrum

RAISING A GLASS – Principal Andrew Maxwell and MP Jonathan Lord with Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Derek and Rosemary McCrum

Everyone raised a glass on the special anniversary as the prestigious cookery school prepares to relocate from Horsell to state-of-the-art premises in Woking’s town centre in January next year.

Mr Lord said: “Tante Marie is one of the best culinary academies in the world. It was great to be with them to celebrate their 60th anniversary of operation, all of which has been at premises within the borough of Woking.”

The school started at a small premises on Chertsey Road with only four students. Now world-famous, 60 to 100 are taken on every year to learn the enviable culinary skills taught at the academy. The school is focused entirely on teaching practical cookery skills in a state-of-the-art environment.

Founded in 1954, Tante Marie is the UK’s oldest independent cookery school. Mr Lord added: “It was even more exciting to be with them at the announcement that they will be moving to the centre of our town and that we will all be able to enjoy the fruits of their labours first hand in the new restaurant.”

The event was catered by Absolute Taste, founded by Tante Marie alumni Lyndy Redding.

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