Jewellery and cooking holiday

South West, Gascony, France

8 days from
per person

Average user rating

Holiday Itinerary

During this 7 night jewellery making holiday you will perfect the art of jewellery making with talented artist Caroline and discover the secrets to French cooking with passionate cook Adam, all set in a beautiful 19th century farmhouse sitting in 50 acres of countryside, ensuring your holiday is a relaxing haven.

Unleash your creative side and learn to make your own beautiful pieces of jewellery using silver, copper and bronze metal clays. This holiday is the perfect introduction to working with precious metal clays (PMC, art clays etc.) to craft pieces of silver jewellery, and these luxury items are something you will treasure forever.

Metal clays are a new jewellery making product which are easy to mould and shape – just like clay – so you’re not limited to what you can design. Watch as the metal clay is fired and turns to pure silver before your very eyes, ready to be made into unique pieces of jewellery.

With expert tuition from your talented tutor Caroline, you’ll learn the art of jewellery making in the well-equipped studio and will design and make exquisite jewellery to take home with you at the end of your trip.

As well as making jewellery, you’ll also learn to cook tasty French cuisine and explore the delights of French cuisine with culinary guided excursions. And what better place to learn to cook? Famously a gourmet’s paradise, Gascony is famed for its delicious duck to succulent wild boar and charming local wines, not forgetting the allure of Gascony Armagnac, which will tickle your taste buds.

Enthusiastic cook Adam will accompany you on a range of culinary excursions, which can be anything from visiting a local Armagnac producer and tasting to visiting a butcher to learn all about charcuterie. You will learn real knowledge about real food, with Adam showing you how to cook proper homemade French meals served with just a little show and a lot of passion, all accompanied by some spectacular wines and Armagnac from local boutique producers.

Stay in a stunning renovated farmhouse in the glorious region of Gascony in South West of France with its own swimming pool and 50 acres of land. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind and your hosts Adam and Caroline will be on hand at all times to ensure your stay is as enjoyable as possible. There are also no single supplements for solo travellers, making this a fantastic holiday for singles.

Who is it suitable for?
- Both cooking and jewellery making is suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced
- Minimum age 18
- Your hosts and tutors speak English and French, and lessons will be taught in English
- Dietary requirements will be catered for if these are communicated in advance of booking

I'm travelling solo - can I join?
- These holidays make great singles holidays as there are NO single supplements and you will have your own private room for no additional cost
- There is a discount for 2 people travelling together and sharing a room, please see the 'Costing and extras' tab for more details

When can I start?
- This course starts on Saturdays and runs on set dates year round
- Courses run for 7 nights/8 days
- If you can’t find the date you want, we can request additional dates so please email us on and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival

Typical itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1: Arrival day
- Arrive at Agen train station in the afternoon to be greeted by your friendly hosts before being driven to the farmhouse where your holiday will begin (airport collections can be arranged upon request for a supplement-please see the costing and extras tab for more details)
- Settle into your delightful room before getting to know your fellow students over delicious aperitifs
- Enjoy a social evening with a 3 course gourmet dinner served in the farmhouse kitchen along with a short introduction from your hosts about what to expect over the next few days

Day 2: Hollow forms and syringe workshop and wine tasting
- This morning after breakfast you will go to a local delightful village market to explore the area to discuss your first project designs with the rest of the group and your tutor Caroline
- You will then return home to begin your first jewellery making class
- Today you will learn the technique of making hollow forms, which is perfect for creating hollow forms such as classical silver ball earrings or a beautiful textured bead pendant for earrings
- Caroline will teach you the basic techniques with using precious metal clay (PMC) to give you maximum freedom to develop your own designs
- You will also learn syringe work with bronzes, and use stones and semi-precious beads to create your unique designs
- A delicious lunch will be served by the pool or in the farmhouse kitchen
- This afternoon, you will learn about the processes of designing, creating and finishing your pieces, including how to use tools such as kilns and torch burners, sanding and polishing tools
- Once your fine silver piece is finished you will be taught to add findings and beads if chosen so that your jewellery is ready to wear
- Late afternoon you will visit a beautiful chateau famous for its aperitifs and wines for an afternoon of wine tasting
- Dinner will be served back at the farmhouse giving you time to relax in the lounge or by the swimming pool firstly, or to take advantage of one of the onsite activities such as table tennis or cycling

Day 3: Naturals and fingerprinting jewellery making workshop and Armagnac tasting
- After a leisurely breakfast, you will choose something natural of your choice, such as a leaf, to influence your fine silver jewellery designs today
- Lunch will be served by the pool or in the farmhouse kitchen with views of the countryside all around to help inspire your creative side
- After lunch, you will create a your own personal fingerprint jewellery
- Fingerprint jewellery is when you set the prints of loved ones (or even pets!) into fine silver
- This is a unique process and the perfect gift or memento to keep for yourself
- Early evening, you will visit a family run Armagnac distillery (which Gascony is famous for) and learn how it is made and the history behind it and, more importantly, tasting the Armagnac and local produce
- A 3 course gourmet meal will then be served back at the farmhouse kitchen accompanied with local delicious wines

Day 4: Free day
- Today is a free day for you to spend at your leisure
- Choose to spend more time perfecting your metal clay techniques and working on your jewellery in the studio, or take time to relax by the swimming pool with a good book
- All meals are included today, and enjoy a well-earned rest before your cookery experience begins!

