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SHORT BREAKS COOKING : ITALY COOKING VACATIONS

COOKING WITH EXPRESSIONS
. . . a relaxing cookery holiday to one of the world's gastronomic destinations

Whether cookery is your passion or you're looking for new ways to improve your skills in the kitchen, a relaxing cookery holiday in some of the world's most gastronomic destinations with Expressions Holidays may be just what you need.

Our recipe for success is simple. We bring together a selection of hand-picked, exquisite hotels from around the world; mix in the skills of wonderful, talented chefs and create authentic culinary experiences that will allow you to appreciate and enjoy your cookery holiday to the full. Learn the tricks of trade for preparing gourmet meals for every occasion; shop in local markets for rustic, local produce and understand how to pair the flavours of your food with superb wines, which often will come from local vineyards. And because our cookery holidays are tailor-made for you we can create the perfect holiday no matter what your party size. An Expressions cookery holiday will leave you feeling enriched and hungry for more - just as a perfect meal should.

Expressions Holidays has been creating bespoke holidays and travel experiences for more than twenty years, so you can trust in us to take great care of your next holiday.

The Art of Intelligent Travel Organising

In 1989 Marcelle Hoff and Martin Garland launched Expressions Travel. With considerable experience between them in the travel industry, in marketing and in management consultancy they knew what they wanted to create and how they wanted to present the business. From the outset the way they went about forging that business had to reflect their beliefs for both their market and the destinations they wanted to offer creating a harmony between the clients and the selected suppliers.

The business ethics of Essential Travel are built around:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Reliability
  • Providing intelligent solutions
  • Accuracy
  • Efficiency
  • Correct delivery of service
  • Imparting specialist knowledge
  • Matching expectations
  • Providing sound value for money

The business started with a small, personally-selected range of hotels of character throughout France from which it was decided to construct tailor-made itineraries and holidays. No two holidays have ever really been the same. This degree of personalisation was fundamental to the offering back in 1989 and is still fundamental to it today, having grown from a small programme in France to offering a range of both destination-specialist programmes to Italy, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and New Zealand to lifestyle-specialist programmes featuring Honeymoons, Weddings abroad, Spa and Wellbeing holidays, Family holidays and now cooking holidays.

Even though the business has grown over the years the essence and style of how clients are looked after remains the same - a quality of service that is second to none.

  COOKING HOLIDAYS IN ITALY

Learning cookery in Italy is a gift for life! Food and wine plays an immense role in the lives of Italians where every dish is created with love and every meal savoured to the full. Not surprisingly food and wine tends to play an equally important role for visitors to this gastronomic land of delights where the warm sunshine and rich soils create the deep Mediterranean flavours we all love.

A cookery holiday in Italy is surely the best way to combine your love of eating Italian food and drinking Italian wine with the opportunity to learn cookery skills the Italian way. A cookery holiday in Italy allows you to delve deeper into their culinary psyche by learning how to create authentic Italian dishes under the careful guidance of a masterful Italian chef. On an Expressions Italian cookery holiday you can choose from short demonstration courses through to week-long intensive courses where more-in-depth skills will be acquired.

With Expressions Holidays you can choose from a wide range of Italian cookery holiday courses in some of the most gastronomic regions of Italy. Each Italian cookery course is set in a delightful, exclusive hotel and each offers a wonderful opportunity to develop your culinary skills to the best of your ability.

COOKERY IN UMBRIA FOR SMALL GROUPS

Cookery in Umbria - Traditions of Umbrian Cuisine

5 night holiday with hands-on cookery classes at the Villa di Monte Solare near Perugia plus wine-tasting, visits to local vineyards and the historic city of Perugia. During your stay dinner with wine is included, you enjoy a concert of classical Italian harp music and you can join a guided walk to discover the homeland of the painter Perugino. This holiday operates with a total of 8 people.

