Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aux Jardins des Thevenets, Come Along for a Cooking Holiday

I've just returned from one of the most beautiful places in the world. I felt I was living inside a magazine spread, only this was real. If you want a break from the world in a relaxing and creative atmosphere, where the food is wonderful and adventure is waiting outside the gate, Aux Jardins des Thevenets is the place.
I originally planned a visit to Aux Jardins des Thevenets to talk with Lynn and Olivier about hosting a cooking class. My friend Uju had gushed about the beauty of the manor house and surrounding area. She had known Lynn and Olivier for years and adored them. Lynn was described as a creative and inspired women and an absolutely wonderful cook. Once I visited Jardins, I knew Uju was onto something. The place was beautiful, the food delicious, and Lynn and Olivier were absolutely wonderful hosts running a comfortable and idyllic Bed and Breakfast. Recently featured in the Dutch magazine, Seasons, they were busier than ever. I knew I had to move fast if I wanted to plan a cooking holiday for the fall.

When I stepped off the train, a beautiful and very chic red haired women met me on the platform. Pam? With kisses and smiles we greeted each other like long lost friends. We stopped in the town of Vichy, so old world French. Spotted with Napoleonic Chateau’s, cafe’s and tawny shops. The people walked a little slower and smiled more. A world away from Paris, or New York for that matter. The world famous Vichy Spa, Les Celestins a tease for my poor jet lagged body. We had a complete tour, alas no treatment! I just wanted to lay on one of the tables and be massaged by four hands, with the Vichy waters pouring over me. We had Kirs at an outdoor cafe, sitting and enjoying the warmth of the sun and a cool breeze. Lynn and I had a connection, love of food, life and adventure. She was living my dream, a beautiful organic farm and Bed & Breakfast in Auvergne.
Breakfast was served on this marvelous table in the garden surrounded by tumbling roses and scarlet poppies.
Dinner was served in the beautiful Old World dining room. The walls and hearth were restored by Olivier.
If you would like to relax in a beautiful Bed & Breakfast in the scenic Auvergne country side, shop in the town market,
enjoy a hands on cooking classes in a beautiful country kitchen, dine on delicious food and drink wonderful wine, explore a medieval town, dine in a few wonderful restaurants and spend an afternoon at a spa than this will be the adventure of a life time!


Day 1, Monday

  • Transfer from the Vichy train station to Aux Jardins des Thevenets.
  • Settle into your room with free time to explore the grounds.
  • Join your hosts, Lynn and Olivier Chaulieu for a welcome aperitif and a wonderful dinner.
Day 2 Tuesday
  • Breakfast and transfer to the medieval town of Charroux .We will visit Moutarde de Charroux, an old world shop featuring hand made mustard and freshly pressed hazelnut and walnut oils.
  • Explore the town and lunch on your own.
  • Return to the kitchen for a hands-on culinary class followed by dinner.
Day3 Wednesday
  • Breakfast
  • Depart to the town of Vichy for a visit to the market, return for a hands on culinary class followed by lunch.
  • Dinner at Chez Kiki et Minou in Espinasse-Vozelle
Day 4 Thursday
  • Breakfast, enjoy grounds
  • Lunch at Maison Decoret
  • Les Celestins Spa in the afternoon
  • Return home for a hands on cooking class followed by dinner
Day 5 Friday
  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Vichy Station
Dates; Arrive September 28, 2009 - Depart October 2, 2009
All prices are based on double occupancy

US $1200 per person
US $100 single supplement

Included in the cooking holiday:

  • Arrival and departure transfers to/from Vichy train station
  • Four nights accommodation in a double room at Aux Jardins des Thevenets
  • Welcome aperitif at the Inn
  • Daily breakfast
  • Two Lunches and one dinner
  • Three hands-on cooking classes with meal to follow
  • Wine with meals during the classes
  • Excursions as per itinerary