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4 Days Cooking Holidays in The Vendée, France with John Torode

Culinary Vacations in France

Join John Torode, a renowned celebrity chef, for an unforgettable experience in The Vendée, France. During this holiday, you will have the opportunity to join master classes, visit a local market, and spend quality time with John, who will gladly share his knowledge about food. This short break will certainly give you unforgettable memories and provide great tips and recipes to take back home!


  • Cooking with John Torode
  • Visit local markets to buy ingredients
  • Enjoy the dishes prepared during your master classes
  • Daily delicious meals and one lunch out
  • Transfers from local airports
  • 3 nights accommodation


3 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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You will stay in a beautiful riverside farmhouse. Situated in the Marais Poitevin, this beautiful holiday home is simply stunning. It has been renovated to a very high standard with an exceptionally large sitting room area. The house is set in a peaceful location with amazing grounds which lead down to one of the many rivers that are in the area. It is full of rustic charm and a perfect place for a well-deserved break.

The house has 8 bedrooms. A newly renovated eating area can be enjoyed with a pizza-oven, bbq and plancha area to cook for large numbers easily. A handmade table happily accommodates your party and overlooks the gardens and river, perfect for a get-together. The heated swimming pool is wonderful for all the family to enjoy with a bespoke seating area built alongside for relaxing. There is Sky TV and wifi.

The local village is a fifteen-minute walk away with a bar, boulangerie and cave. This local village also has boat hire for those that want to explore the many canals and rivers in the area. Le Mazeau is within easy reach of all the local beaches along the amazing Vendée coast and the many beautiful villages of the Marais. Fishing is possible in the canal running alongside the property.

Big in France Culinary Vacations Itinerary

Day 1, Thursday

  • Afternoon arrival at villa
  • Free time to settle in and relax
  • 18:00 Welcome aperitifs served
  • 19:00 Dinner

Day 2, Friday

  • 09:00 Breakfast served, for example, smoked salmon and scrambled egg, fruit salad
  • 10:00 - 13:00 Lunch Masterclass with chef
  • 14:30 - 16:30 Free time; make use of the heated swimming pool, explore the countryside
  • 16:30 - 19:30 Chef hosting a class preparing a 3-course dinner
  • 19:30 Aperitifs
  • 20:00 Dinner

Day 3, Saturday

  • 09:30 Breakfast served, for example, smoked salmon and scrambled egg, fruit salad
  • 10:30 Excursion to Fontenay-le-Comte market
  • 12:00 Return to the villa
  • 13:00 Light lunch served using food prepared the day before
  • 14:00 - 15:30 Free time
  • 15:30 - 19:30 Chef to host a hands-on masterclass
  • 19:30 Aperitifs
  • 20:00 Dinner

Day 4, Sunday

  • 09.00 Breakfast served
  • Transfer to airport

Included excursions

During this holiday, you will visit Fontenay-le-Comte market.


John Torode
A hugely popular and influential figure on the UK culinary circuit, John Torode is best known as the straight-talking co-host and judge of twelve seasons of Master Chef. Australian by birth, John is credited as one of the main players in introducing Australasian food to the UK in the mid-1990s. He is passionate about sourcing the best of British produce, particularly within the meat industry, where he has long been a champion of rare breeds. Also a well-known food writer, John regularly contributes to Olive and BBC Good Food magazines, as well as Radio Times and Red magazine.


This holiday will take place in La Mazeau, The Vendee, France. The commune proper of Le Mazeau is 2.7 kilometers from the farmhouse where you will be staying. It is the closest village with the most basic amenities. Benet is the closest larger village with supermarket and diesel, and it is 8.5 kilometers away. The beautiful cities of La Rochelle and Les Sables d'Olonne on the coast also deserve a visit.

Le Mazeau is within easy reach of all the local beaches along the amazing coast and the many beautiful villages of Marais Poitevin. The desirable destination of Île de Ré is close by with lots to offer in the way of shopping, thalassotherapy spas, restaurants, boat trips, superb beaches, and more. There are various golf courses to visit within roughly an hour of the property as well.

Nearby places

  • Beach, 22 kilometers
  • Benet, 8.5 kilometers
  • Caen, 436 kilometers
  • Calais, 696 kilometers
  • Cherbourg, 487 kilometers
  • La Rochelle-Île de Ré Airport (LRH), 51 kilometers
  • Le Mazeau proper, 2.7 kilometers
  • Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE), 107 kilometers
  • Paris, 442 kilometers
  • Poitiers-Biard Airport (PIS), 140 kilometers
  • Puy du Fou, 51 kilometers
  • Saint-Malo, 325 kilometers


During this holiday, you will enjoy daily delicious meals.

Day 1 dinner

Savor 4-course dinner from your chef

  • Amuse Bouche
  • Starter
  • Main
  • Dessert

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

During your free time, you will have the opportunity to join an organized trip or simply stay and relax. You can also go boating, fishing, golfing, swimming, beach hopping, or exploring the nearby villages, cities, and attractions. Most importantly, you can just focus on having a great time doing as much or as little as you would like.

What's included

  • 3 cooking master classes
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals
  • Drinks
  • Transfers from local airports
  • Visit to local market

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Personal, medical, or travel insurance

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at La Rochelle-Île de Ré Airport (LRH), Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE), or Poitiers-Biard Airport (PIS). Transfer from and to these airports is included. Big in France will pick you up from these airports.

Arrival by train

The nearest train station is Gare de Niort, located only 51 kilometers away.

Cancellation Policy

  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 42 days before arrival.
4 days / 3 nights
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Arrival: Thursday September 20, 2018
Departure: Sunday September 23, 2018

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