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Authentic Cooking Vacations France

Join a combined culinary vacation of patisserie perfection and traditional French cooking. This holiday is perfect for you if you have a passion for cooking and backing and would like to learn some new tips and secrets from the chefs. You will also compare your own creations to local products from the patisseries and see what the difference between the two is. The various techniques that you will learn, will definitely broaden your knowledge and skills in the kitchen!


  • Best cooking classes
  • Pastries cooking workshop
  • Go to the market and visit some local producers
  • Stop at a local patisserie to sample a few classics
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Train station transfers


4 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:


  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Lobby
  • Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Free bicycle
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking lot

Despite the derelict state of this 1850 stone farmhouse, when Le Gargantua Cooking & Patisserie Holidays in France was first seen in 2004 by its actual owners, it was love at first sight. It was renovated it for three years, keeping all the original features and eventually opening in 2007. Bedrooms are situated on the first floor.

Four spacious and comfortable double bedrooms with an average size of 22 square meters (227 square foot), all with private en-suite facilities. Furnishings and decoration are of traditional French country style. The house and bedrooms have bags of character, with exposed stone walls and sloping ceilings, showing original oak beams. The perfect mix of rusticity and elegance.

Pantagruel room (twin beds)

Pantagruel is a cozy twin bedroom perfect for friends to share. Melusine and Pantagruel are adjoining rooms and can be attributed to a family room.

Grangousier room (double bed)

Grangousier is a large bedroom with double bed and traditional French rustic furniture. The leather armchairs provide a perfect way to relax after your cooking or patisserie session.

Gargamel room (double bed)

Gargamelle is spacious bedroom complete with pine wood double bed and furniture that compliments the warm country feel.

Melusine room (four-poster double bed)

Melusine is a sizeable bedroom with a romantic four-poster bed. The French windows look out to the rolling fields of the countryside.

The bedrooms are situated on the first floor, therefore the house is unfortunately unsuitable for wheelchairs. Pets, even ours, are not allowed in the guests area. There is a strict no-smoking policy inside the house.


Day 1, Sunday - Arrival

Arrival from 16:00. You will settle in your room and meet your host for drinks and canapes at 19:00. to discuss the program. You then enjoy a three-course dinner.

Day 2 and 3, Monday and Tuesday - Cooking course

You will leave after breakfast to go to a market or visit a producer, to get your ingredients. You will also make a few detours on the way to see the pretty villages of the area. You will come back for lunch.

At 13:00, you will meet in the kitchen, where everyone gets involved in a real team effort to prepare dinner. You will cook for about three hours and then get some time to relax or to drive to town. You will meet for an aperitif at 19:00, and head back to the kitchen for the last minute prep if necessary.

You are invited to pop into the kitchen to plate up each course, but you can do as little or as much as you like: your holiday, so your time, your rhythm!

Day 4, Wednesday - Patisserie course

After breakfast, you will go to a local patisserie to sample a few classics with a nice cup of coffee. This will give you a precise idea of the presentation, you will be aiming for when you reproduce them in the kitchen. You come back for lunch.

At 13:00 you will meet in the kitchen, to create your own pastries, which will be served for dessert that very same night. You will be in the kitchen until about 16:00, so you will get some time to relax before you will meet up at 19:00 for an aperitif followed by dinner.

Day 5, Thursday - Patisserie course

After breakfast, you will meet in the kitchen to start baking. You will stop for lunch and get back to the kitchen to finish the pastries. You will then again get some time to relax before the aperitif and dinner. Once again, your creations will be served for dessert that very same night.

Day 6, Friday - Departure

The room is yours until 11:00 if you have your own vehicle; but drop off at Tonneins train station is for the 08:10 train.

The order of days may vary. The French cooking course excursions may depend on the season and on their availability, you will visit some producers among the following: honey producer, duck farm, chocolatier, prune farm, winemaker, fish farm, as well as producers markets.

Children are more than welcome (they only have to be tall enough to reach the workbench) under their parent's supervision.


This holiday will take place in Anzex, Lot-et-Garonne, France. Lot-et-Garonne is known as the Garden of France. The landscape is quite unspoiled, nature and wildlife are preserved, and agriculture is thriving. The surrounding colors are the ones of wheat and sunflower fields, vineyards, and the deep green of the pine forest of the Landes de Gascogne.

The guesthouse is located in the tiny village of Anzex, surrounded by glorious sunflower fields, only a couple of minutes drive away from the pine forest of the Landes de Gascogne. It enjoys a very pleasant climate, mostly dry and sunny.

This is a land of eventful history, featuring Richard the Lion Heart, the Musketeers, and Henry IV. Many old stones still stand silent witnesses of the region's historical heritage. Discover the Gallo-Roman relics, Romanesque churches, the impressive castles, and the old wash-houses.

