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Join Alan Coxon, a multi-award winning chef who will share with you the wonderful surroundings and great setting for this amazing culinary holiday in the Vendée, France. During this holiday, you will have the opportunity to learn how to prepare dishes with a real taste of the past and enjoy wonderful local food, and the company of some great people; all the right ingredients for some culinary fun!
You will be accommodated in double rooms in a farmhouse in the commune of Le Mazeau. 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 is a perfect place for a well-deserved break. Situated in the Marais Poitevin marshland, this beautiful holiday home is simply impressive.
The house offers eight fantastic bedrooms, a stunning pool, and a superb al fresco dining area complete with wood-fired pizza oven, barbecue facilities, and plancha area to easily cook for large numbers. A handmade table happily accommodates your party and overlooks the gardens and river, perfect for a get-together. The house has recently been renovated to a very high standard with a charming and exceptionally-huge sitting room area.
The house sleeps up to 20 people. It has six double bedrooms and two bedrooms with twin beds for the little ones, with a further four bathrooms. The master bedroom is very large and is a perfect family room, with a double bed with a single bed, and an en-suite bathroom. There are three Z beds that can be moved around the property to suit your needs. There is also a travel cot and highchair available.
A delightful and welcoming kitchen with rustic terracotta floor, solid wood worktops, and handmade wooden table makes it easy to enjoy time while cooking a feast. Fully-catered evenings are also available. There is satellite television, Wi-Fi access, a dishwasher, washing machine, and parking lot. Towels and linens are also provided for your convenience.
The large heated swimming pool with alarm is also wonderful for families or groups to enjoy with a bespoke sitting area built alongside for relaxing. The local village is a 15-minute walk away with a bar, boulangerie, and cave. This village also has boat rentals for those who want to explore the many canals and rivers in the area. Fishing is possible in the canal running alongside the property.
In this cookery course, Alan would like to bring a mixture of fresh seasonal flavors to the table, influences from around many parts of the world, and a real taste of the past, as you cook outdoors in a wood fired oven and recapture true flavors and influences of a bygone era.
No matter what your culinary skill set may be, from the absolute novice willing to have a go, or a true aficionado of the kitchen, the journey and enjoyment of food will be about sharing, learning, and above all, having a memorable time as you prepare, cook, and feast upon a variety of recipes and dishes.
The region has a great deal to offer and as you will be based a stone’s throw away from some of the finest salt available, you will head to Ile de Re for a visit to the ancient salt marshes and see how they produce and harvest Fleur du sel.
Whilst there, you will take advantage of the local and much renowned Oyster beds, loved throughout the region, and maybe even take a peek at one of the most expensive spices in the world and the saffron. Needless to say, you are in France, so you will enjoy a delicious lunch and a taste of local delights cooked for you by one of the island's top chefs.
Back at the base and inspired by the fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, you will cook and prepare a few ancient recipes, which are rarely found on restaurants' menus, with influences dating back to the 15th century. This may include baked mussels covered in pine twigs, prepared in the wood fired oven and served with prefou, a bread cooked with fresh herbs and garlic butter.
At the same time, you will prepare and cook recipes that have Asian influences dating back to when France had sovereignty in Madras and Pondicherry in India, so expect exotic marinades with warming spices and succulent roast meats. Desserts will also come in to play, as well as some delicious local cheeses and a glass, or two, of wine.
During this holiday, you will visit the ancient salt marshes in Ile de Re to see how they produce and harvest Fleur du sel. There, you will take advantage of the local Oyster beds and maybe visit the saffron fields, if time allows.
This holiday will take place in La Mazeau, 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 Vendee coast and the many beautiful villages of Marais Poitevin. The desirable destination of Ile de Re 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.
During this holiday, you will enjoy daily meals, including a delicious lunch and a taste of local delights cooked for you by one of the island's top chefs. You will also have the opportunity to try dishes with influences dating back to the 15th century, such as baked mussels covered in pine twigs, prepared in the wood fired oven and served with prefou, a bread cooked with fresh herbs and garlic butter. Desserts will also come in to play, as well as some delicious local cheeses and of course a glass, or two, of wine.
During your free time, you can go boating, fishing, golfing, swimming, beach hopping, or exploring the nearby villages, cities, and attractions. Most importantly, you can relax and just focus on having a great time doing as much or as little as you would like.
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.
The nearest train station is Gare de Niort, located only 51 kilometers away.