Your holiday summary

Holiday type Cookery holidays
Learning holidays
Singles holidays
Country France
Travel type Make your own way
Price range From £1376
Travel partner GoLearnTo
Duration 5 nights
Need help with your booking?
0330 333 6737

Gourmet cookery holiday in the Loire Valley, France

Tucked away in a tranquil walnut grove on the outskirts of a pretty French village in the Chateaux country of the Loire Valley, you will find this tastefully restored 18th century farmhouse which will be the setting of your gourmet cooking holiday. During this memorable cooking holiday you will be looked after by not one but two Chefs Maynard and Benedict who will be on hand to pass on their combined culinary secrets, techniques and skills. Covering a wide variety of preparation skills from making stocks and sauces, filleting fish to meat butchery you will also learn to cook a wide range of restaurant standard dishes through a combination of hands-on cooking and Chef demonstrations for a cookery holiday with a difference.

Included

  • Hands on and demonstration gourmet cookery lessons on days 2,3,4 and 5
  • All cooking materials and ingredients
  • An excursion to either the 19th century windmill or a local cider farm on day 3
  • An excursion to a local fromagerie on day 4
  • A French breakfast each morning
  • A light lunch on days 2-5 at the house
  • A welcome glass of Champagne on arrival on day 1
  • A 6 course gourmet dinner each evening Unlimited tea, coffee and soft drinks throughout your stay
  • Accommodation at the Farmhouse in a twin/double room for 5 nights
  • You can check in any time after 4pm on day 1 and check-out by 10am on day 6
  • Prices are based on two sharing, a single supplement applies for those travelling solo who wish to book a private single room
  • Note: Shared single rooms (sharing with another of the same sex) are available for no extra charge for solo travellers who are happy to share a room (subject to availability)
  • A free return transfer to and from Laval train station meeting the 15.36 train on Saturday and dropping off in time for the 11.41 train to Paris on Thursday
Day 1- Saturday - Arrival and welcome dinner

Check into your room any time after 4pm and enjoy a welcome drink before taking your time to explore the house, gardens and local area - At around 5pm, there will be a welcome with the Chefs and a short introduction to the cooking week ahead along with a chance to chat about your aims for the course and your level of cooking experience (don’t worry, complete beginners as well as experienced cooks are welcome!) - Around 5.30pm enjoy a glass of champagne to kick start the week before sitting down around 6.15pm for a delicious 6 course gourmet dinner prepared by your Chefs Maynard and Benedict that will give you a taste for the week ahead

Day 2 – Sunday - Cooking lesson and free time

Around 9am, enjoy a leisurely French breakfast of fresh croissants, breads, preserves, cereals, fruits and yoghurt before heading to the kitchen for your first cookery lesson - Starting around 10am, you’ll head to the professional kitchen next to the main house to start your first cooking lesson - The first day will be relaxed and fun helping you to get to grips with knife skills which include the all-important basics of safety, sharpening, chopping and slicing onions, brunoise of carrot, julien of leek and making a vierge dressing - The knife skills will be developed and refined throughout the week - Around 11am, the Chef will give a demonstration of making leek and potato soup with cheese croutons - Around 11.15am you’ll all work on seasoning techniques together - After you’ve seasoned the soup to perfection, you’ll start work on making your own bread which is a hands-on session - Breads will include plain, sun-dried tomato and parmesan, basil and olive oil, onion and cumin breads - Once your dough is ready, around 12.30pm you’ll start a hands-on session working on your butchery skills starting with chicken - At 1.30pm relax and take a well-deserved lunch break eating at the wonderful dining table set on the mezzanine level above the kitchen and enjoying the leek and potato soup, fresh breads, cheese, pickles, salad and olives - After lunch, sit back and relax as you watch another demonstration of making chicken stock, veal glace, red wine and shallot sauce, preparing salmon as well as Gravlax of salmon - Around 2.45pm, you’ll be ready for a hands-on session where you’ll work on your fish filleting skills as you fillet a trout and prepare mussels as well as making a rich fish stock - After your hard work, sit back and watch the Chef prepare a seafood chowder, home-smoked trout and crab bisque sauce - The fun-packed cooking day finishes around 4.30pm and you’ll have around 1 hour to relax before heading back to the kitchen at 17.30pm to make finishing touches, cook & present the dinner before aperitifs at 8pm - After a well-earned drink join the rest of the group for another wonderful dinner, eating some of the dishes you’ve learned to cook that day along with cheese and biscuits, rounding it all off with coffee and truffles

