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This workshop is a total learning experience giving you a true taste of Portugal: the oceans, beaches, harbors, and of course, the wonderful countryside and views that surround the New Forest Lodge. There are also plenty of fun activities for everyone to enjoy. New Forest Lodge groom and guides will be pleased to take you for a drive in one of the well sprung carriages, perhaps saddle a pony for you, or show you how to launch a canoe on the 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. They are a family concern, not part of a large, faceless holiday company and deal directly with their guests. They have only a few guest rooms, which are harmoniously sited within the original farm buildings. You will 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 colorful sub tropical flowers and shrubs.
The Seafood Master Class gives you a comprehensive introduction on how to select, prepare and cook a range of seafood. This includes de-bearding and cooking mussels; finding your way around various local clams; cooking and dressing crabs; grilling whole fresh fish using a wood-fired grill; preparing squid and octopus; selecting, gutting, descaling, filleting, and cooking fish; baking in a traditional wood oven; steaming; poaching; and sauce preparation.
The hands-on seafood cookery courses will take place in the kitchens of the Country Cooking School. During this holiday, you will also enjoy:
Frances and her husband restored the New Forest Lodge, an abandoned and sadly neglected stone built hill farm. Over the past few years they have been busy restoring stables, barns, and the ancient farm buildings, which now offer rustic but comfortable accommodation for their horses, guests, and family. Frances keeps her culinary skills up to scratch, running their Country Cooking School.
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.
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Watch and learn the almost forgotten techniques and recipes of 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, you shall explore elements of rural, rustic cooking that have stood the test of time. Sorry, no liquid nitrogen in the pantry. All the dishes you shall prepare will be seasonal and most of the ingredients will have been sourced from their own farm or local farmers markets. There at the farm, meals are an important part of the 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 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.
The New Forest Lodge offers horse-riding and carriage driving facilities for both the experienced rider to complete novice. They have stabling for a dozen horses. Their carriage barn holds five comfortable well-sprung vehicles of differing designs. They usually have at least one cart or carriage in the workshops for restoration and subsequent sale. They accept horses at livery or for breaking and training to harness.
At New Forest Lodge, they also train drivers of all ages. It is a surprisingly easy sport to start; they have had students from 5 to 85 and they have all enjoyed themselves, bringing horse, carriage and passengers safely home. They offer guided horseback trails of differing lengths from 1 hour to 1 week. They are a small family enterprise and can be very flexible. Their hospitality is second to none; they speak several European languages and are waiting to hear from you.
New Forest Lodge also arranges 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 barbecue site and riders and drivers can sample some of the mouthwatering products from our famous Country Cooking School.
The stables and horses, together with their unrivaled catering facilities and large comfortable dinning hall, part of an historic stone built long barn, form an unforgettable theme for parties and other events. They have hosted birthday parties for young and not so young and several corporate hospitality and team building events.
Book your flight to arrive at Faro Airport (FAO).
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