7 Days Wilde Kitchen Discover Normandy Culinary Vacation, France

  • Wilde Kitchen, La Blonderie, 50340 Benoistville, Normandy, France

Overview

French Cookery Holidays in Normandy

Discover French country cooking in the Cherbourg Peninsula, Normandy. A warm welcome awaits you as Irish-born Sinead and Belgian-born Philippe, your bi-lingual hosts, pride themselves on the quality of their welcome offering accommodation in the grounds of their beautifully-renovated 18th century farm. Experience lart de vivre a la franaise. Try new recipes in the relaxed ambiance of Sinead's Wilde Kitchen. Enjoy a trip to the local farmers market. Learn about authentic French cooking. Enjoy the fruits of your labors. Families are welcome!

Highlights

  • Norman cheeseboard supper
  • 3 cooking classes, recipe folders
  • Visits to Bricquebec and Les Pieux (local markets)
  • Visit to Le Pere Mahieu Ciderie (organic cider farm)
  • Visit to La Ferme Auberge (boulangerie)
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 1 lunch - plat du jour
  • 4 days with instruction
  • French, English
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Located in converted barns in what once were the domestic living areas and hay lofts, across the garden from La Blonderie, the main house, our guest rooms are comfortable and attractively decorated, each with its own style. All have tea and coffee-making facilities, hairdryers, ample parking and free internet access. La Blonderie can accommodate up to eight people comfortably in our renovated guest rooms.

La Fenil

Renovated in 2009, our self-catering apartment, Le Fenil, meaning hay loft, has two bedrooms, both en suite, 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

La Porte Bleue (The Blue Door) situated on the ground floor has its own front door and patio area. Once a stable for Java, our Lusitanian horse, and in earlier times a sleeping area for staff, La Porte Bleue was renovated in 2011 and a kitchenette added in 2013.

Maids Quarter

The romantic Maids Quarters is 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, it has a certain charm and coziness about it.

Day 1, Sunday - Arrival

Afternoon arrival at La Blonderie.

Time to relax a little and explore your surroundings.

A first taste of Normandy follows for Sunday night supper in the form of a Norman cheeseboard with salad, crusty bread, pastries, and wine or some locally produced organic cider.

While you enjoy your food, you will also meet with your fellow cooks a perfect introduction to the course.

Day 2, Monday - Market tour, cooking class

08:00 Continental breakfast of croissants, bread, cakes, homemade jams and jellies, artisanal apple juice, cereals, fruit and yogurt.

09:00 Off to Bricquebec, a beautiful medieval town, for the weekly market where well absorb the ambiance, pick up some fresh produce for our lunch and sample whatever were offered before our first cookery session.

13:30 Lunch.

15:30 Visit to Le Pre Mahieu Ciderie where the best of Normandy's organic apples are transformed into the most delicious drinks in the forms of cider, pommeau, calvados and apple juice.

After a guided tour of the distillery and a walk up to the orchards (weather permitting), you will sample the various ciders, calvados, pommeau and apple juice.

Evening - free time.

Restaurant recommendations and reservations are made for you when necessary.

Day 3, Tuesday - Free day

  • 09:00 Continental breakfast.
  • Discover the best of Normandy with its rugged coastlines, historical sites, museums, gardens, beaches, villages and much more.
  • Sinead will share her extensive knowledge of the area ensuring that your trip to Normandy is a truly memorable one.
  • Explore at your ease, armed with maps, ideas and restaurant reservations.

Day 4, Wednesday - Cooking class

09:00 Continental breakfast

10:30 Serious food preparation is required for the afternoon cookery class. A unique foodie adventure awaits.

A full meal is prepared and cooked in an authentic post-revolution (1789) boulangerie oven (bread oven) chez Franois at La Ferme Auberge.

14:00 Lunch in local restaurant (formule du midi).

15:00 A full meal is prepared and cooked in an authentic post-revolution (1789) boulangerie oven (bread oven) chez Franois at La Ferme Auberge.

While waiting for bread to rise and the food to cook, Franois will give a talk on the history of the boulangerie and provide lots of anecdotes for a fun-filled, educational afternoon over a glass of his homemade apple juice or cider a serious treat for lovers of history, terroir and food.

Day 5, Thursday - Free day

  • Same as day three you may decide to chill out or explore the area.
  • Whatever the case, Sinead will certainly help you make the most of your stay in Lower Normandy.

Day 6, Friday - Local farmers' market, cooking class

  • 08:00 Continental breakfast.
  • 09:00 Trip to the local farmers market in Les Pieux, where you will stock up on fresh produce for your morning cookery class
  • 10:30 Cookery class.
  • 13:30 Lunch.
  • Suggested afternoon visit to La Maison du Biscuit, picerie fine where some last minute gifts and souvenirs may be purchased.

Day 7, Saturday Departure

  • Continental breakfast.
  • Bricquebec and Les Pieux (local markets)
  • La Ferme Auberge (boulangerie)
  • Le Pere Mahieu Ciderie (organic cider farm)
  • Sinead Wilde Allart

    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.

From the Norman invasion of England in 1066 to the D-Day landings of 1944, Normandy has long played an outsized role in European history. This rich and often brutal past is brought vividly to life by the spectacular island monastery of Mont St-Michel; the Bayeux Tapestry, world-famous for its cartoon scenes of 11th-century life; and the cemeteries and memorials along the D-Day beaches, places of solemn pilgrimage.

Lower-profile charms include a variety of dramatic coastal landscapes, lots of pebbly beaches, some of Frances finest museums, quiet pastoral villages and architectural gems ranging from Rouens medieval old city home of Monets favourite cathedral to the maritime charms of Honfleur to the striking postwar modernism of Le Havre. Camembert, apples, cider, cream-rich cuisine and the very freshest fish and seafood provide further reasons to visit this accessible and beautiful region of France.

