Alternative Christmas present ideas

Left it to the last minute? Looking for an inspired present that no one else is going to have? You’ve come to the right place. have a fantastic range of holiday courses that just keep on giving. Buy your loved one a aromatherapy weekend, a perfume course, a pasta making trip or how about taking a trip down memory lane with a course learning to make those 70’s classics including crepes suzette?

Check out these inspired Christmas present ideas….

Note: All courses can be purchased with ‘open dates’ for travel anytime in 2011 and vouchers are delivered instantly so can be purchased even on Christmas day if you really are a last minute present buyer!

For the beauty junkie or those in need of some relaxation and pampering for Christmas….   Indulge your senses on this unique Aromatherapy and Massage Course in Brittany, France

Harness the healing power of plants and healing hands as you learn the art of holistic aromatherapy and massage. You will also learn how to make your own perfume or therapy oil, as well as learning about how each oil can benefit your health and mood so you’ll be able to treat yourself throughout the year.

You will also learn about how to use aromatherapy, hand, head and foot massage in your daily life, meaning that you can put your new found skills to good use when you return home.

You’ll be staying in a beautiful Breton cottage in orchards, only 40 minutes from the northern coast of France.  4 days for just £395 includes 3 nights’ accommodation, all aromatherapy products, a mini treatment, massage and aromatherapy tuition and a four course meal every evening.

NOTE: 10% off for arrivals in Jan and Feb so price is just £356 per person – cheaper than a little blue box from Tiffany’s!

While this course is no longer offered, you can find a range of wellbeing courses on our site.

Don’t know which perfume to get her? Why not buy a perfume course in Grasse, France – the home of Chanel No. 5 to allow your loved one to create their own unique perfume

Dabble in the secret art of the perfumer and go learn to create 100ml of French quality Eau de Parfum at the famous Galimard perfume school on this 3 hour ‘Rose of May perfume course in the perfume capital of the world, Grasse.  At just £88 that’s a little more than a bottle of DKNY or Chance by Chanel but you can’t put a price on your own unqiue creation and just think, the skills learnt will mean you can make your own perfume over and over again saving £££’s in the long run.    Your unique formula will be registered and kept in a confidential data bank and may be re-ordered at your convenience – move over Kylie, J Lo, Victoria Beckham and Brittney!

Perfume courses in Grasse

For the creative – a luxury eco-chic painting weekend in Andalucia

Just £291 per person for 3 nights / 4 days including all meals, accommodation, tuition and materials.

An amazing ‘off grid’ luxury eco-retreat set in a Natural park in a stunning location, perfect to be inspired to paint by your location. We recommend going in March for the Almond Blossom but there are many other events during the year that aren’t to be missed!

While this course is no longer offered, you can find our painting holiday in Andalucia.

Landscape Photography weekend in the Dordogne, France

This is a brand new course focusing on landscape photography in France. It runs over a weekend and includes luxury accommodation, all tuition, meals and drinks. Just £495 for 3 nights / 4 days and is ideal for beginners through to budding experts.  The perfect gift to accompany that new shiny camera!

Photography holidays in France

Pasta making course in Rome

Great fun pasta making course in Rome along with a visit to Rome’s food market and speciality shops. Great for the foodie and a lovely accompaniment to a fun weekend in Rome.
Just £102 per person and you’ll learn to cook like a real Italian.

Pasta making course in Rome

For the foodie… addicted to watching Jamie Does, MasterChef, Nigella & more – try a weekend of food and wine indulgence in France

A great fun weekend in the pretty French village of Gramont in SW France. Stay in accommodation recommended by Alistair Sawdays and learn to cook with Chef David and Bernard. All meals, drinks, tuition and accommodation included – you really don’t need any spending money. You’ll learn to cook not only in the farmhouse kitchen but also in a restaurant kitchen to see different sides of cooking. This is the ultimate cookery experience with a healthy dose of fun and relaxation thrown in. Not recommended for those on a diet! £420 per person for 2 nights/3 days.

Cookery weekend in France

Weekend surf trip in Portugal for the sporty one in the family

Surf’s up for 3 nights on one of Portugal’s best surf beach Baleal. Great instruction, video monitoring, surf equipment and surf house accommodation included.  The instructor also DJ’s so you might find him behind the decks at the bar.  Just £172 per person (low season) £274 high season.

Surf weekend in Portugal

Yoga on a shoe string – it doesn’t get better value than this great Yoga and pilates weekend in Crete

Stay in the beautiful fishing village of Loutro in the south west of the Greek island of Crete, a stunning and tranquil location with excellent beaches bathed under warm sun. Your courses will be taught by your friendly and professional instructor with a commitment to improving your health during your stay through yoga and pilates practice.  Perfect for someone in need of some rest and relaxation with some gentle yoga and pilates to ensure they feel refreshed and revived.

3 nights/4 days just £139


While this holiday in Crete is no longer offered, we have a range of Pilates holidays you can check out.

Fantastic fun jewellery making weekend in France

Save money in 2011 by making your own unique pieces on this fun Jewellery making holiday in South West France. Spend a long weekend in a lovingly restored farmhouse in Aveyron learning to design and make your own jewellery, using a range of top quality materials including silver, freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals and semi-precious beads.  You’ll make a wide variety of jewellery including earrings, bracelets and necklaces, all of which you’ll be able to take home with you.   This is double the present value, not only do you get an amazing weekend away, you come back laden with jewels!

4 days, from just £285. Courses run year round. Includes 3 nights’ accommodation, daily breakfasts, all equipment and materials and all the jewellery you can make in a week as well as return airport transfers and sightseeing excursions – BARGAIN!

While this exact course is no longer offered, we have a range of jewellery making holidays in France for you to peruse.

Take a trip back to the 70’s on a mussel harvesting and crepes suzette weekend in Brittany

Cook up that 70’s classic, forage for mussels at the beach then learn to prepare the famous French dish Moules Marinières – a must for any French seafood enthusiast.   Just £227 per person for 2 nights, including all meals, hotel accommodation, a mussel harvesting excursion and cookery lessons.  A fun weekend with a great insight into local life.

Remember, all presents can be brought with open dates or fixed dates and there are loads more ideas on our website from gladiator courses to horse riding weekends!

If you need help deciding, call our expert team on 08445 020445 or email [email protected]

Just pay a deposit to secure the place and the balance can be paid when you know the date of travel – keeping your Christmas cash in your pocket for longer!