Here are 10 amazing food and wine holidays you can experience in France in 2017.
1. Wilde cooking, Normandy
Under the enticing name of the Wilde Kitchen, Irish expat Sinéad Allart (née Wilde) offers three-day small-group gourmet breaks in the countryside south-west of Cherbourg. As well as classes in the succulent art of cooking traditional dishes like poulet Vallée d’Auge and teurgoule – respectively, chicken with cream and apples, and the Norman version of rice pudding – the holidays include outings to local markets and restaurants. You also get to visit an organic cider press and cook a full meal in the centuries-old bread oven of a neighbouring farm. Accommodation is in a beautifully converted barn that has two ensuite b & b rooms plus a self-catering apartment.
Three-day courses, including food and lodging, from £1060pp, based on two people sharing, one-day courses £140pp (00 33 6031 78 373; wildekitchen.net). Greg Ward
2. Cream of cuisine in the Pays d’Auge
The lush meadows of the Vallée d’Auge, south-east of Caen, are home to all that’s best about Norman cuisine – namely, the dairy cows, and the fruit orchards. Cheese and cream, apple and cider are the essential ingredients on every menu hereabouts. There are two adjoining rural gîtes just west of Livarot in the heart of cheese country – Les Petits Matins Bleus, a charming brick cottage that can sleep five, and Les Pommiers, which has four separate double suites, each with private terrace. They both offer weekend cooking classes for groups of six to 10 guests, with instruction in English and a focus on local organic produce.
A weekend’s b & b in Les Pommiers from £155; a group of five in Les Petits Matins Bleus will pay £390, cooking courses £560-780 for a week (petitsmatinsbleus.com). GW