Total of people that favorited this listing
A deliciously hands-on week for people who enjoy cooking and want to discover more about the food of France. You will be using the best of ingredients, locally sourced or fresh from the garden, to make the tastiest meals. Mornings in the kitchen with demonstrations by Alex and practical work. The optional afternoon sessions might even include preparing some of the dishes for the evening dinner. You will end up with a folder of fine recipes and a fresh approach to creating great French food.
LAge Baston has 20 acres of gardens, woods and meadows for you to enjoy; large paneled salons and a dining room with rare 17th century tapestry. The spacious bedrooms are decorated in traditional style; most are en-suite with modern bathrooms. All the rooms have lovely views. Take a dip in the solar heated salt-water pool, relax on the patio sun loungers, borrow a bike or a book, or enjoy a trip to the nearby historic town of La Rochefoucauld.
The entrance hall has beautiful Minton-style floor-tiles, paneled walls, and doors off to everywhere. Turn left and you come to the sitting room; bright, sunny and paneled with views of the courtyard at the back and of the terrace at the front. People often meet here for aperitifs. From here you go into the dining room with its 17th century Flemish tapestry. You have breakfast here and sometimes sumptuous candle-lit dinners when there is no feas held in the courtyard.
Continue on the ground floor and you reach the kitchen from whence cometh all good things to eat and drink. Slip upstairs by a 19th century walnut staircase and you find three of the charming bedrooms. One of the bedrooms has a delightful view over the drive and the others have lovely views over the courtyard. If you turn right out of the main hall you pass the main staircase and then the little library. Through yet another set of doors (there are 32 doors on the ground floor) and you come to the first French language rooms.
The walls are paneled and the floor tiles have ancient Sanskrit good luck symbols. This room also has a guest computer with internet access and printer. Next is the grand salon, a huge paneled room with original oil paintings and lots of mirrors. Blessed with beautiful views out over the front meadows and copse, the grand salon is sometimes used for French in daytime. There is UK and French TV, a DVD player and a Wii. Leading from the French room is your guest kitchen. Help yourself to teas, coffee and an almost constant supply of biscuits at any time, day or night.
Glide up the 17th century main staircase of oak to find five more of the delightful chteau bedrooms. These are en-suite double and twin rooms with beautiful beds, lush fabrics, antique furniture and old fireplaces. Each is an astute and comfortable blend of historic charm and modern comfort. Polished wooden floors, high ceilings and generous spaces give a period ambiance and the views into the courtyard and over the valley are outstanding. To wake refreshed in your bedroom at LAge Baston, with the morning light peeping through the shutters and the sounds of the house coming to life around you, is an experience to be treasured.
Just across the courtyard is the guardians house; an independent dependence complete with two bedrooms, bathroom and simple kitchen facilities. Ideal for friends coming together.
Your host and French country cooking tutor, Alexandra Waddington, has been resident boss of the L’Age Baston kitchens for the last 20 years. Her specialties are pastries, tarts, terrines and sauces and she favors dishes that have a distinctive regional character using produits de terroir like Pineau, Cognac, walnuts, saffron, soft and subtle goat cheeses, rillettes, canard (the list is quite extensive). Her repertoire is large and her recipe book is impressive. Her ability to create memorable meals from fresh, simple ingredients is outstanding.
This location will take place in Saint-Projet-Saint-Constant, France.
|Activities ||General ||Services|
All meals are prepared in-house using local fresh ingredients, wherever possible from the chteau garden. Keen to grow as many of the fruit and vegetables used in the kitchen as possible, Alex and John have plans to expand the garden plots and plant more fruit trees to compliment the crop of walnuts in the orchard.