Nearby places

  • Bayeux, 1 hour
  • Beaches, 5 kilometers
  • Cap de La Hague, 15 minutes
  • Channel island of Guernsey, 1 hour by ferry
  • Ferry port of Cherbourg, 20 kilometers
  • Le Mont St Michel, 2 hours
  • Market town, 3 kilometers
  • Omaha Beach the American Cemetery, 75 minutes
  • Smugglers path, 5 minutes
  • Utah Beach and Sainte Mre Eglise, 45 minutes
Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking nearby
  • Shopping nearby
  • Surfing nearby
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Balcony
  • Beach nearby
  • Cafe nearby
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Smoke-free property
Services
  • Free parking
  • Internet access
  • Laundry and ironing
  • Local market
  • Shop nearby
  • Tour assistance

Only 44 kilometers from Sainte Mre Eglise, immortalized in the movie The Longest Day, 90 kilometers from Omaha Beach and the US Cemetary, and 139 kilometers from Pegasus Bridge, were perfectly located for exploring 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 a mere 146 kilometers from us along the spectacular coastal road, known locally as la touristique. While 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 all potential day-trips.

Sinead, trained as a local tour guide, will help set you off in the right direction on your days off armed with maps and itineraries. Shell also book restaurants, where necessary, ensuring that your time in Normandy is insightful and fun. For those of you who prefer to explore locally, Le Cap de La Hague and Le Val de Saire with their breathtaking beauty are only a stones throw away.

  • 2 days off (armed with ideas, maps, etc.)
  • 3 cooking classes, recip folders and tasting meals
  • 6 nights bed and breakfast
  • All excursions - market visits, organic cider farm, boulangerie
  • Lunch in a local restaurant - plat du jour

Arrival by ferry

  • From Ireland - Irish ferries Stenaline.
  • From the UK - Brittany Ferries.

Arrival by train

Guests are encouraged to take a train from Paris to Cherbourg and rent a car from there. All the major car rental companies operate in Cherbourg.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Wilde Kitchen an inquiry.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Cheryl from Indiana

    "It was like walking into your dream kitchen, garden and dining area with a chef who obviously loves to teach and eat great food! My husband and I spent the day with Sinead, our chef, and four ladies from Australia and we had a delightful day with all of us studying the menu, preparing the many dishes and joyfully eating the spoils of our labors! Sinead is very open to share her ideas and opinions and open to hearing others'. It was delightful!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Andrew M.

    "We booked the one day cooking course with Sinead but decided to stay in her gite for 3 days to use as a base to explore Normandy. Couldn't recommend both the course and the gite - and Sinead's delightful company and Irish hospitality - more highly."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Susan O

    "Amazing! Wonderful atmosphere, location, and cookery. We had a great trip and would definitely do it again. We have invited Sinead to bring her kitchen to the U.S. for a benefit/charity event - can't wait"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler

    "My husband and I wanted to do a cooking class in northern France and, after a search, "Wilde Kitchen" popped up and looked promising. We arrived one September afternoon and Sinead was there to welcome us to a lovely gite, a self-contained apartment. Breakfast each morning consisted of delicious croissants and baguettes, home made jams, juice and coffee - a perfect leisurely start to the day. Sinead is very knowledgeable about the area and gave us great recommendations for places to see and restaurants to visit, including an amazing Michelin rated one, "Le P'tit Bourg"."

    "On the morning of the cooking class we set off for the market in the main town. Sinead introduced us to some of her favourite stallholders and explained many foods we were unfamiliar with. After purchasing ingredients we returned to the main house for our cooking class in a spectacular dream kitchen. Under Sinead's expert guidance we cooked a delicious three-course meal, gathering many suggestions and valuable tips along the way. I have overcome my fear of Creme Anglaise and have even managed to reproduce it at home, including the chocolate fondants! We greatly enjoyed our stay in La Blonderie and the cooking class enhanced the whole experience. Thank you to Sinead and her family for making us feel so welcome and making our holiday in northern France really memorable! We hope to return one day soon."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Washington DC, from USA

    "For four days, we ate and cooked and laughed and learned all kinds of things. Sinad and her family were wonderful hosts. I was traveling solo, and she helped me weeks before I arrived, answering emails and making me feel welcome.Sinad customizes the class as she gets to know you, targeting your interests and introducing you to Normandy cuisine and culture. Stay as long as you can! It is an amazing experience!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Ana Laura from Bayeux, France

    "My mother and I passed a 3 day course at Wilde Kitchen. The cooking classes were great and we learned a lot, Sinad and her family were amazing hosts and we had an excellent stay at La Blonderie. Definitely a holiday we won't forget!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Claire L from Virginia, USA

    "My husband and I spent five fabulous days the Wilde Kitchen cooking, eating, and laughing. Sinad is a wonderful teacher and an accomplished cook, the cooking classes at the Wilde Kitchen and staying at La Blonderie was the highlight of our trip to France! We learned a lot and were exposed to the charming local culture and fabulous cuisine.If you want to go to a cooking school in France, this is the place to go. In the near future, we hope to return to the Wilde Kitchen with our entire family for cooking classes. My only regret is that we didn't plan to stay longer. Be sure to extend your trip so you have time to visit the local sites."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from California, USA

    "This was one of the best places we stayed during our entire trip! Its a great place; clean, perfect home away from home. Sinead was an amazing cook and teacher and the food was fantastic!"

    TripAdvisor, edited

Normandy, France

The Wilde Kitchen is where you'll learn to cook with Sinéad the French way, where the best of Norman cuisine is always on the menu during your cooking holiday.

Speaks English

from --

7 days / 6 nights

Availability

This holiday is available all year round with arrival on Sundays.

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