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Portuguese Cooking Vacations

Join Frances and her team at the Country Cooking School and learn to cook real country dishes in a real farm kitchen. Learn to bake in a traditional wood oven. Learn to select the freshest young vegetables from our organic kitchen gardens, fed from an historic Moorish well. There are also plenty of fun activities for everyone to enjoy for non-cooking guests as well. 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.

Meet the instructors

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  • 5 cooking classes
  • Organic wine tour and tasting
  • 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
  • 7 nights accommodation


5 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.


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 days 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.



  • 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


Lat 37.2030

Long 8.7846

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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