Kelly B reviews her delicious cooking and wine week in Gascony


“Just an utterly brilliant experience! I really cannot speak highly enough of the whole experience and David & Bernard were great! I’ve already recommended this course to a lady I met at the airport whilst on my journey home and would not hesitate to do so again.”

Another day, another fantastic customer review! Serial holidaymaker Kelly B shares her thoughts on her cookery and wine holiday in Gascony below:

Why did you choose to take this cookery holiday?
I’m lucky enough to have been on lots of mini-breaks this year with many different friends – so many in fact that I started to run out of willing friends to travel with! With my left over leave, I thought I’d travel solo to give myself some quality me-time and it helped to have an activity to do rather than just sit on a beach. The cookery holiday was the perfect place to meet wonderful friends and learn some new cookery skills at the same time.

How did you find the booking process with
It was great, Sarah from NotInTheGuideBooksrecommended this cookery holiday to me and I probably wouldn’t have thought about booking it otherwise. Turns out I made the right choice!

IMG-20121019-00090Did you have any apprehensions about taking the holiday as a solo traveller?
This holiday was perfect for solo travellers. The group got on really well and there were a mixture of friends and solo travellers and everyone just gelled from the beginning. I booked an extra nights accommodation after my course on a canal boat which was a really cool place to stay, and one of the ladies on the cookery course ended up booking a night there too so it was great to have company!

What was your accommodation like?
My room was lovely, really traditional and simple yet welcoming and homey. The main house was really delightful and I loved the large terrace with views over the countryside.

What were your chefs David and Bernard like?
Both David and Bernard were so lovely and very entertaining. I’ve been a holiday rep for many years so I know it takes a certain kind of person to open up your home to guests and David and Vikki were the perfect hosts. David was patient and welcoming, and very precise with his cooking methods and skills, whereas Bernard was more laid back (apart from when it came to the cassoulet!) It was really useful having two chefs and the contrasting styles, and great to work in the restaurant kitchen as well.

L'Isle-Bouzon-20121020-00091What was your favourite dish you made?
My favourite dishes were probably the cassoulet as it’s a lovely autumn and winter warming dish, and then the tarte aux pommes as well. I’m not much of a cook and couldn’t believe it when I successfully made the pastry!

(The authentic recipe for Chef Bernard’s and Chef David’s tarte aux pommes can be found here.)

Have you made any of the dishes since you’ve returned?
I haven’t actually cooked any of the dishes yet as I’m on a post-holiday detox in time for Christmas! But I’ve already arranged to cook 2 of my friends some of the dishes in the New Year to show off my new skills.

Would you take another cookery holiday in the future?
Definitely! This was my first cookery holiday, and I’d love to try Italian cooking next time. I’d return to this cookery school in Gascony again and take their charcuterie and butchery course too, and I’ve recommended the school to everyone!

Take a look at our website for more inspirational cookery holiday and wine holiday ideas, and contact us for more details.