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Join Wilde Kitchen's 18th-century farmhouse kitchen. Cook simple dishes, taste local produce, embrace a soupon of culture in a fun and interesting atmosphere. Seize a private cooking session with chef Sinad, use local produce, and delight a gourmet French three-course meal, while you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take home of the recipes cooked, with full guidance of chef and home economist Sinead and learn some superb French and Normandese dishes along beautiful surroundings!
Once surrounded by wheat fields, La Blonderie was thereby given its name. Prior to the French Revolution, in 1789, the property was called Le Manoir de Benositville (Benoistville Manor House). When aristocracy became unpopular in 1789, the main house was burnt by its owners in an attempt to prevent local peasants from taking it over. The name was changed that year to take unwanted attention away from the house. The boulangerie (bake house), was in fact built in that famous year and the date engraved on the main beam is still visible today. Unfortunately, during the Normandy landings of 1944, all local archives were destroyed during the bombing of Valognes, making information on the history of La Blonderie fairly limited. It is known, however, that the main house was later renovated, in 1812 (the date is also engraved on an oak beam in the dining room), and again by Wilde Kitchen in 2000!
Located in converted barns, in what once were the domestic living areas and haylofts, across the garden from La Blonderie, the main house, Wile Kitchen guest rooms are comfortable and attractively decorated, each with its own style. All guest rooms have tea and coffee-making facilities, hairdryers, ample parking, and free internet access. As perfect base for exploring the delights of Normandy, Wilde Kitchen encourages guests to visit the area or simply enjoy the peace and quiet of La Blonderie. Most guests have become acquainted with three-legged Tom, the cat, Gina the daschund dog, and Java, the mare.
Proud to be included in Lonely Planet in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and chosen among the best 200 guesthouses in France in 2013 (Figaro Magazine), La Blonderie can comfortably accommodate up to eight people in renovated guest rooms. Renovated in 2009, the self-catering apartment, Le Fenil, meaning hayloft, has two en-suite bedrooms, a large living area, and a deck with great views over the lush Norman countryside. This apartment is perfect for groups of four. La Porte Bleue (the blue door), situated on the ground floor, has its own front door and patio area. Once a stable for Java, a Lusitanian horse, and in earlier times a sleeping area for staff, La Porte Bleue was renovated in 2011 and a kitchenette was added in 2013. The romantic Maids Quarters, located on the first floor, also with its own front door at the top of an outside granite stairs, typical of the area, was renovated in 2010. It has a double bed and en-suite bathroom, as well as a mezzanine area with a single bed (little house on the Prairie may well spring to mind!). While smaller than the other rooms, there is a certain charm and coziness about it.
During this hands-on cookery course, you will find the tastiest of artisans food, sample whatever the passionate producers offer, and help choose some really fresh produce for your cookery session. Afterwards, you will be met at La Blonderie for a hands-on cookery class. Then, the fruits of our labor will be enjoyed, washed down with a glass of local wine or cider. Classes generally start at 10:00, and the fruits of our labor will be enjoyed at 13:00.
Irish-born Sinead Wilde Allart studied Home Economics and taught it for a few years before meeting Belgian-born Philippe and moving with him to France. Her time in France has enabled her to add to her culinary repertoire enormously while learning how to speak French, raise chickens and daughters, renovate old houses, fight with local builders, ride a horse, and sing a little opera. Sinead opened the doors of her farmhouse kitchen in 2006. Sineads idea is to share l'art de vivre à la française.
This cookery course will take place in Benoistville, in the region of Normandy, France. Benoistville is perfect to explore Normandy with its World War Two museums, beaches, monuments, and much more. Le Mont Saint Michel, the second most visited tourist spot in France (the Eiffel Tower is the first), is 146 kilometers far, along the spectacular coastal road, known locally as la touristique. Bayeux, famous for its almost 1000-year old world-famous tapestry, depicting the defeat of England by William at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, is only 99 kilometers away.
During this cookery course, guests will be provided with a three-course meal, typically French lunch - prepared from scratch -, under the guidance of your cooking instructor, home economist, Sinad. Taste regional specialties like teurgoule (a Norman rice pudding), mousse au chocolat (dark and milk chocolate mousse served in verrines), quarante quatre, poulet valle dAuge, and much more.
Optional activities include a trip to the local farmer's market (Mondays and Fridays only) for EUR 25 per person and a guided tour of an organic cider farm (available on request). You will find beautiful beaches and great places for hiking (Smugglers path) 5 minutes away from your accommodation, please feel free to explore in your spare time.
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