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Short Cooking Holiday in France

Come to Loire Kitchen for a long weekend of food indulgence and inspiration. Learn some new dishes, taste some great wines, explore a farmer’s market, and discover the secrets to artisan food making. This four-day gourmet experience can truly immerse yourself in the foods of the Loire and try your hand at several dishes. This is going to be a break to remember!

Meet the instructors

Aaron
Read more

Highlights

  • 3 half-day cooking sessions
  • 2 hands-on cooking demonstrations (dessert/starter)
  • Enjoy a welcome wine-tasting and a farmer’s market visit
  • Visit an artisan food maker (cheese, nut oils, mushrooms, and/or a vineyard)
  • Daily multi-course lunches and 3+ course dinners with all beverages (wine, waters, etc.)
  • Daily breakfast will be provided
  • Receive recipes and folder
  • 3 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

4 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, Italian
Group size: 2-10 participants
Airport transfer available:
Poitiers–Biard Airport (US$ 66 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Tours Val de Loire Airport (US$ 77 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Nantes Atlantique Airport (US$ 109 per person)
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Smoke-free property
  • Bicycle rental
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Parking lot
  • Wireless internet

You will stay on-site in the comfortable and gorgeously well-designed recently renovated 19th-century Maison de Maitre (manor house). It offers all the charms of an old French country house with the comforts and amenities of a well-appointed modern property.

It exudes relaxation and indulgence with a stunning large cook’s kitchen and dining area (where they hold the cookery courses), a stylish cozy lounge with leather sofas, armchairs, and cafe tables, a tranquil library filled with books, a first-floor landing featuring a large antique desk and another lounge area on the top floor with cathedral ceiling and skylight.

The well-appointed double bedrooms all feature a toilet and shower room tiled in classic French patterns. The first floor rooms offer views of the adjacent church tower and farmland, the top floor rooms offer sweeping views of the river and surrounding farmland of the valley.

The rooms are the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate after a full and decadent day of cooking, eating, and exploring: you’ll have privacy, quiet, and a great view. Make yourself at home. Each room offers guests:

  • A double bed
  • A desk
  • Wardrobe
  • En suite toilet and shower room
  • Complimentary toiletries and slippers
  • Guest robes for use during your stay
  • Hairdryer
  • USB charging ports
  • Towels and bed linens
  • Reading lamps
  • A fan to keep you cool during the summer months
  • Free Wi-Fi

Program

Day 1

Arrive late afternoon/early evening on your first day for a tasting of local wines and then join the kitchen for a hands-on demonstration of some dessert techniques. They’ll then sit down for a delightful three-course meal. Relax with an after-dinner drink in the lounge or library, then off for a pleasant night’s rest in your charming and cozy ensuite room.

Day 2

After a farmhouse breakfast of local bread, pastries, yogurts, cereals, and other delights the next morning you'll head off for a tour of the farmer’s market in either Saumur (Saturday) or Neuville or Montsoreau (Sunday). Set in historically and culturally significant locations, all these markets, offer plentiful sights and treats to sample, and a gastronomic atmosphere. They’ll also give you time to wander around, have a coffee, and daydream. Return to Misse and lunch on the treats you picked up.

After lunch, you’ll menu plan for dinner and then through a series of cookery sessions learn some new techniques and recipes as you prepare dinner. Pause for an early evening break to freshen up and catch our breaths before sitting down together to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Day 3

After breakfast the next morning, have a cooking session to learn some lunch dishes which you’ll then enjoy together. After lunch, visit and deepen your knowledge and appreciation of local products by visiting a local producer of nut oils, cheese, snails, mushrooms, wine, spirits, or other products, depending on the season, for a tour and tasting. Return to Misse in time for you to go for walk, chill in the library with a book, or simply hang out before you enjoy a three-course dinner.

Day 4

The next morning, after breakfast, have a final cookery session where you tackle a complex dish or technique that fits with your interests. Have lunch, pack, and send you back home to try out your newfound culinary skills.

Please note: The holiday schedule described above serves as a guide. They may occasionally need to change the order or location of certain events due to the season, weather, or other logistical practicalities. If so, they’ll always aim to deliver the same experience and similar atmosphere.

Included excursions

  • Farmer's market visit
  • Local products tour and tasting

Instructors

Aaron Tighe

Location

Located in the small farming commune of Missé in the most southern part of the Loire Valley, the house rests on the verdant banks of the Thouet River, a tributary of the Loire. Ancient Gallic for “tranquil,” the Thouet forms an oxbow (circles back on itself) here, forming the Cirque de Missé (Circle of Misse), thus the name. The house has fantastic views of farmland, cows, and pheasants. Further down the road, you’ll find vineyards as it is a part of the Anjou wine region.

This location provides dozens of pleasant walks along the river and outstanding hilltop views of the Thouet Valley. Comfortably secluded, although the châteaus and castles of the Loire Valley including Chinon and Saumur are a short drive away, the Thouet Valley exudes peace, relaxation, and contemplation.

Add to that the medal-garnering vineyards encircling the area, the beautiful and abundant produce, award-winning goat cheeses, and other renowned culinary specialties, and you have the perfect place to eat, cook, and feast the senses.