Nearby places

  • Bordeaux - 1 hour
  • Casteljaloux market - 10 minutes
  • Toulouse - 1 hour and 30 minutes



  • Cooking classes
  • Wine tasting


  • Dining area
  • Lounge
  • Terrace


  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hair dryer


During this culinary holiday, guests will receive daily lunch, breakfast, and three-course dinner. Your daily continental breakfast will consist of bread and croissants, fresh fruit, coffee, English tea, cereals, yogurts, home-made jams, and local honey. Lunches and three-course dinners will include wine. You will also enjoy a house aperitif before dinner.

Gascony cuisine

People of Lot-et-Garonne, and the south-west, in general, love their food and love it traditional. The local cuisine is probably the most diverse in France, as it was influenced by the nearby cuisines of the Basque country, Perigord, Limousin, Languedoc, Pyrenees Mountains, and the Atlantic Coast. The closest to an accurate description of the local food is a hearty, peasant, tasty, beautiful for its simplicity, satisfying, interesting, and honest, without compromise.

Lot-et-Garonne is known as the land of the geese, the fat ducks, and their foie gras. But it is also known as the land of game, cups mushrooms, prunes, gariguette strawberries, sweet melons, white asparagus, and Marmande tomatoes. Your daily continental breakfast will consist of bread and croissants, fresh fruit, coffee, English tea, cereals, yogurts, home-made jams, and local honey. Lunches and three-course dinners will include wine.

On the wine side, this is the region of Buzet, Cotes du Marmandais, Cotes de Duras, Cotes du Brulhois, Vin de Pays de Gascogne, and Vin de Pays de l'Agenais. The first vines of Buzet are about half a mile away from Le Gargantua cooking school. Local markets are exceptional for the abundance, variety, and quality of the produce. They are so lively, and the traders care about their food very much. It is such a pleasure to walk around, smell, feel, and even taste the food!


The scenery is changing: yellow, orange, and brown appear all around as nature is getting ready for winter. This is the return of the pot-roasts, the season of game and fat duck. The whole region catches the "blue disease" (this is how they call the hunt for wood pigeons). When possible, you will enjoy evenings outside, gathered around the outdoor chimney. The cookery courses include pts, rillettes, coq au vin, rabbit in prunes, quails, tarte Tatin, and other delicacies. You will also make the best of the local apples, hazelnuts, grapes, and figs.


This is the time of year when nature wakes up, flowers start blooming, new vegetables appear, and everything gets colorful again, including your plates. During spring, among many other ingredients, you can cook with the organic asparagus, grown by Le Gargantua neighbor, prepare succulent desserts with the local gariguette strawberries, starting in April, and make the best of the beautiful farm-bred poultry. Classic spring dishes include navarin of lamb, blanquette de veal, veloute of asparagus, strawberry tart, and poule aux pot.


Summer in Lot-et-Garonne is quite hot, so be prepared. You will make the best of the abundant fruit and vegetables that you will pick from local markets or Le Gangantues own garden. During your cooking classes, you could prepare the Basque fish soup (the "cousin" of the bouillabaisse), make terrines, fresh pasta, souffls with local goat cheese, tart with the garden peaches, and cherry clafoutis. You could also smoke salmon or trout. The weather is also perfect to prepare beautiful sweet iced parfaits, chilled mousses, and bavarois.


At this time of year, you need to come back to a cozy home, enjoy the warmth of the comfort food, and give in your appetite for rich soups, stews, and other belly-warmers. It is also time to make good use of the local kiwis, pumpkins, squashes, apples, and root vegetables. At this time of year, you need to come back to a cozy home, enjoy the warmth of the comfort food, and give in your appetite for rich soups, stews, and other belly-warmers.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • 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)

Your time off will basically be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., after the cooking sessions. You can relax in your room, or in the lounge, or even in the garden, with a good book for a little siesta. Of course, if you have a car, you can explore the area, there are nice places to see not far from the location. There are some bikes on site that you can use across the surrounding countryside.

Atlantic Ocean Coast

Grab a picnic and spend the day on the coast. Nature parks, water theme park, and near Arcachon, you can see and climb the highest sand dune in Europe: Grande Dune du Pyla, 107 meters high. There is a breathtaking view from the top, on the ocean, Landes forest, and even the Pyrenees Mountains, if the sky is clear enough.


Of course, everyone recognizes the name as being one of the best-known wine appellation in the world. But Bordeaux is so much more! A breathtaking city, listed as world heritage. There are so many different faces to Bordeaux, that everyone can be charmed. Stunning architecture, great shopping, beautiful food, and wonderful museums. Although Bordeaux is the fifth largest city in France, it has a real village feel to it, and you will love wandering its old cobbled streets or walking the beautiful promenade along the river.


It was one of the four capitals of the region. It is bordered by pine forests and it is a pretty market town. Discover the charming Maison du Roy, used by the office of tourism, the impressive church Notre Dame and the original 15th-century colombages, with timber, stone and bricks faades, as you wander down the narrow back alleys. Spend a day on the beach at the lake of Clarens, enjoy the colorful farmers market on Tuesdays and Saturdays, have a little fun at the casino, play a round of golf or get pampered at the thermal spas.