About the cookery

The cookery classes are held at Villa di Monte Solare and are taken by the English-speaking chef, Nicola Fanfano, who cooks using mainly organic produce. The classes are hands-on with each of the 8 participants having their own work station. The emphasis is on explaining and instructing you in traditional cooking methods and regional dishes. Each of the three courses lasts approximately three hours and is followed by a meal together. You are provided with a recipe booklet.

Where you stay

The Villa di Monte Solare, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is in the countryside near the village of Tavernelle di Panicale and a few miles south of Lake Trasimeno. Surrounded by undulating hills, woods, fields and olive groves, the Villa was the residence of a noble family and dates back to the 18th Century. Today it is a small hotel of just 25 rooms, family-run and combines a charm and cosiness with high standards of service and comfort. Antique and traditional local furniture complete the picture of terracotta floors, murals and original fireplaces.

  • Facilities at the hotel include two swimming pools for summer use, clay tennis court, spa and cycle hire. The hotel is about 2 hours' drive from Rome Fiumicino airport.
  • All rooms have bath or shower and WC, air-conditioning, heating, telephone, wi-fi internet access, in-room entertainment system with satellite TV, mini-bar and safe.
  • We include a classic double in our basic price but superior rooms and suites are also available at a supplement.

Day by day itinerary

Day One:
Depart from London Heathrow on the British Airways flight at 09.10 arriving in Rome Fiumicino at 12.40. You are met by your English-speaking driver from the Villa di Monte Solare who takes you to the hotel in their luxury Mercedes Sprinter deluxe minibus. The journey time is about two hours. If you want to travel by another airline, or on a different flight or meet at the hotel, we can adjust the details and the price for you. Once you have checked in, there is time to explore the villa and its grounds, perhaps enjoying a sandwich or tea and cakes before your invitation to join a guided tour at 6.30 taking you through the history of Villa di Monte Solare and its gardens. This is followed by an appetiser with the family who own the villa and then at 7.30 you enjoy a seasonal gourmet dinner, with selected wines to accompany each course.

Day Two:
After breakfast your first cookery class starts at 10 am. This three hour session is hands-on and provides an insight into the preparation of regional dishes as well as traditional cooking methods. At the end of the session, you share a meal together. In the early afternoon there is an excursion to the Castle of Monte Vibiano, where you visit ecological vineyards and the winery on board electric vehicles. You enjoy a wine tasting and an olive oil tasting at the local Green Wine Bar before returning to the hotel for an A la Carte dinner with wine included.

Day Three:
This morning after breakfast you head out in the Mercedes minibus for an excursion to the famous wine town of Torgiano and a visit of the Lungarotti Wine Museum, one of the best in the world. There is also an olive oil museum to visit. You enjoy a wine tasting and snacks at the Osteria del Museo before continuing to Assisi, birthplace of St Francis, World Heritage Site and a symbol of peace. Later there is dinner with wine included back at the hotel and then a classical music concert ā€œThe magic of Italian harp music: from Paradisi to Ennio Moriconeā€.

Day Four:
Your second cookery class starts after breakfast this morning at 10 am. Once again it is hands-on and will focus on yet more aspects of regional dishes and traditional Italian methods of cooking. A meal together follows the course before you are taken in the early afternoon to the famous chocolate factory of Perugina and then into Perugia, the historical capital city of Umbria for time to explore. Dinner with wine is once again at the hotel in the evening.

Day Five:
The third cookery course starts again after breakfast at 10 am. Hands-on and three hours of instruction into local dishes. At the end you celebrate with the chef, have lunch together and you are presented with a recipe booklet. The afternoon is at leisure: enjoy a guided walk to discover the local countryside, home to Perugino, relax at the hotel's spa and enjoy a massage or beauty treatment or arrange for a taxi to take you out and about nearby for shopping or sightseeing. In the evening enjoy a final dinner and ā€˜arrivederci' toast at the hotel.

