This creative and culinary retreat combines the wonders of rural Gascony and modern home comforts of a traditional French farmhouse and unbeatable wine experiences that will live with you forever. During this holiday, you will discover the secrets of painting with the passionate Argentinean artist, Florencia Cairo, take visits to beautiful vineyards for wine tasting sessions, enjoy tours to local French markets, and assist art exhibition galleries whilst exploring the region.
During this holiday, you will stay in a private or a shared room at the Baron-Figués Gite. The 150 year old farmhouse is in the lovely Gascony countryside with a renovated gite attached. It has been renovated to a high standard combining natural features with modern touches.
The farmhouse offers three beautifully appointed guest en-suite twin or double bedrooms, and one of the main attractions of this farmhouse is its large open plan traditional kitchen. Guests can sit around the homely table, that seats up to 14 guests, and share delicious meals prepared by Caroline’s husband. There are also no single supplements for solo travelers to have a private room.
Downstairs there is a spacious living area with satellite TV and music system, perfect for relaxing evenings. Outside there is a barbecue terrace and the farmhouse boasts its own private outdoor heated swimming pool.
Attached to the farmhouse is a recently renovated gite. The gite has been sympathetically restored to a very high standard and also contains two twin or double bedrooms. So if you are traveling as a group, this is ideally suited to your needs and offers the wonderful traditional French feel to it. If you are traveling solo, there’s nothing better than the farmhouse, where you will share the accommodation with Caroline and her husband, and meet like-minded people who share your passion for the French way of life.
During this painting holiday, you will improve your painting skills, enjoy warm hospitality, taste great food and wine, admire stunning surroundings, and learn skills to treasure for a lifetime. You will discover the secrets of painting with the Argentinean artist, Florencia Cairo in a beautiful region which will help to inspire your creative side.
Mornings will be spent at the gallery in Condom with Florencia for your art classes. Then, you will head off to lunch either at the farmhouse, or at a local restaurant. During afternoons, you will visit beautiful vineyards for wine tasting sessions, local French markets, an art exhibition gallery, and general sightseeing activities.
Dinner will be served back at the farmhouse giving you time to relax in the lounge or by the swimming pool. You could also use this time to take advantage of some of the on site activities such as table tennis or cycling. This holiday will be the perfect place to relax and unwind, and your hosts Adam and Caroline will be on hand at all times to ensure your stay is as enjoyable as possible. There are no single supplements for solo travelers, which makes this holiday fantastic for singles. The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes.
Upon arrival to Agen train station, you will be greeted by your friendly hosts before being driven to the farmhouse where your holiday will begin. You will settle into your delightful room before getting to know your fellow colleagues over delicious aperitifs. Then, 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 next few days.
You will start this day with a delicious breakfast at the local market and then take in the local scene. Your afternoon will consist of lunch by the pool, and a full day to relax as you wish, and either enjoy the on site facilities, or the countryside around you. Dinner will be held at the farmhouse.
During these days, you will enjoy a leisurely breakfast each morning and then be transfer to the Condom gallery for your painting course with Florencia. In these days, lunch will be at the farm house or in a local restaurant.
Afternoons will be for you to get inspired, either by visiting beautiful vineyards for wine tasting sessions, local French markets tours, art exhibitions, or general sightseeing. Dinner will be held at the farmhouse, with a free evening to do as you sit fit. You can either have a night on the town or enjoy one of the many facilities offered.
After breakfast, guests will be asked to check out by 10 a.m. You are welcome to relax and enjoy some free time if your flight is not until later in the day, before being taken to the airport or train station for your return journey.
Florencia Cairo was born in Argentina in 1972, and studied at the Facultad de Bellas Artes, at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Buenos Aires. She moved to Europe in 1992, where she began her career as a chef, food-stylist, and set-designer living and working in Geneva, London, and Paris.
After this painting holiday, you will return home with fabulous painting skills, beautiful unique memories, and new skills for a lifetime. Florencia’s workshops provide a supportive and informal space where you can find the freedom and encouragement to begin practicing fine arts. You will refine existing skills and try different medias, explore a range of techniques in painting, printmaking, and sculpture, while you develop a wider skill base helping to inject your emotions and ideas into your work.
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.
This holiday will take place at the Baron-Figués Gite in Gascony, South West France. Set in the heart of Gascony surrounded by 50 acres of private unspoiled meadows, the retreat is tucked away between the pilgrimage route to Saint Jacques de Compostelle and la Chevauchée d’Henri IV. Although the school is a rural retreat, the bustling picturesque towns of Nérac and Condom are within easy reach making it the perfect location for your holiday.
The landscape consists of lush meadows, rolling countryside, field upon fields of sunflowers, and deep woodland expanses, all with the Pyrenees mountains standing tall in the distance.
Gascony is an undiscovered region of South West France, so there’s no chance you’ll have to wrestle with crowds when you go to sample the wonders that make this region just that bit more special. While there, 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 indeed. And if you’re partial to a cheeky little treat, Gascony is one of the main producers of foie gras.
You can’t visit Gascony without trying out the fruits of the vine. Wherever you walk, you’ll be able to see the many vineyards sprawling over the hills and valleys, and discover the exquisite wines full of character.
During this holiday, you will enjoy three daily delicious meals with vegetarian options. Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be held in the farmhouse, local markets, or a restaurant. Dietary requirements can be accommodated and must be communicated to French Holidays Plus at the time of booking.
During this holiday, you will have free time for yourself. The location offers a range of extracurricular activities on site which include table tennis, a basketball court, shooting activities, archery sessions, cycling, and board games, among others.
Nearby there are numerous fêtes, music festivals, armagnac tasting options, and exhibitions in the surrounding areas through the year, and your host Caroline will be happy to advise you which ones are available during your stay.
You can also visit the Nérac and Condom towns or take an optional gourmet food course, and your host will be happy to suggest activities and provide transport should you wish to explore the towns during your stay.
Please arrive at the Agen train station. Transfer from and to this station is included. French Holidays Plus will pick you up from the station.
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