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Butchery Cooking Workshop in Aljezur

Our residential cooking courses and classes are fully inclusive, with breakfast, a light healthy lunch and delicious diner with some excellent local wines. Enjoy our Country Cooking School workshop series: The Pig from Field to Table and discuss your itinerary. Staying with us, in our historic, comfortable stone built hill farm you will learn the techniques and skills needed to rear and care for pigs. To butcher and prepare for the kitchen every last morsel, how to prepare air dried hams, bacon and gammon and to make fresh and preserved sausages.

Meet the instructors

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  • 3 butchery cooking courses
  • Pre-dinner cocktail master class
  • Walking or 4x4 wildlife and foraging tour
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Meals with wines and beverages
  • Carriage ride in National Park
  • 4 nights accommodation


3 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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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.


We love our pigs. We love their contented grunts, their companionship and above all we love and appreciate the major role they play in helping us maintaining a balanced environment. We do however, also love the smell of a mouthwatering tender loin roasting in our wood oven with the irresistible sounds of crackling crisping in the heat, almost as much as bacon and our own sausages sizzling in the pan.

The giant air cured hams, slumbering contentedly in our rafters, waiting to treat us to the most delicious projunto ever tasted. Not a chemical or E number in sight. The satisfaction of eating our own produce safe in the knowledge that we know exactly what they have eaten and that no strange chemicals have been added into our very privileged food chain. We can not measure food miles, maybe they should rename the phenomenon food meters.

Most of the produce used in The Country Cooking School is grown, reared or caught on or very near the farm. At the New Forest Lodge we are all dedicated to preserving and maintaining the traditional methods of local agriculture and country life. It is our pleasure and privilege, to share these skills and the very best of the regions country cooking with our guests.

Unlike most of our other workshops and holiday courses that can start at any time, our Pig, from field to table, workshops and courses have to be pre-programmed. These are very hands on workshops so space is very limited and our supply of suitable aged pigs is not totally within our control. If you are interested in joining one of these events, get in touch with your preferred dates and duration and we will let you know the likely program for the next few months.

You will learn basic butchery and knife skills, you will work with Frances, learning to prepare a whole range of dishes using every part of the pig and some of our favourite traditional recipes. We will visit a local farmers market and see how local small producers offer an amazing range of preserved pork products.

Country Cooking School Meat Cooking Holiday Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival, farm visit, carriage drive

  • Arriving at the farm, a while to unpack, a welcome drink, a walk around the farm and stables with a brief outline of your program for the next few days.
  • Meet the pigs, help with the feed and a few pointers on care and handling.
  • Back to the stables for an evening carriage drive to try and spot some of the many families of wild pigs that share the forests of the National Park with us.
  • Back at the farm you will enjoy a superb diner, prepared by Chef Frances, to inspire you for your week of appreciation of our local pigs.

Day 2 - 4: Cooking classes, excursion, market visit

  • Butchery class: A busy day in which we prepare all the different cuts and joints, you will learn basic butchery and knife skills. Some of the best bits of the pig will rapidly disperser to the grill to feed the hungry butchers.
  • Preservation class: Today we concentrate on preservation, salting, curing and pickling some of the choice cuts. We often run out of salt so we shall visit the local organic sea salt producer who works out of a nearby estuary.
  • Meat class: Sausages, salamis, chorico, the names are as endless as the varieties, we shall produce some of the old favourites and experiment with some new flavours.
  • Excursions: A day away from the kitchens. You will visit Aljezur, with its amazing beaches and Roman castle and our local market. Then we drive over the mountains to the historic Caldas de Monchique Thermal Spa, where we shall sample what is undoubtedly the best Projunto, air dried ham served anywhere in Portugal, which means the world! On our return journey we shall stop in the vibrent harbour city of Lagos, with ample time to explore some of the many shops, museums, markets and pavement cafes that throng the narrow streets of the old town.
  • Grilling class: Back in the kitchens you will be introduced or reminded of many of the tradition country cooking techniques that we are using to deal with our pig. You will be baking in our ancient brick built wood oven, grilling over glowing embers and using a whole range of herbs and fresh vegetable, pick as you need them from the surrounding organic kitchen gardens.
  • Picnic and BBQ: Picnic Day. Help to prepare a delightful alfresco feast, using many of the dishes you have created over the last days. Packing the hampers on to one of our well sprung carriages we will drive down to one of the usually deserted nearby beaches to enjoy lunch in style. Afterwards returning to the farm for a farewell barbeque.

Day 5: Departure

  • Time to say goodbye. Relaxing on the breakfast terrace, appreciating the distant views over the sparkling ocean, listening to the bird song and the calming sounds of cow bells for the last time before your homeward journey.
  • A time to reflect on the new recipes and techniques you will be taking home with you along with a whole bunch of memories and perhaps a few new friends.


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. Your accommodation overlooks the sparkling Atlantic both to the south and west.

Just a 15 minute drive from the ancient harbour 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 hours drive from Faro Airport, 3 hours from Lisbon and 15 minutes from Lagos, a cosmopolitan harbour city so all amenities are to be found close at hand. We usually encounter more horses and bikes than cars and our silence is only disturbed by bird song.

Many friendly local villages and the quaint market town of Aljezur that can be visited by horse, carriage or even on foot, but a car does increase your range. The beach is 6 miles on the map but 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.



  • Horse riding / rental


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Multilingual staff

Things to do (optional)

Riders & Drivers on our farm trail. 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.

How to get there

Google Sat Nav

  • Lat 37.2030
  • Long 8.7846
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