Combine learning two unique skills with a beautiful accommodation, delicious food and wine, expert instructions, and picturesque landscapes on this remarkable all-inclusive glass jewelry making and cooking holiday in southwest France. You will return home with fantastic memories, beautiful unique jewelry, and new skills to last a lifetime.
During your vacation, you will be accommodated at Baron-Figués, which is a part of a gorgeous 150-year old farmhouse. One of the main attractions of this house is its large and open traditional kitchen.
The accommodation combines the wonders of rural Gascony, modern home comforts of a traditional French farmhouse, and unbeatable food and wine experiences that will stay with you forever.
Set in 50 acres of meadow and woodlands, this gite has been restored to a very high standard. The pool is heated from June to September and is tended weekly, as well as the gardens.
Inside the rooms, bed linen and towels are changed weekly and there is a cleaning service available. There are also no single supplements for solo travelers to have a private room.
Onsite, activities include table tennis, basketball, shooting, archery, cycling, board games, or just relaxing. Close by, you can enjoy just about anything, like walking, golf, tennis, horse riding, kayaking, karting, theme parks, shopping, wine and Armagnac tasting, casinos, and much more.
The gite is arranged over two floors and 95 square meters. Downstairs, there is a very spacious living area with satellite television, DVD, Wi-Fi, and a music system. There is a fully equipped kitchen and double patio doors opening onto the barbecue terrace and the pool area. Upstairs, there are two large double bedrooms with ensuite and far reaching views.
The gite is arranged over two floors and 145 square meters. Downstairs, there is a very spacious living area with satellite television, DVD, Wi-Fi, and a music system. There is also a fully equipped kitchen and double patio doors opening onto the barbecue terrace and the pool area. Upstairs, there are three large double bedrooms, two en-suite, all with far reaching views. This gite has a separate bathroom and toilet.
You will arrive at Agen train station and be greeted by your hosts before being driven to the farmhouse where your holiday begins. You will settle into your charming room before getting to know your fellow students over delicious aperitifs. You will enjoy a social evening with a three-course gourmet dinner served in the farmhouse kitchen, along with a short introduction from your hosts about what to expect over the following few days.
After breakfast, you will go to a local and delightful village market to explore the area and discuss your first project designs with the rest of the group and your tutor, Caroline. You will then return home to begin your first jewelry making class.
You will begin with an introduction to glass fusing, including cutting skills and technical information. Caroline will teach you the basic techniques of using glass to give you maximum freedom to develop your own designs.
Throughout the day, you will experiment with glass, glass frits, powders, and molds. The course will encourage you to think creatively about how the jewelry will be worn. Students will be shown how to create holes and fittings incorporated as part of the fused piece and will also experiment with attaching fittings and bails.
In the late afternoon, you will visit a beautiful chateau, famous for its aperitifs and wines, for an afternoon of wine tasting. Dinner will be served back at the farmhouse, giving you time to relax in the lounge or by the swimming pool or to take advantage of one of the onsite activities. such as table tennis and cycling.
After a leisure breakfast, you will learn to make your first glass bead or glass earrings using the torch technique. Lunch will be served by the pool or in the farmhouse kitchen, with views of the countryside all around to help inspire your creative side.
After lunch, you will continue to improve your glass skills including assembly, inclusions, kiln firing, and slumping techniques. You will gain confidence in choosing colors and designs to make your own unique glass pieces.
In the early evening, you will visit a family-run Armagnac distillery, which Gascony is famous for, and learn how it is made, the history behind it, and more importantly, taste the Armagnac and local produce. A three-course gourmet meal will then be served back at the farmhouse kitchen, accompanied by local delicious wines.
You will have a free day to spend at your leisure. Choose to spend more time perfecting your metal clay techniques and working on your jewelry in the studio or take the time to relax by the swimming pool with a good book. All meals are included for this day. You may enjoy a well-earned rest before your cookery experience begins.
After breakfast, it will be time to enter the kitchen and begin your culinary experience. Your host and chef, Adam, will be hands-on at all times to ensure that you will learn as much as possible during the informal and fun cookery lessons and culinary excursions.
Adam will accompany you on a culinary excursion which will be confirmed upon arrival, depending on the group’s preference and the season. Your visit may include any of the following: a local duck farm, a butcher's shop, a boulangerie or patisserie, a vineyard, an Armagnac producer, a cheese maker, a chocolatier, a prune producer, an organic farm, or a charcuterie.
You may also take an accompanied tour of the cultural and historical sights surrounding the school, including Auch Cathedral, Chateau Henri IV, Collégiale at La Romieu, or the art gallery at the Abbaye de Flaran.
After returning to the farmhouse, you will enjoy a leisure lunch before your first cookery lesson. Adam will teach you how to create a delicious three-course French menu. After your lesson, you will enjoy a group dinner made of the dishes you have prepared in the kitchen, with a well-deserved glass of wine.
