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SHORT BREAKS COOKING : FRANCE COOKING VACATIONS

THE GOOD LIFE AT DOMAINE LA VERONIQUE
. . . Gourmet Breaks and Cookery Workshops in Languedoc

Without a doubt one of the major attractions of a visit to France is the opportunity to sample outstanding French cuisine. Great food served with great wines in exceptional settings has been drawing holiday makers from all over the globe for decades. Of course budget, time constrictions and lack of local knowledge can often be a hindrance. So, for those of you looking for a guarantee of excellent French cuisine in an idyllic location, day after day and night after night, Peter and Sally Shaw supply the perfect solution.

Peter is a gourmet chef, with 15 years experience in the hospitality industry, and he loves to put a modern slant on traditional dishes. He uses only the best quality, fresh produce from the area, and is an acknowledged expert on the cheeses of France. He has an expansive knowledge of the wines of the Languedoc and loves to introduce people to these exciting new wines.

You will be wined and dined by Peter, and Sally will take you on excursions to discover the history and local sites of the Languedoc. She is also a musician so you might have a chance to hear her singing or playing the piano.

  • Gourmet holidays with excursions
    Exclusive gourmet holidays where guests are served delicious gourmet menus everyday in a setting steeped in history and atmosphere, and taken out on tailor-made excursions to explore the region. This can be for a minimum of three nights, or up to any number of nights. The choice is yours! Also take a look at our Gourmet Weekend Breaks.
  • Cookery Workshops
    Peter offers cooking and wine pairing workshops, for individuals or groups, where you can observe and learn how to make wonderful meals matched with appropriate wines. This is a hands-on experience. We supply the aprons! If you have partners not wanting to take part in the cooking workshops, Sally will entertain the rest of the group with excursions to local sites.

  COOKING WORKSHOPS  

Peter will supply menus and recipes for the workshops. The workshops will show you how to prepare the majority of dishes you will be eating at lunch and dinner throughout your stay. It is a hands on experience and aprons are provided!

This is just a suggested itinerary and menus, as we prefer to tailor-make your itinerary and menus to suit your interests, and passions.

Traditionally Peter serves three cheeses at lunch time, and one cheese with dinner. He will tell you the history of each cheese, and will entertain you with some enchanting ‘cheese stories'.

DAY 1

Sally will be waiting to greet you at your pre-arranged pickup point. She will then transfer you directly to Domaine La Veronique. Once you've settled in to your rooms, join Peter and Sally for a champagne welcome on the terrace. Take a stroll, or enjoy a quick dip in the pool, before aperitifs and your first gastronomic experience.

DINNER
Courgette and Parmesan Gateau with Red Pepper Sauce
Quail Veronique
Dauphinoise Potatoes and Crushed Broccoli
Fresh Strawberries with Almond Shortcakes and a Creme de Fraise Jelly

DAY 2

a.m. Cooking workshop - preparing lunch and dinner.

LUNCH
Baked Fennel wrapped in Bayonne Ham
Tomato and Pepper Tart in a Parmesan Crust
Spinach salad

p.m. Sally will take you to Pezenas, a Merchant Town near Beziers, dating back to mediaeval times and made famous by Moliere and Clive of India. Stroll through the narrow cobbled streets of the old quarter of Pezenas, and you take a walk right back in time - here to the Middle Ages with gargoyles peering eerily from the Hotel Jacques Coeur, there to the Renaissance period before original mullioned windows. The entire old town is rich with wonderful wrought iron balconies, stone sculptures and ornate doorways. There are also wonderful little shops and cafes to enjoy.

DINNER
Cauliflower and Roquefort Souffle with Creme Fraiche and Chive Sauce
Roast Guinea Fowl on a bed of Depuy Lentils with a brunoise of vegetables
Bitter Chocolate and Ginger Mousse

DAY 3

a.m. Excursion to Narbonne. Peter will take you round the outstanding covered food market ‘Les Halles', specifically the fish stalls. He will choose which fresh fish you will be cooking for your dinner. Afterwards, Sally will then take you to the amazing gothic Cathedral with one of the highest naves in France, walk along the Via Domitia (a recently uncovered Roman road ), visit the Horreum (Roman underground tunnels where they used to store the food for open-air markets) or just do some shopping in the chic boutiques on the charming pedestrianised streets.

LUNCH
at Chez Bebelle, a restaurant in Les Halles, Narbonne where
they use the finest and most fresh ingredients of the market

p.m. Cooking workshop preparing dinner.

DINNER
Gazpacho
Fish from the market and its accompaniments
Brioche Pudding with Argen Prunes Marinated in Armagnac with Creme Anglais

DAY 4

a.m. Cooking Workshop preparing today's lunch, plus Duck Confit (for Cassoulet) and Foie Gras for Day 6.

