French cooking and wine holiday

South West, Gascony, France

6 days from
per person

Average user rating

Holiday Itinerary

Tucked away in the peaceful and historic village of Gramont in Gascony, this charming and tastefully restored French farmhouse is the setting for your French cooking and wine holiday experience.

Under the guidance of your English host Chef David and French Chef Bernard who both trained as chefs in France and are acclaimed in the area, you will immerse yourself in French life to discover the gastronomic and wine delights of this beautiful area of South West France.

The aim of the course is to give you the skills to cook a fabulous dinner party back home to impress even the most experienced foodies. You’ll learn to cook either in the kitchen of local restaurant the Auberge ("French farmhouse restaurant") or in the kitchen at the main house. You'll also have the opportunity to discover the wonderful wines of the South West France, the original wine region of France.

Combining fun hands-on French cooking lessons with culinary excursions and time to relax, this 5 night / 6 day French cookery and wine holiday promises not just a culinary experience but also a cultural one.

Who is it suitable for?
- Suitable for all from beginners to experienced foodies
- Minimum age 17 with no upper age limit 
- Your hosts are British and French so all cooking classes are taught in English and French
- Many people on the course travel solo and this course attracts guests from around the world for a wonderfully sociable and culinary experience
- All dietary requirements must be communicated at the time of booking

I'm travelling solo - can I join?
- Many solo guests travel on this cookery holiday and the groups are fun and sociable
- Each guest is allocated a private ensuite room and there is NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

What if I am traveling with someone?
- A discount can be applied for couples or friends cooking and sharing a room
- Please see the 'Costings and extras' tab for more details on pricing
- Discount can be applied on the first page of the booking process

Can I bring a non-cooking partner?
- Non cooking guests are welcome to share a room with a cooking guest and prices for the non-cooking guest will be discounted accordingly, please email or contact us via live chat (click on the ‘start chat’ link at the bottom of this page) or call us for details

When can I start?
- The cooking course runs from April to September each year
- All arrivals are on Sunday
- Departures are on Friday

Typical itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1 – Sunday
- You may check-in to your room anytime after 2pm on Sunday afternoon
- Enjoy welcome aperitifs and canapés on the terrace
- Traditional French cuisine consisting of a delicious 4 course dinner with wine and coffee will be served by your hosts in the evening at 7pm

Day 2 – Monday
8.45-9.45am – Breakfast
- Enjoy a leisurely French breakfast before heading into the kitchen
10am – Kitchen tour & knife skills
- You’ll receive a tour of the kitchen and an explanation of the equipment
- You’ll be loaned your own set of chef’s knives before your first lesson learning how to chop, slice, julien and dice food
11am – Hands on French cooking lessons
- On your first day you’ll learn to cook a traditional gateau pithiviers, an ornately decorated puff pastry dessert with a delicious crème d'amande at the centre as well as chef David's famous pizza gersois (local onions, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and thinly sliced duck breast) and a prepare a pate sucree (the base for the tarte aux pommes you will be preparing the next day)
3pm – Afternoon cooking lesson learning to cook a range of French dishes and desserts
7pm – Enjoy aperitifs and canapés followed by another fantastic dinner with wine and coffee

Day 3 – Tuesday
8.45-9.45am – Breakfast
- Enjoy a leisurely French breakfast before heading into the kitchen
10am – Market visit
- Today you’ll be given some money and list of ingredients as you head to the local food market in Fleurance where local farmers and growers sell their produce
12.30pm – enjoy a typical French lunch at a local café in the nearby Roman town of Lectoure
3pm – Afternoon French cooking lessons
- This afternoon you’ll learn how to fillet a fish correctly, and prepare a veloute sauce as an accompaniment. This is then followed by a Tarte aux Pommes for dessert where you will learn to practice your pastry and knife skills
8pm – Enjoy aperitifs and canapés followed by the wonderful 4 course dinner you learned to cook
- Please note that each day, all guests are invited to help the kitchen plate up the food ready for service to enhance their cooking skills that go from preparation to service

