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Come to the Secret Garden, in France, where you will enjoy a wonderful cooking holiday tailored to your skills and experience. Rinus and Lesley Woermeijer welcome you to join them in their beautiful old farmhouse, dating from 1834, and orchard, tucked away in the Loir Valley of France, where you will work with Lesley, the chef and the teacher, during the day, in the various hands-on cooking sessions, and in the evening, you will enjoy the food you have prepared and cooked.
TheSecretGarden-France is set with in the grounds of L’Huiliere, a historic farmhouse dating before 1834, and the buildings and property have changed over the years. In early 2000, the stable was converted into a 2-bedroom gite, this being now the center of the cooking school. With the stable now hosting the large fully-equipped, open-plan kitchen on the ground floor with double height ceiling and traditional oak beams, the venue keeps the character of the building and period. There is a large dining / lounge area for relaxing and one of the four double / twin en-suite bedrooms.
The further three bedrooms are located in the newly converted barn; two bedrooms have double beds and the third one had twin beds. All three bedrooms have new en-suite shower rooms, again keeping to the character of style of the building. There is a small kitchen area so you can help yourself to tea and coffee.
The experience will include your arrival meal, where you will meet the others joining you for the cooking day.
Today, you will be treated to a traditional French breakfast. Then, you will head off to the kitchen for the day, where you will create fabulous food for lunch and sit down to enjoy your hard work. After lunch, you will reconvene and start on the preparation for your evening meal. Again, you will cook the meal and sit down and enjoy your hard work in a relaxing environment, with local wine and, of course, weather permitting, you will enjoy this outside in the sun drenched gardens.
Today, you will head off to the farmers' market to buy the ingredients for the day's cooking. You will have a walk around and then, stop off for a coffee. Later, you will head back to prepare and cook the meals for the day.
Enjoy a continental breakfast, before heading off back to your rooms to complete your packing and saying your farewells ready for departure by 11:00.
Courdemanche is a small village in the heart of Loire Valley, located 40 minutes south of Le Mans, famous for the 24-hour car racing circuit, and 50 minutes north of the University City of Tours; it is a blend of old and new town and fantastic city to enjoy the French life style.
The menus are based on French cooking with some European additions. They are developed on the requirements of the guests attending each of the courses, as Secret Garden caters for allergies and foods that people just will not eat. Examples of the meals you will be cooking during your cooking experience could be:
The nearest airport to the location is Tours Val de Loire Airport (TUF).
You can take the Eurostar to Paris and then, you can cross Paris and pick a train from Montparnasse to Le Mans, where Secret Garden can arrange a taxi pick-up for 75 EUR per person return, and if there are more than two people arriving at the same time, Secret Garden will re-calculate the price per person. Also, you can take the local bus to Brives.
Secret Garden can be reached by ferry from Calais, Le Havre, and Caen. The Eurotunnel offers cheap off-peak bookings and there are many ferry providers travelling to French ports.