Day Six:
A leisurely breakfast and then some free time before a departure about midday in your luxury Mercedes minibus for the journey of about two hours back to Rome Fiumicino airport for your flight which departs at 17.15, arriving in London Heathrow at 19.00 hrs.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT WWW.EXPRESSIONSHOLIDAYS.CO.UK

COOKERY HOLIDAY IN CHIANTI

The Cuisine of Chianti - refined Tuscan cooking

This is a 6 night holiday with hands-on cookery classes at the Relais Villa Belpoggio in Chianti plus wine-tasting, visits to a local cheese factory, a local bakery and the historic city of Florence. During your stay most lunches and dinners with wine are included and you can explore the Villa's extensive and carefully tended grounds at any time, along with its unique swimming pool - formed from a former storage facility for the estate's water.

About the cookery

The cookery classes are held at Relais Villa Belpoggio and a cookery school in Florence. The Villa's lessons are taken by English-speaking chef, Andrea Campani, who cooks using local, mainly organic, produce. All classes are hands-on and each participant will be invited to input ideas on menus and techniques. The emphasis is on explaining and instructing you in traditional cooking methods and regional dishes. Each of the four lessons lasts between two and three hours and is followed by a meal together. You are provided with a recipe booklet.

Where you stay

The Relais Villa Belpoggio is a boutique hotel of only 10 rooms and two apartments, in the countryside near the village of Loro Ciuffenna just 35 kms from Florence in the direction of Arezzo. It is set in a secluded part of the valley of the River Arno, upstream from Florence, and its belvedere looks out over the valley and its wooded hills. Hills, woods, fields, olive groves and vineyards are all to be found nearby. The Villa dates back to the 17th Century, having been built for the aristocratic Fiorilli family. Today it is a boutique hotel, run by a husband and wife team and combines charm and cosiness with high standards of service and comfort, thanks to a painstaking restoration first begun in 2003. Facilities at the hotel include its swimming pool for summer use, a nearby tennis court, and the opportunity to exercise your horse riding skills. The hotel is about 2 hours' drive from Pisa airport.

All rooms have bath or shower and WC, air-conditioning, heating, telephone, wi-fi internet access, in-room entertainment system with satellite TV, mini-bar and safe.

We include a classic double in our basic price but the apartments are also available at a supplement.

Day by day itinerary

Day One:
Depart from London Gatwick on a British Airways flight to Pisa or Bologna (choice of flight times, subject to availability), where you will pick up your hire car from the airport. The journey time is about two hours. If you want to travel by another airline, or to another airport or have a transfer to the hotel, we can adjust the details and the price for you. Once you have checked in to the Villa, there is time to explore it and its grounds, perhaps enjoying a sandwich or tea and cakes before your invitation to join a guided tour at 6.30 taking you through the history of the villa and its gardens. This is followed by an appetiser with the owners or their representatives and then at 7.30 you enjoy a seasonal gourmet dinner, with selected wines to accompany each course.

Day Two:
In the morning after breakfast there is an orientation visit to a nearby bakery in the village of Chiassaia, where you will be invited to make your very own ā€œschiacciataā€(a Tuscan speciality light lunch) by the baker. Lunch consists of the fruits of your labour after a pleasant walk in the surroundings. The first cookery lesson proper will be in the Villa that afternoon. This two hour session is hands-on and provides an insight into the preparation of regional dishes as well as traditional cooking methods. At the end of the session, you share the evening meal together.

Day Three:
After breakfast your day begins with a visit to Florence and in particular its historic central market. Your chef will initiate you into the delights of selecting the best produce and other ingredients. A brief tour of central Florence will take place before proceeding to the ā€œIn Tavolaā€ school of cooking, near the Pitti Palace, for the second cooking lesson followed by lunch. A further short tour of the gardens of the Palace will be followed by your return to the villa and a light dinner.