Lud's Parc in Nrac

Several pools, each with their own features, jets, relaxation, paddling, bubbles, and slides, in a Roman style, surrounded by greenery and mineral beaches. You will find a snack bar on site.


The southwest of France is the ideal place for golfing, it has it all: beautiful settings, lovely weather, and great courses. You have a choice between the following two local courses:

  • Casteljaloux with 18 holes, par 72, 6468 yards long, putting green and driving range. It is located next to the charming lake of Clarens, bordered by the pine forest of the Landes, and offers panoramic views.
  • Golf d'Albret, Barbaste with 18 holes, par 72, 6384 yards long, putting green and driving range. Also surrounded by the Landes forests, this course is very hilly. You might see deer or hares between the mature oak and willow trees. Magnificent views of nearby villages, vineyards, and forests.

Hiking and biking

Le Gargantua Cooking & Patisserie Holidays in France will be happy to provide you with maps of the hiking and biking trails, approved and maintained by the tourism authorities. It is a superb way to discover the region. There are many loop circuits around here, and bike rides are particularly nice along the canal lateral, in the shade of the secular plane trees.

Horse riding

There are two riding centers within 15 minutes distance from the house. They organize rides in the country, in the forest, and outings with horse and carriage.


Superb 13th century fortified village, selected as one of the prettiest villages in France. Take a stroll around the square under the arcades, and admire the condition of this exceptional historical legacy, as well as the breathtaking view from the top of the fortification.


This beautiful town became the capital of the Navarre region in the 16th century, under the influence of the royal family of Albret. Nrac is surrounded by the vineyards of Buzet and Base River runs through it. Nicely preserved and maintained, a walk through the old town takes you back in time.

You will also find in Nerac the chocolaterie La Cigale which inspired the author Joanne Harris for her bestseller, chocolate, later transformed into the film starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. Take a stroll in the royal park of La Garenne, visit the remaining wing of Henry IV's castle, now a museum, the imaginary castle, the fortified four-tower mill in nearby Barbaste, or go for a cruise on the river.


This stunning medieval city is listed by Unesco world heritage is a must-see for its location, its historical monuments, its vineyards, and numerous Grands Crus. There is plenty to do and see. You will be particularly busy if you like a bargain, as there are vide-greniers (boot fairs / flea markets) in the nearby towns and villages several times a week in the summer.

Most towns and villages have their own celebration day with all sorts of games and events and the day ends with a big banquet, which is generally a themed one like snails, sardines, paella, and barbeque.


You can vary your swimming locations in Casteljaloux: the lake of Clarens and its sandy beach, the thermal spa center with its various heated pools, and finally the public open-air swimming pool, which is open from June to September and its four olympic pools (25 meters, paddling, and diving).

What's included

  • Welcome drinks and canapés
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Linen and towels for the duration of your stay
  • Coffee and English tea making facility in your room
  • Continental breakfast every day
  • Lunch every day
  • House aperitif before dinner
  • 3-course dinner every night
  • Wine with lunch and dinner
  • Cooking workshop, all ingredients, equipment, and apron
  • Recipe folder to take home
  • Water, tea, coffee, and cold drinks throughout the day
  • Outings, tasting, and entrance fees
  • Free Wi-Fi connection
  • Free use of bikes for a ride in the countryside
  • Free collection and drop-off from and to Tonneins train station if needed

What's not included

  • Airfares
  • Insurance
  • Additional excursions
  • Laudry
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from A62 motorway, between Bordeaux and Agen

Get off the motorway at exit number 6 (Aiguillon)

Follow the sign to Casteljaloux on the road D8

Get onto the D11 to Casteljaloux, for about eight kilometers (five miles)

Turn right onto the D120 towards Anzex / Villefranche (do not turn left into Anzex)

The house is on that very road, about two kilometers from the junction, on the left-hand side

Driving directions from Casteljaloux

Follow the sign to Agen

Take a left onto the D11 towards Damazan / Anzex, for about five miles

Turn left onto the D120 towards Anzex / Villefranche (do not turn left into Anzex)

The house is on that very road, about two kilometers from the junction, on the left-hand side

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport (BOD) and Bergerac Dordogne Perigord Airport (EGC). Rental cars are available from both these airports.

Arrival by shuttle

There is a shuttle service between Bordeaux-Merignac Airport (BOD) and Bordeaux train station, called Jet Bus. Departing from terminal B (arrivals level) at the airport, the Jet Bus shuttle connects Bordeaux-Merignac Airport (BOD) to Bordeaux train station, via the city center every hour, seven days a week. The ride from start to finish lasts around 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

Arrival by train

You can catch a Eurostar from London to Paris, or a fast train from most cities in Europe to Paris. You then need to get to Paris Montparnasse station, to catch a train to Bordeaux or Agen. The Lot-et-Garonne local train station is Tonneins. There are TGV (fast trains) or slower regional trains coming to Tonneins from Bordeaux or Agen. There is approximately one train every hour.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 10% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
6 days / 5 nights
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This holiday is available from February to November with arrival on Sundays.

Friday June 24, 2022
(6 days / 5 nights)

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