After breakfast, Adam will accompany you on another culinary excursion to awaken your senses, introduce you to the local life, and ignite your passion for fresh, local food. Afterward, you will return to the farmhouse to enjoy a light lunch before re-entering the kitchen for your second cookery course.
You will learn to cook delicious country meals with Adam, with just a little show and a lot of passion, as you will learn about real French food and how to prepare, cook, and serve it. The dinner will consist of tasting the delicious French dishes you have learned to cook. You will have a discussion about where to go the next day for your day excursion around the beautiful location.
You will relax with a delicious breakfast before heading out on a fun excursion for the day, to a location of your choice. Your hosts will take you to either Dune de Pila, Bordeaux, the Pyrenees mountains, or Biarritz, depending on the group's preferences. You will explore the stunning scenery, relax, and enjoy lunch. You will return home for your final dinner, where you will reflect on the week and how much you have learned.
After breakfast, you will be asked to check out by 10:00 a.m. You are welcome to relax and enjoy some free time if your flight is not until later that day, before being taken to the airport or train station for your return journey.
The itinerary is only for guidance and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes. This holiday can be tailored to meet the needs of the group. Whether it is private helicopter transfers or special private tours, please contact French Holiday Plus to discuss your personal requirements and your holiday is ensured to be exactly how you want it to be.
On the second day, you will visit a beautiful chateau, famous for its aperitifs and wines. On the third day, you will visit a family-run Armagnac distillery to learn how it is made and taste the famous drink.
On the fifth day, there will be a culinary excursion with Adam to either a duck farm, butcher's shop, pastry shop, vineyard, cheese maker, chocolatier, prune producer, or charcuterie. Also, there may be a tour of the cultural and historical sights surrounding the school, such as Auch Cathedral, Chateau Henri IV, Collégiale at La Romieu, or Abbaye de Flaran.
On the seventh day, your hosts will take you on a trip to either Dune de Pila, Bordeaux, the Pyrenees mountains, or Biarritz.
Caroline and her husband, Adam, have decided to leave their comfortable life in Kent and headed off for a new adventure in France with their four young children. The summers spent vacationing by the Mediterranean had instilled in them a love for the outdoor life. Looking back, this was probably madness, as they had little knowledge of France and no real idea of what they were coming to. Caroline, a qualified teacher for over 20 years, loves her work running PMC Studio France. She enjoys meeting fascinating people from all over the world who come to learn or enjoy a relaxing holiday.
After working in global consulting and finance, Adam jumped at the chance to rebalance his life more in favor of family. Adam's passion for food and wine has been cultivated during these early years and he has honed his skills over the last decade living in “Garden of France”, an area rich in gastronomic delights, fabulous wines, and amazing Armagnacs. For Adam, cooking is a journey through the senses. Next to him, you will understand how local produce is made and the traditions behind it.
By the pilgrimage route to Saint Jacques de Compostelle and la Chevauchée d’Henri IV, this holiday will take place in the heart of beautiful Gascony, between the lively towns of Nérac and Condom. Lush meadows, rolling countryside, fields of sunflowers, and deep woodland, all with the Pyrenees mountains standing tall in the distance, is what to expect from this unique holiday in France.
Gascony is an undiscovered region in southwest France, so there is no chance that you will have to wrestle with crowds when you go to sample the wonders that make this region so special. You will quickly learn why Gascony is famed for its sumptuous local produce and seasonal recipes and you will realize that the locals take their food very seriously.
Gascony is one of the main producers of foie gras, which is not just a mouth-watering food you have to look forward to. You can't visit Gascony without trying out the fruits of the vine. Wherever you walk, you will be able to see the many vineyards sprawling over the hills and valleys and discover that the wines are individual, full of character, and exquisite.
The venue is located in an area famous for its gastronomy. Surrounded by opportunities to visit markets, chateaux, and domains, you can enjoy sampling the local food, wine, and Armagnac before settling into a relaxing meal at one of the many restaurants, from auberge to Michelin star.
Throughout the year, there are numerous fetes, music festivals, and exhibitions. Further afield, day trips will allow you to enjoy the beach on the Atlantic or Mediterranean coast, skiing, surfing, and rafting.
During this cooking holiday, you will be served daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Drinks and tastings are also included in the price. You will have the chance to enjoy a three-course gourmet dinner along with delicious wine. You will go to a local delightful village market to explore the gastronomy of the area. During your cooking lessons, Adam will teach you how to cook a delicious three-course French menu.
All extracurricular activities in this holiday are free. So, if you do not feel like taking a trip after your lessons, you can try onsite table tennis, basketball, horse riding, shooting, archery, and cycling, or you may just like to relax by the heated pool with a glass of soul-warming Armagnac. There is also a great selection of board games that will amuse you during the warm nights and let you enjoy the company of other guests.
Please book your flight to arrive at Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD). Airport transfers are available upon request and at extra cost.
The closest train station is Agen train station. French Holidays Plus will pick you up from the train station. The pickup is included in the price.
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