LUNCH
Endive Salad with Walnuts and Roquefort
Beetroot and Potato Tart

p.m. Sally will lead you on a walk, straight from La Veronique, up in to the hills and through the woods to the nearby Priory of Sainte Christophe. Supposedly there was a tunnel that used to connect Veronique to the priory!! Back to La Veronique to refresh before going out for a wine tasting at nearby Domaine Milhau.

DINNER
at Chateau Carrasses a local restaurant that shows
the typical Spanish influence on food in the Languedoc

DAY 5

a.m. Cooking workshop preparing lunch and dinner

LUNCH
Baked Red Peppers with Feta and Mint
Fillet Mignon of Pork, wrapped in Bacon on Quinoa and Bulgur Wheat

p.m. An excursion to the Olive Oil factory at Bize, followed by a visit to the goat's cheese farm at Combebelle. See the goats being milked and taste their delicious range of fresh and aged cheeses. Next door to the goats cheese farm there is the very interesting vineyard of Combebelle, which is run organically. All will be explained by the owner as she takes us round the vineyard, and then for a tasting in the cave.

DINNER
Beetroot and Smoked Trout Trifle, with an Avocado Custard
Duck Breast on a Tagliatelli of Noodles, Zucchini and Carrot with Plum Sauce
Cold Lemon Souffle

DAY 6

a.m. A morning visit to Carcassonne, La Cite, the finest example of a mediaeval walled city in the whole of Europe. Marvel at the towers and defense walls (parts dating back to Roman times) which protected the inner castle.

LUNCH
Tri-colore Salad with Pesto Dressing
‘Cassoulet' Maison (Local dish of Castelnaudry)

p.m. Cooking workshop preparing dinner

Early evening there will be a wine tasting at La Veronique with Master of Wine, Juliet Bruce-Jones.

DINNER
Duck Foie Gras on Brioche Toast and Pear
Fillet of Limosin Beef with three purees
Yorkshire Pudding and Sauce Minervois
Creme de Framboise Jelly, Bitter Chocolate Genache, White chocolate mousse with Vodka

DAY 7

After breakfast, sadly we say our goodbyes, and then Sally will take you to your pre-arranged drop-of point.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT WWW.HEREONTHESPOT.COM

  GOURMET HOLIDAYS  

The emphasis of the stay is on superb food, using the finest local produce, matched with the best quality wines of the Languedoc. This accompanied with the fantastic backdrop of Domaine La Veronique and the wonders of the Languedoc will create a holiday you'll never forget.

Each day you will be presented with a wonderful breakfast of cereals, fruits and yoghurts, breads and croissants, ham, smoked salmon, eggs etc. For lunch Peter offers a lighter meal, with a main dish and salads, followed by a choice of cheeses. Not one cheese will be replicated in the week, so you will have chance to experience over 20 cheeses. Dinner is more formal with 4 courses. Both lunch and dinner are complimented by Peter's choice of wines from the region and again he doesn't replicate, so you will experience over 30 wines throughout your stay, disregarding wine tasting excursions! Weather permitting, lunch and dinner will be served outside. Breakfast will be set up inside, but feel free to take it anywhere you want!

There will be excursions each morning, returning to La Veronique for your sumptuous lunch. The afternoons will be mainly up to you, although if you are inclined, we might slot in a couple of wine tastings, or shorter excursions to a goat farm or an olive factory. You can relax by the pool, or have a game of boule. Or perhaps you'd prefer to walk in to the beautiful surrounding countryside. Sally has route plans for short or long walks, and is happy to guide you if you prefer not to go by yourselves.

Aperitifs will be served anytime after 6pm and your gastronomic evening meal will be served at around 8pm, unless requested otherwise. What better way to start your evening than sitting in the beautiful garden, sipping your martini, whilst listening to the cicadas and Sally “tinkling the ivories” in the background!

GOURMET WEEKEND BREAKS
3 nights - minimum 4 people

The price includes all accommodation, food, drinks, pick-ups/drop-offs and excursions.

The following itinerary and menus are an example only. All itineraries will be tailor-made to suit each groups preferences. All wines served are from the Languedoc. A white, rose and red wine are served with lunch, and a white, red and dessert wine are served with dinner. Aperitifs can be a choice of wines or spirits.

DAY 1

Sally will be waiting to greet you at your pre-arranged pickup point. She will then transfer you directly to Domaine La Veronique. Once you've settled in to your rooms, join Peter and Sally for a champagne welcome on the terrace. Take a stroll, or enjoy a quick dip in the pool, before aperitifs and your first gastronomic experience.

