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Enjoy a short but informative baking holiday staying at the Country Cooking School. Frances and her team will make this a fascinating short but informative break. You will enjoy superb meals prepared using home or local produce, served with an excellent selection of Portuguese wines or juices. There are also plenty of fun activities for everyone to enjoy not included in this package. New Forest Lodge groom and guides will be pleased to take you for a drive in one of our well sprung carriages, perhaps saddle a pony for you, or show you how to launch a canoe on our lake, or show you the beautiful nature trails.
The New Forest Lodge is first and foremost a family farm where people and animals coexist in a mutually beneficial environment. We are a family concern, not part of a large, faceless holiday company and deal directly with our guests. We have only a few guest rooms, which are harmoniously sited within the original farm buildings.
Youll stay at the New Forest Lodge or one of the nearby superbly restored foresters cottage. The Lodge is home to a herd of carriage horses and riding ponies and a small organic farm. 50 acres of woodland and paddocks surrounding the beautiful farm yard gardens and vegetable plots, which are shaded by colourful sub tropical flowers and shrubs.
Join your New Forest Lodge hosts, Frances and her team, and experience cooking in an historic, comfortable, stone built Portuguese farmhouse. Learn to bake in their family kitchen with a fully restored wood ovens and ranges. Relax and sit back with a glass of chilled wine, look out over the forests to the distant ocean, and watch eagles soar overhead. It's like a casual country cottage weekend with a serious baking theme, and suitable even for those who have never baked before.
This program includes a full day and a half day cooking or baking courses. During this holiday, you will also enjoy:
The Country Cooking School is housed in The New Forest Lodge on the edge of the Cabo Vincentina National Park, an incredible, almost traffic free, natural reserve, a peninsular, enclosed by the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. We usually encounter more horses, bikers and hikers than cars and our silence is only disturbed by bird song. Your accommodation overlooks the sparkling Atlantic both to the south and west.
We are just a 20-minute drive from the ancient harbor of Lagos where you can find boatmen to take you dolphin watching or a short voyage, past the cliffs and caves, to Cape St Vincent, the south west tip of Europe. This helps to explain or extraordinarily mild climate with well over 300 day a year sunshine. We are about an hour drive from Faro airport or 3 hours from Lisbon airport.
Many friendly local villages and the quaint market town of Aljezur can be visited by horse or carriage, but a car does increase your range. The beach is 6 miles on the map but its a very long walk! The number of spectacular surfing beaches and cliff top paths makes our farm an ideal center to explore the southwest tip of Europe.
Watch and learn the almost forgotten techniques and recipes of our forbearers. Enjoy cooking in a relaxed and friendly farmhouse kitchen, forget the stress of modern life, step back in time and experiment with an ancient brick built wood fired dome oven.
Savor the flavor of today's catch, grilling on a wood fired range and seasoned with herbs picked straight from the gardens surrounding the cook's house. See how your food arrives at the table in rural Portugal, life travels very slowly and food miles come at a heavy price!
Each day we shall explore elements of rural, rustic cooking that have stood the test of time. Sorry, no liquid nitrogen in our pantry. All the dishes we shall prepare will be seasonal and most of the ingredients will have been sourced from our own farm or local farmers markets.
Here at the farm, meals are an important part of our day. Not only is it a chance for family, friends and guests to sit down together and share experiences but is also an opportunity to sample the superb dishes you have helped to prepare cooked with our freshly picked, home grown or locally sourced ingredients.
Part of your experience will include a trip to the market to soak up the local atmosphere and see the freshest of fish and vegetables. Regardless of your experience and ability, whether you are here for a day workshop or an all inclusive stay, there will always be something for you.
From the New Forest Lodge we offer horse riding and carriage driving facilities for both the experienced rider to complete novice. We have stabling for a dozen horses. Our carriage barn holds five comfortable well-sprung vehicles of differing designs. We usually have at least one cart or carriage in the workshops for restoration and subsequent sale. We accept horses at livery or for breaking and training to harness.
We also train drivers of all ages. It is a surprisingly easy sport to start; we have had students from 5 to 85 and they have all enjoyed themselves, bringing horse, carriage and passengers safely home. We offer guided horseback trails of differing lengths from 1 hour to 1 week. We are a small family enterprise and can be very flexible. Our hospitality is second to none; we speak several European languages and are waiting to hear from you.
We also arrange horse riding and carriage driving adventures together, a great advantage for groups of differing abilities and fitness. These guided trails often end up at a picnic or barbeque site and riders and drivers can sample some of the mouthwatering products from our famous Country Cooking School.
Our stables and horses, together with our unrivalled catering facilities and large comfortable dinning hall, part of an historic stone built long barn, form an unforgettable theme for parties and other events. We have hosted birthday parties for young and not so young and several corporate hospitality and team building events.