Day 4 – Wednesday
8.45-9.45am - Breakfast
- Enjoy a leisurely French breakfast before heading into the kitchen
10am – Hands on French cooking course
- Today you’ll learn to bone a chicken to prepare a Ballotine de Poulet (chicken Ballotine) with a rich mushroom sauce as an accompaniment with a light and refreshing tarte au citron (lemon tart) and a soupe aux deux poivrns (two-pepper soup)
2pm – Enjoy the delicious lunch you’ve prepared
3pm – In the afternoon you will visit Gramont's seventeenth-century chateau

Day 5 – Thursday
8.45-9.45am - Breakfast
- Enjoy a leisurely French breakfast before heading into the kitchen
10am – Hands on French cooking course
- Today will be an intensive cookery class where you will prepare 6 dishes over three hours, the focus will be on French desserts. These will consist of a crème patissiere, crème brulee, crème caramel and finishing off with a savoury sauce béchamel, followed by sugar spinning technique, preparing a reduction sauce (jus de vin rouge)
2pm – Enjoy the delicious lunch you’ve prepared
3pm – Gramont villages tour
- This afternoon you’ll take a tour the pretty villages around Gramont or if you prefer, you’ll be free to wander the cobbled streets at your own pace exploring the local French shops and bars
8pm – Enjoy aperitifs and canapés followed by a farewell 4 course dinner with delicious French wines and coffee

Day 6 – Friday
- After breakfast guests are asked to check-out of their rooms by 11am ready for departure taking home with them new cooking skills and an insight into French life that will stay with them long after the holiday is over

Sample French menus
Please note that dishes may change according to the season and availability of fresh produce
- Cassoulet
- Fois gras
- Plaice with fish veloute
- 3 pepper soup
- Ballotine de poulet
- Frangipane fruit tart
- Tarte aux Pommes

What will I learn?
- The history of French cuisine from the area
- How to select fresh, seasonal ingredients
- How to cook a full French menu (please note that dishes change each lesson and the dishes are for guidance and may change due to produce availability)
- Knife skills to prepare vegetables, fish & meat
- All about Armagnac and the distillery process
- Tasting wines from the region and which wines to pair with the food
- How to cook and serve dinner for a dinner party, including the plating up and how best to present the food on the plate
-All about the local wines of the region through tastings and visit to the wine museum with the largest collection of wines outside of Bordeaux

Where will I be staying?
- You'll stay in a charming French farmhouse or a small Gite next to the farmhouse
- Tastefully restored to retain the rustic charm; your room will have twin or a double bed, private bathroom and a delightful views
-  All rooms are decorated in a traditional French style and rooms have shutters and some wonderful original features
- Outside boasts two large sun terraces with great views over the Gascon countryside
- There is a hot tub for guests' use and sunbeds for soaking up the French sunshine
- Next to the house is a wonderful old ruin which has been converted to a stunning outside dining area where atmospheric black and white silent films are screened during dinner
- Please note that you'll cook in the kitchen of the main house where your Chef David lives or in the nearby Auberge which is a 2 minute walk from the house
- Wifi is available in the kitchen/lounge area of the main house where you'll cook
- WiFi available in the house but not in the guest bedrooms
- Prices are based on 1 person in their own private room with en-suite bathroom (no single supplement for a private room)
- If two people travel together and share a room, a discount is offered (see the 'Costing and extras' tab for details)
- Please note: this accommodation does not have disabled access

Restricted mobility access
Please find below some information regarding the accommodation and location of the holiday which may be useful when deciding if this is the right holiday for you; should you have an further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
- We generally do not recommend this location for those with restricted mobility, and there is no wheelchair accessibility
- The accommodation has one room (twin/double) available on the ground floor with 1 step to the room, and 1 low step to the shower; please feel free to ask if it is available