Built on the grounds of a 12th-century abbey, the house stands next to the Church of Saint-Pierre, on the trail used by Breton and Norman pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela.

The original bell-cote, sitting in the shadow of the more modern 17th-century bell tower, is visible from the lane leading to the house. The pilgrims' route, now part of the Thouet valley bicycle trail and the French national hiking route, GR36, runs from Ouistreham on the Norman coast to Bourge-Madame on the Spanish border.

Food

Daily breakfast, 3 multi-course lunches, and three 3+ course dinners with all beverages (wine, waters, etc.) will be provided. Loire Kitchen at Circle of Misse offers guests:

  • Complimentary coffee, a vast selection of teas, waters sodas, and other beverages
  • Complimentary fruit and other snacks
  • All inclusive meals, drinks, and other treats (they want you to not think about anything other than enjoying your holiday, so your wallet does not need to leave your pocket while you are our guest at the house. When you’re out and about you should certainly bring it all for any personal treats or gifts you wish to pick up.)

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Raw food
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Pescatarian
  • Seafood
  • Whole food
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

The biggest megalithic burial site in the region, consisting of seven dolmens, lies just up the road from Circle of Misse at Taizé. Just a little further on, sits the beautifully quirky Chateau of Oiron. Now a contemporary art museum, it served as the inspiration for several scenes in the fairy tale Puss in Boots and was home to an eccentric who collected many strange items to fill his cabinet of curiosities. The church at Oiron, also worth a visit, is a jewel of gothic and renaissance architecture.

A half-hour from Circle of Misse, the historic city of Saumur dominates the Loire with its imposing Castle, offering the visitor a true taste of Loire architecture, fine wines, and culture. Chinon, home of the French author Rabelais, the ruins of Chinon castle, and a prized red wine is also half an hour away. A stroll down the wonderful tiny streets of Chinon reveals a wealth of restaurants, cafes, and smart shops.

In the 15th century, Chinon castle was the residence of Charles VII, the Dauphin of France. It is the place where Joan of Arc came on March 8, 1429, to recognize the Dauphin and to urge him to declare himself king and raise an army to liberate France. In the 11th century, it was the primary residence of Henry II. He, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, their son King Richard I “The Lionheart” and Isabelle of Angouleme, wife of King John “Lackland”, were buried at the nearby Fontevraud l’Abbaye.

Snugly in château country, Fontrevraud l’Abbaye serves as a perfect jumping-off point to many of the most famous châteaus and vineyards of the Loire region. Châteaus include Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Ussé, Langeais, Montreuil-Bellay, Villandry, and their accompanying towns and cities. Vineyards include those of: Bourgueil, Saumur, Anjou, Chinon, Thouarsais, Vouvray, Savennières, Touraine, and Haut-Poitou.

What's included

  • 3 half-day cooking sessions
  • 2 hands-on cooking demonstrations (dessert/starter)
  • Farmer’s market visit
  • Visit of an artisan food maker (cheese, nut oils, mushrooms, and/or a vineyard)
  • 3 three+ course dinners including all beverages (wine, waters, etc.)
  • 3 multi-course lunches
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Welcome wine-tasting
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Recipes and folder

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport/train transfers (Loire Kitchen can arrange airport/train transfers for a fee
  • Discretionary purchases at markets and other attractions

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Paris – Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

This is the default choice for transatlantic and long-haul travelers. As the second largest airport in Europe, it has regular flights from/to almost every major city.

On arrival at CDG airport, you can:

  • Hire a car at the airport terminal
  • Take a high-speed train (TGV) direct from Terminal 2 to Tours (St Pierre des Corps) or Poitiers. Loire Kitchen team can advise you on which station to come to when you book your travel. Please note that the minimum recommended transfer times from the plane to the train is 80 minutes (Terminal 2) and 90 minutes (Terminals 1 and 3).

Paris Orly Airport (ORY)

Paris Orly Airport (ORY) is the second airport in Paris. There is a direct bus service to Paris Montparnasse, from where you can catch high-speed trains (TGV) direct to Tours (St Pierre des Corps), then change for Saumur.

Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE)

Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE) is the nearest International airport. It is served by flights from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. There is a train service from Nantes, centre city to Saumur.

We arrange pickup of all guests at Saumur or Thouars station. Saumur station can be reached from Paris, Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Nantes airport.

  • Saumur: included
  • Thouars: Included

Arrival by car

Driving is an excellent option if you want to fill the car with food and wine to take home. There are ample opportunities to visit wineries, cavistes, and food stores. The organizer will send directions and GPS coordinates.

Airport: Poitiers–Biard Airport Airport transfer available: Poitiers–Biard Airport (US$ 66 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Tours Val de Loire Airport Airport transfer available: Tours Val de Loire Airport (US$ 77 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Nantes Atlantique Airport Airport transfer available: Nantes Atlantique Airport (US$ 109 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
4 days / 3 nights
from --
Solo travelers

Loire Kitchen at Circle of Misse can only accommodate solo travelers:

  • In groups (of two or more)
  • In weeks that already have bookings

For more information, please send an inquiry.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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