Day 3 – Monday – cooking and windmill or cider farm excursion day

After breakfast, start your day with a 10am Chef demonstration of pasta dough followed by chicken and foie gras mousse and rich pastry - Around 10.45am, you’ll don your apron to make your own ravioli filled with chicken and foie gras mousse and tagliatelle all in under an hour - After a short break where you’ll discuss the afternoon’s menu you’ll start the preparation for a wonderful 6 course dinner - After your preparation, break for a lunch of tagliatelli, fresh bread and salad followed by cheese and biscuits - After lunch around 2.30pm head out of the kitchen to visit either a 19th century working windmill which still produces buckwheat flour using traditional methods or your excursion may be to a local cider farm with a tasting session - Around 5.30pm, you’ll return to the kitchen to finish off the dinner and enjoy aperitifs before sitting down to enjoy the wonderful 6 course menu around 8pm

Day 4 – Tuesday – Cooking day, ice creams and cheese making excursion

After breakfast you’ll hit the kitchen for a fun packed day of cooking with the morning focused on a demonstration of ice cream making, sugar work, chocolate piping, honey wafer baskets and tuille work - After all those sweet dishes, break for tea and biscuits around 11.30am before discovering today’s 6 course menu where you’ll put the skills you’ve learnt in the morning’s demonstration into practice yourself - Around 11.55am, start the preparation for the menu either working on a chicken and monk-fish dish or the smoked salmon, sugar work, ice cream and more - Break for a light lunch around 1.30pm tasting the ice creams for dessert - Around 2.30pm, head out for the perfect excursion for all cheese lovers’ where you’ll visit a local fromagerie to get a demonstration of cheese making - Again, head back around 5.30pm to finish off the dinner preparations and enjoy an aperitif before sitting down to enjoy the wonderful 6 course menu

Day 5 – Wednesday – Cooking day, Barbeque lunch and free afternoon

As your last full day at the cooking school, after breakfast you’ll start with a hands-on lesson where the group will be split in two and you’ll either work on making a spring roll starter and a beef main course or gravlax followed by a pudding, sorbet and petit fours - After your morning’s work in the kitchen, enjoy your last lunch together around 12.30pm which will be a wonderful barbeque to be enjoyed outside in the gardens (weather permitting) - The afternoon is then free for you to visit Laval for shopping or you may want to head to the golf course or just relax at the farmhouse before dinner - The evening is dedicated to a farewell dinner enjoying the fruits of your labour together with your hosts and your fellow cooks

Day 6 – Thursday – Departure day

After a leisurely breakfast guests are asked to check-out of their rooms by 10am ready for departure taking home with them new restaurant standard cooking skills and an insight into French culinary life that will stay with them long after the holiday is over
Your accommodation is set in the Chateaux country of the Loire Valley region of France, not far from the borders of Brittany and Normandy - You’ll stay in a luxuriously converted 18th century French farmhouse set in a rural location on the outskirts of a pretty French village (15-20 minutes’ walk away) in lovely grounds ensuring complete tranquillity during your stay - There are a total of 4 twin/double large guest rooms all with private bathroom - Rooms are decorated to a very high standard with comfortable beds, crisp linen and tasteful French interiors - One room is on the ground floor and three rooms are on the first floor - There is a guest lounge to sit and relax and which has a dining area where you can eat breakfast and lunch - There is also a small guest kitchen in the main farmhouse for guest use to make drinks and so on if you wish - The house is surrounded by a lovely walnut tree grove and gardens where you can relax and also dine al fresco - The professionally equipped kitchen is the main attraction and was built in a former barn with its high ceilings and exposed oak beams and is just across the courtyard from the main farmhouse - The kitchen has plenty of space for up to 8 participants and 2 Chefs and is packed with all the latest kitchen gadgets and equipment as well as having a delightful mezzanine dining area where you’ll eat dinner each evening - Accommodation is included for 5 nights / 6 days - Prices are based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room - If you are travelling solo, you can choose to either stay in a twin/double room for sole occupancy for a compulsory single room supplement or, if you prefer, you can share a room with another solo traveller of the same sex (subject to availability) for no extra charge making this a great option for singles - Check in any time after 4pm on day 1 and check out by 10am on day 6 - Wi-fi is available in the sitting room

This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6737.

12 results
Departure date Nights Price  
03-May-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
17-May-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
24-May-2014 5 1634.00 reserve
07-Jun-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
21-Jun-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
30-Aug-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
13-Sep-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
20-Sep-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
04-Oct-2014 5 1634.00 reserve
18-Oct-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
25-Oct-2014 5 1376.00 reserve
08-Nov-2014 5 1634.00 reserve
12 results
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