Day Four:
This is a rest day and after breakfast you can head out to enjoy destinations of your choice. The choice is huge as the villa stands within the triangle formed by Florence, Arezzo and Siena. If you don't have a hire car, then we can arrange chauffeured excursions at supplementary cost. The Villa will provide many and varied suggestions for places to explore. Lunch and dinner are not included today, giving you the chance to discover other gastronomic delights upon which the Villa will be more than happy to advise you.

Day Five:
The day begins after breakfast with a visit to a cheese maker. He will show you how he makes at least two varieties of cheese, and lunch will consist of the opportunity to sample his wares and other local produce. A return to the Villa in the afternoon heralds another cookery lesson. Once again it is hands-on and will focus on yet more aspects of regional dishes and traditional Italian methods of cooking. A meal together follows the course in the evening.

Day Six:
The morning is again free for visits or just a walk to discover the local countryside. You can relax beside the pool or go out for a spot of sightseeing. Lunch is not included today, but of course can be taken at a local, recommended, restaurant. The cookery course starts again in the afternoon. This will be three hours of hands-on instruction in the preparation of local dishes. At the end you celebrate with the chef, have dinner together and you are presented with a recipe booklet and enjoy a final ā€˜arrivederci' toast.

Day Seven:
A leisurely breakfast and then some free time before a departure for the journey of about two hours back to Pisa or Bologna airport for your return flight.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT WWW.EXPRESSIONSHOLIDAYS.CO.UK

COOKERY AT THE VILLA DI MONTE SOLARE UMBRIA

The Villa di Monte Solare in Umbria is a perfect setting for a wonderful cookery holiday. The small, privately owned Villa di Monte Solare is set in its own grounds of formal gardens, wooded hills, vines and olive groves. It affords magnificent views across the rolling landscapes of northern Umbria and Lake Trasimeno a few miles away.

Umbria's gastronomy is very much a product of its earth and waters, and the Villa di Monte Solare is a perfect place for you to perfect your cookery skills and tantalise your tastebuds! Local specialities such as truffles, porcini, walnuts, salamis and game feature strongly in the regional cuisine and they are married perfectly with the rich red wines of Torgiano or the region's famous white chardonnay-based Orvieto.

The Villa di Monte Solare is a delightful 25-room hotel exuding warmth, character and charm and provides you with superb quality of service and a very high standard of accommodation. It is the perfect setting for our 4-night Italian cookery course that promises to unlock the secrets of Umbria's delicious food and wine.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Arrival at the Villa di Monte Solare and dinner in their restaurant.

Day 2
Your first cookery class starts after breakfast on your first full day. This hands-on course provides an excellent insight into the preparation of regional dishes as well as traditional cooking methods. The course lasts about 3 hours and will be followed by a joint meal.

Day 3
This day is dedicated to great Umbrian wines. After breakfast drive to Torgiano and visit the Lungarotti Foundation's wine museum, one of the best in the world. Giorgio Lungarotti was the first wine producer to export Umbrian wine all over the world. After the museum, enjoy a tasting close by. In the afternoon you should explore Montefalco home to the Sagrantino wine and Bevagna. Transport is provided for this day. Enjoy dinner this evening back at the hotel.

Day 4
This morning you take part in the second of the cookery classes involving Italian recipes. Again this lasts for about three 3 hours and is followed by a joint meal. At the end of the course you'll share a toast with the chef and receive a recipe booklet.

Day 5
Departure after breakfast.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT WWW.EXPRESSIONSHOLIDAYS.CO.UK

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT EXPRESSIONS HOLIDAYS VISIT WWW.EXPRESSIONSHOLIDAYS.CO.UK

  CONTACT DETAILS
   
Expressions Holidays
The Gallery
Delamore Park
Cornwood
Ivybridge
Devon
PL21 9QP
Phone:
01752 878045
Email:
info@expressionsholidays.co.uk
Web:
www.expressionsholidays.co.uk

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com