Aperitifs served from 6:00pm

Dinner served at 8:00pm

DINNER
Courgette and Parmesan GĂąteau with Red Pepper Sauce roquefort with pears
Quail Veronique
Dauphinoise Potatoes and Crushed Broccoli
Roquefort with Pears and Walnuts
Fresh Strawberries with Almond Shortcakes and a Creme de Fraise Jelly

DAY 2

Breakfast will be from 8:00am, and will include cereals; yoghurts; fruits; a selection of breads and pastries; smoked salmon or ham; eggs; tea, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice.

10:00am Cooking workshop - Peter will teach you how to make the dishes you will be eating at lunch and his unforgettable Ginger and Chocolate Mousse for dinner.

LUNCH
Baked Fennel wrapped in Bayonne Ham
Tomato and Pepper Tart in a Parmesan Crust
Spinach salad
Cheeseboard

In the afternoon, Sally will take you to Pezenas, a Merchant Town near Beziers, dating back to mediaeval times and made famous by Moliere and Clive of India. Stroll through the narrow cobbled streets of the old quarter of Pezenas, and you take a walk right back in time - here to the Middle Ages with gargoyles peering eerily from the Hotel Jacques Coeur, there to the Renaissance period before original mullioned windows. The entire old town is rich with wonderful wrought iron balconies, stone sculptures and ornate doorways. There are also wonderful little shops and cafes to enjoy.

Back to La Veronique for Aperitifs

Dinner at 8:00pm

DINNER
Beetroot and Smoked Trout Trifle, with an Avocado Custard savoury trifle 2
Duck Breast on a Tagliatelli of Noodles, Courgette and Carrot with Plum Sauce
Brie de Meaux
Bitter Chocolate and Ginger Mousse with Capuccino Foam

DAY 3

Breakfast from 8:00am

9:30 Excursion to Narbonne. Peter will take you round the outstanding covered food market ‘Les Halles', to show you the amazing array of fresh produce. Afterwards, Sally will take you to the impressive gothic Cathedral with one of the highest naves in France. Narbonne was the capital city of Roman Gaul. Walk along the Via Domitia (recently uncovered Roman road ), visit the Horreum (Roman underground tunnels where they used to store the food for open-air markets) or just do some shopping in the chic boutiques, or watch the world go by whilst drinking coffee in one of the local cafes.

Back to La Veronique for Lunch.

LUNCH
Tricolor Salad with Pesto Dressing
Seafood Platter
Cheeseboard

Relax by the pool, or take a walk straight from the house in to the beautiful countryside, to build up an appetite for your last evening dinner. Alternatively Sally can take you on a short excursion to see the Etang de Montady, and then a wine tasting at the local Domaine Milhau.

Aperitifs from 6:00pm, when Sally will entertain you with a selection of songs.

Dinner at 8:00pm

DINNER
Seared Foie Gras on Brioche Toast and Pear
Fillet of Limosin Beef with three purees
Yorkshire Pudding and Sauce Minervois
Combebelle Fresh Goats Cheese
Creme de Framboise Jelly, Bitter Chocolate Genache, White chocolate mousse with Vodka

DAY 4

Breakfast from 8:00am

We say our goodbyes, and then Sally will take you to your pre-arranged drop-off point.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT WWW.HEREONTHESPOT.COM

  COOKING HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION  

Peter and Sally Shaw welcome you to their home Domaine La Veonique, a beautiful stone built farmhouse that was originally an old hermitage connected with the nearby Priory of Sainte Christophe. In the heart of the Languedoc region of France, Domaine La Veronique has an acre of land, and beautiful 360Âș views across vineyards and out to the Pyrenees. and its one acre garden is littered with garrigue herbs, olive, almond, fig and pomegranate trees.

There are three beautiful guests rooms with en-suite bathrooms, and each bedroom can be made up as a king size double bed or as twin beds. The ground-floor bedroom has wheelchair access.

There is a comfortable living room (with grand piano, TV, sound system and WIFI internet access), a dining area and an immaculate kitchen for cooking demonstrations.

Outside there is a wonderful swimming pool with beach area for easy access, several sitting areas with views over the countryside, terraces with tables for Al Fresco dining and a boulodrome. You can walk straight from the Domaine into the countryside, up in to the hills or down in to the valley. It is the ideal setting for a quiet walk or a relaxing dip in the swimming pool, and for a holiday with gourmet meals, amazing wines and excursions to local sites.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT WWW.HEREONTHESPOT.COM

  CONTACT DETAILS  
Sally Shaw
Domaine La Veronique
Languedoc
France
Phone:
0033 467 262 316
Email:
sally@hereonthespot.com
Web:
www.hereonthespot.com

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