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Join Country Cooking School workshop series: The Pig from Field to Table. 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. Our residential courses and classes are fully inclusive, with breakfast, a light healthy lunch, and delicious dinner with some excellent local wines.
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.
You'll stay at the New Forest Lodge or one of the nearby superbly restored foresters cottages. 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. 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 house. Visit the quay sides and bustling fish markets, learn how your food arrives at the table. In rural Portugal, life travels very slowly and food miles come at a heavy price. We cannot 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.
You will learn basic butchery and knife skills and 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.
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.
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.
The Country Cooking School shares its home with a busy stables and you will be able to learn how to prepare delicious healthy feasts for hungry riders. Presentation is important to any cook and Head Chef Frantic Fran is pleased to share her secrets with you.
At the end of the day, you will join your fellow chefs, other guests, and the family to taste and enjoy the superb dishes you have helped to prepare. The peace and tranquility of the farm, provide the perfect platform to sit back and look out over the ocean and watch eagles soar overhead, whilst sipping a chilled glass of our world famous vinho Verde. 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. 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 hour 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 birds singing.
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.
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 dishes cooked with our freshly picked, home grown, or locally sourced ingredients.
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.