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  • Cookery holiday near Bordeaux

    Le Saint James

    Cookery holiday near Bordeaux in Aquitaine

    This is a 3 or 4 night holiday with two different cookery classes included held at Le Saint James, a Relais & Chateaux hotel with Michelin starred restaurant located on the outskirts of Bordeaux with its own vineyard. This holiday operates without a minimum number of participants and you join in with classes that the hotel’s cookery school is running on a weekly basis.
    Click here to download a pdf with full details of this cookery holiday.

    About the cookery
    The Côté Cours is an established cookery school at Le Saint James run by Celia Girard, the sous-chef to Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Magie. What makes this so special is that there is a self-contained kitchen, very bright and spacious, with Poggenpohl units and Miele ovens and equipment. Lessons are hands-on with all participants having their own work stations. There are lessons every day of the week throughout the year when the hotel is open and they cater for all levels, from children to those who are proficient cooks wanting a Master Class. The lessons vary in duration and include themed classes and world cooking. We have put together a short break and include two cookery lessons: one St James Style and the other a themed class. We have scheduled this to run from a Friday to a Monday or Tuesday, but your stay can be extended to incorporate another themed session on a Wednesday, or just to explore the nearby area.

    Where you stay
    Le Saint James is a unique four star Relais & Châteaux hotel on a hillside perch on the borders of the village of Bouliac, just outside Bordeaux. The airport is about 25 minutes away by car. Le Saint-James’ unusual architecture was designed by Jean Nouvel to resemble the tobacco-drying barns of the region, where the original 18th Century farmhouse buildings contrast with the industrial-style pavilions which are home to the guestrooms. From here the views are spectacular, sloping through orderly vineyards across the fields to Bordeaux. The property produces its own house wine, the Vin du Jardin. The 15 rooms and 3 suites are minimally decorated with white walls and bed linens allowing the colours of the landscape to stand out. A marvellous feature of the rooms is that the beds stand elevated to the level of panoramic windows, allowing sunrise views to greet you when you wake. In the restaurant, floor-to-ceiling windows take advantage of the hotel’s westward-facing aspect, with sunlight and rural beauty becoming the backdrop for fine dining from Michelin-starred Chef Nicolas Magie. Unusually for a hotel of this sort, there is also a bistro-style café too. The hotel has four hectares of grounds, an outdoor swimming pool, sauna and can arrange in-room massage on request.

    Depart on a Friday.
    Day one: London to Bordeaux
    There is a flight at 08.00 with British Airways from London Gatwick arriving at Bordeaux at 10.45 hrs or a later one at 16.50 arriving at 19.25 hrs. The flight times do vary according to the season and in the summer months there is an earlier flight out and a later flight out instead. You are collected by car from the airport or you may choose to have a hire-car for the duration of the holiday, returning it to the airport at the end. The rest of the day is at leisure to settle in to the hotel, explore the region, go for a walk in the grounds, swim or perhaps do some shopping or sightseeing in nearby Bordeaux. On the first evening we include a 5 course menu for dinner, accompanied by 2 glasses of wine, mineral water and coffee.
    Day two: First cookery session
    After a leisurely breakfast, prepare for your first hands-on cookery lesson, The Saint-James Style. This is for up to 12 people and takes place from 09.30 until 1.30. After an initial presentation about the world of gastronomy you learn the ropes of gourmet cuisine with the Chef as you prepare a three course meal, with chosen recipes from the Saint-James gourmet restaurant. The service includes a hands-on course and an on-site tasting session along with a glass of wine and coffee. The afternoon is then at leisure to rest and relax or to explore. Or, on a Saturday you can take an optional class in World Cooking, discovering various traditional meals from around the world, from 6 to 9pm which includes a starter and a main course and on-site tasting of those dishes plus dessert, a glass of wine and coffee. Own arrangements for dinner.
    Day three: Second cookery session
    Again after a leisurely breakfast, you join the group for your second cookery lesson, a Themed class that takes place from 11 am to 2.30 pm. The Themed class is for up to 12 people and it focuses on a specific product or ingredient. You are able to practise professional techniques that make it possible for you to reproduce these dishes at home. There will be the preparation of a starter, a main course, on-site tasting of the two dishes, a dessert, a glass of wine and a coffee. Themes may include ingredients such as wild salmon, scallops, lamb, duck and sea bass. The rest of the afternoon is then free to explore or relax.
    Day four: At leisure in Aquitaine or departure for London
    If you are on the 3 night break you leave the hotel this morning after an early breakfast as the flight with British Airways from Bordeaux to London Gatwick departs at 11.15 hrs, arriving at 11.55 hrs or 21.00 hrs arriving at 21.35 hrs. In the summer months the flights inbound are both earlier and later. (It is only 25 minutes by car from the hotel to the airport). If you are staying for 4 nights or more perhaps, then this day is at leisure and worth having a hire-car to make the most of the region, perhaps by visiting nearby Saint-Emilion, or the splendid vineyards of the Médoc. Le Saint-James can also arrange for a wine tasting for you. Own arrangements for dinner.
    Day five: Bordeaux to London
    On Tuesdays the flight leaves at 20.10 arriving at 20.45 in the winter and then in the summer it leaves at 10.05 and arrives at 10.35 hrs.

    This holiday operates with departures on Fridays for 3 and 4 night holidays so that it ties in with the days the Saint James Style and themed cooking classes take place. We can tailor it though to include other classes mentioned above.
    Price per person:
    From 26 January to 31 March and from 1 November to 29 December
    £1040 when sharing a deluxe double for 3 nights
    £1190 when sharing a deluxe double for 4 nights

    From 1 April to 23 June, from 28 August to 31 October
    £1265 when sharing a deluxe double for 3 or 4 nights (4 nights for the price of 3, so no reduction if you only stay for 3 nights)

    From 24 June to 27 August and from 30 December until 2 January
    £1310 when sharing a deluxe double for 3 nights
    £1520 when sharing a deluxe double for 4 nights

    Supplements per person for single use of double room:
    From 26 Jan-31 Mar, from 1 Nov-29 Dec: £320 for 3 nights, £490 for 4 nights
    From 1 Apr-23 Jun, 28 Aug-31 Oct: £525 for 3 or 4 nights
    From 24 Jun-27 Aug, from 30 Dec-2 Jan: £560 for 3 nights, £740 for 4 nights
    Supplements per night:
    Hauterive suite £86 from 24 Jun-28 Aug and from 30 Dec-2 Jan, £80 all other dates
    Harley Davidson suite £120
    Jacuzzi suite £130
    Supplement for Car hire: 
    No supplement for stays of 3 nights. Add £35 per day for each additional day if you want a hire-car and not a transfer.
    Deposit payment required: £300 per person

    What’s included
    • Flights in Euro Traveller with British Airways London to Bordeaux return
    • Private car transfer from Bordeaux airport to the hotel and back (car-hire optional on request)
    • 3 or 4 nights in a deluxe double room with breakfast at Le Saint James
    • 5-course dinner on the first evening
    • Two cookery classes (one St James Style on a Saturday and a Themed Class on a Sunday)

    Alternative travel arrangements
    If you want us to arrange flights from other UK airports or with other airlines, please let us know and we can incorporate these into the holiday price for you. Bordeaux can also be reached from Paris by TGV in between 3 and 4 hours. You can leave London just after 9am and reach Bordeaux by about 5.30pm with a change in Paris.

    Click here to download a pdf with full details of this cookery holiday.

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