Angoulmes old quarter - a visit to Angoulmes old quarter with beautiful little cobbled streets, exquisite boutiques, lovely pavement cafes and restaurants and super murals and trompe doeils on the buildings. You can walk the old city walls, known as the ramparts, take in the magnificent views across the valley to the river Charente
Aubterre tour - a lovely town with a famous church hewn out of solid rock
Brantome - the Venice of the Charente, rivers, caves, architecture
Canoeing - its a great way to get a perspective on the countryside and get a peek at riverside chteaux and mills. Theres always the chance of a Kingfisher or two. You get taken up stream to your point of launch with all the kit and then canoe back down to where you started. The river Charente and the Vienne are popular with longer distance canoeists while the river Tardoire is local and great fun for all canoeists from beginners upwards
Chteau of La Rochefoucauld - visit the ducal chteau that LAge Baston, swore fealty to. Home to the long line of dukes one of whom (Francois 6th) was the author of a world famous collection of bitter, cynical and misanthropic maxims. See the medieval kitchens, the solid 14th century square keep, fairytale style turrets, renaissance galleries and the superb, swirling Da Vinci staircase
Chteaux: de Peyras, de Bayers, Chalus
Chocolate making at Trois Palais - the chocolaterie Letuffe is an old established and highly reputable maker of fine chocolates and confectionary. They not only sell great chocolate but they do demonstrations and workshops that you can join in too. Its great, fun and you get to eat what you make
Cognac Distillery - there are lots to choose from and they all offer tastings. Before or after your tour, you can explore the town of Cognac, especially the old town with its narrow streets lined with medieval timber framed houses and handsome 16th century mansions that were once home to wealthy merchants
Cognac tour - tastings in the morning, explore the town or take a river trip in the afternoon
Cycling - bikes are available if you would like to cycle into La Rochefoucauld. Alternatively, you could borrow a map and head out further afield to discover the beautiful surroundings. Cycling around LAge Baston is great fun; not excessively hilly and with the traffic density of the UK like it must have been fifty years ago
Golf - there is a spectacular course at La Prze, just outside Montbron. Its a beautiful location with hills, woods and lakes. It offers a main 18-hole course, a driving range and 9-hole pitch and putt as well as a lovely club house. This is apparently a not unchallenging course. (Please note proof of handicap may be required to use the 18-hole course)
Futuroscope tour - science and technology theme park with spectacular exhibits and thrilling rides
Limoges tour - the center for fine porcelain and enamel work, the national Ceramics Museum, and the train station is a national treasure (theres a super little train right from La Rochefoucauld though an early start is required)
Sometimes the big Cognac houses are left in favor of one of the small artisan producers where you get a more intimate look into the mysterious alchemy of making Cognac
Piegut Pluviers market - visit the weekly Piegut Pluviers market in the Dordogne. This is one of the largest markets in the south-west of France. You will find everything here from artisan foods, arts and crafts, clothes and shoes to household goods right down to livestock. Whether you come to shop, taste, and paint or simply look, its a lovely morning out
Poitiers tour - historic, beautiful city where Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II in 1152
Sources of the Touvre - major resurgence and magical spring (trout as well)
The archeological park at Cassinomagus (Chassenon) - a roman baths and healing sanctuary
The medieval village of Tusson: rural life museum, exhibitions, herb gardens
The Moulin de la Verger Paper mill - genuine hand-made paper made by genuine characters
The prehistoric caves of Bandiat-Tardoire during the Summer excavation programs
Villbois Lavallette - A hilltop chteau overlooking a pretty little town that has a wonderful wooden open market building in the center and one of the least modernized cafes in France. Cafe Reunion is not to be missed
Walking - if you visit the chteau on the week when walking course is being run, you may join in on any of the morning guided walks for a local charge of 25 EUR. Most of the walks last 2.5 to 3 hours. If you visit when a course is not being run, LAge Baston would be very happy to loan you maps and offer suggestions on where to go and things to see
Chteau LAge Baston is approximately 7 hours from Calais and 5 hours from Caen. Guests travelling by car can plan their route via the AAs route planner or via Michelins route planner. If you enter your departure postcode and destination postcode (16110), the route planner will schedule your journey for you. You can also choose to set a via points if you wish to stop somewhere en route. The best time for you to arrive at LAge Baston is mid-afternoon.
The nearest airports to the location are Limoges - Bellegarde airport (LIG) or Bordeaux - Mrignac airport (BOD). LAge Baston will pick you up from any of these 2 airports. The pick-up is complimentary. If you arrive at Paris - Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG), then you can take the train to Angoulme where LAge Baston will pick you up. The pick-up is complimentary.
Eurostar from London St. Pancras via Lille or Paris, then TGV to Angoulme. Free collection service to Chteau LAge Baston. Please note that Eurostar and TGV reservations can only be made up to three months in advance of your departure date.