Day 5: Culinary excursion and first cookery lesson
- After breakfast, it’s time to enter the kitchen and begin your culinary experience!
- Your host and chef Adam will be on hand at all times to ensure you learn as much as possible during informal and fun cookery lessons and culinary excursions
- Today Adam will accompany you on a culinary excursion which will be confirmed upon arrival depending on the group’s preference and the season
- You visit may include any of the following:  visits to a local duck farm, butcher, boulangerie/patisserie, vineyard, Armagnac producer, cheese maker, chocolatier, prune producer, organic farm or charcuterie
- You may also take an accompanied tour of the cultural and historical sights surrounding the school including Auch Cathedral, Chateau Henri IV, Collégiale at La Romieu or the art gallery at the Abbaye de Flaran
- After returning to the farmhouse, enjoy a leisurely lunch before your first cookery lesson
- Adam will teach you how to create a delicious 3 course French menu today
- After your lesson, you will enjoy a group dinner of the dishes you have prepared in the kitchen with a well-deserved glass on wine

Day 6: Culinary excursion and second cookery lesson
- Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning
- Adam will then accompany you on another culinary excursion to awaken your senses, introduce you to local life, and ignite your passion for fresh, local food
- You will then return to the farmhouse to enjoy a light lunch before reentering the kitchen for your second cookery course
- Learn to cook delicious country meals with Adam, with just a little show and a lot of passion as you learn about real French food, how to prepare it, cook it, and serve it
- Tonight’s dinner will be tasting the delicious French dishes you’ve learnt to cook and you will have a discussion about where to go tomorrow for your day excursion around this beautiful 
Day 7: Day group excursion
- Relax with a delicious breakfast this morning before heading out on a fun excursion for the day
- Today you’ll enjoy an excursion to a location of your choice! Your hosts will take you to either Dune de Pila, Bordeaux city, the Pyrenees mountains or Biarritz, depending on the groups preferences
- Explore the stunning scenery and relax on your final day, and enjoy lunch whilst you out
- This evening you’ll return home for your final dinner, where you’ll reflect on the week and how much you have learnt  

Day 8: Departure day
- After breakfast, guests are asked to check out by 10am
- You are welcome to relax and enjoy some free time if your flight is not until later in the day, before being taken to the airport or train station for your return journey

About your tutors
- Your friendly and enthusiastic jewellery tutor is Caroline, who has been a qualified jewellery teacher for over 20 years and has experience in setting up and running training centres teaching practical skills
- She is a senior instructor in both PMC and Art Clay and has experience in using a wide range of clays
- Her love for teaching is reinforced every time a student looks in wonder at what they have designed and created themselves
- Caroline is passionate about jewellery and creative design, and she will be on hand at all times to assist you and help you to create beautiful jewellery
- Caroline’s husband Adam will be taking your cookery classes and he is a passionate food connoisseur
- Adam aims to pass on his extensive knowledge about real food during his classes, and teaches in an informal style to allow you to have as much fun as possible
- His classes are designed around pleasure rather than pretence and Adam will ensure you have a great time both in the cookery classes and during the culinary excursions
- Caroline and Adam will also be happy to suggest activities in the area during your stay

What will I learn?
Jewellery lessons
- You will learn the fundamentals of working with precious metal clay, art clay etc and gain a greater understanding of what the product is and the different types of metal clay
- Work with different clays including bronze clays
- How to use a range of machines such as the kiln and torch burner to achieve different effects
- How to unleash your creative side and design your own jewellery
- How to use semi-precious stones and beads
- Make hollow forms such as fine silver classic French ball earrings
- Syringe work with bronze
- Influence your fine silver designs using nature, such as leaves and twigs
- Fingerprint jewellery to set prints of loved ones in fine silver
- Take home beautiful unique jewellery to be proud of, and skills which will last you a lifetime

Cookery lessons
- You will also learn to cook delicious 3 course French meals
- Visit a range of culinary producers during your stay, depending on the season and the group’s needs
- The culinary excursions will introduce you to local French produce and producers, as well as tastings of the products such as cheese, charcuterie or wine
- Learn to combine flavours and create classic French meals to show off to friends once you are back home

Where will I be staying?
- You will stay in the beautiful Baron Figres, a 150 year old farmhouse in the lovely Gascony countryside with a renovated gite attached
- The farmhouse has been renovated to a high standard combining natural features with modern touches
- The farmhouse has 3 twin/double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms
- There is a large, homey kitchen in the farmhouse which has a table that can seat 14 people
- There is a beautiful gite attached to the farmhouse which has 2 twin/double ensuite bedrooms with sweeping views of the countryside
- Downstairs there is a spacious living area with satellite TV and music system, perfect for relaxing evenings
- There is a fully equipped kitchen which guests are welcome to use
- Outside there is a BBQ terrace and the farmhouse boasts its own private outdoor swimming pool (12m x 6m, May-September)
- The farmhouse is surrounded by 50 acres of meadows and woodlands
- Accommodation is included for 7 nights/8 days
- There are no single supplements for solo travellers and you will automatically have your own private bedroom for no extra charge
- Check in any time after 4pm on day 1 and check out by 10am on day 8

Restricted mobility access
Please find below some information regarding the accommodation and location of the holiday which may be useful when deciding if this is the right holiday for you; should you have an further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
- We generally do not recommend this location for those with restricted mobility
- The holiday is based in the countryside, and does include some walking
- The accommodation has no bedrooms or bathrooms on the ground floor, therefore one must be comfortable with stairs

Sample dishes
Dishes vary according to the season and what food is available and you will discuss as a group what you want to prepare but may include:
• Duck – confit, breast
• Stews and gratins
• Lapin chasseur
• Jalousie de porc
• Coq au vin
• Foie gras
• Goat cheese with honey and thyme
• Soufflé d’epinard
• Creme brulé
• Tarte tatin
• Poire Williams

Are meals included?
- All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and refreshments (wine, tea, coffee etc) are included for this course
- You will eat the delicious meals you have cooked for dinner on your cookery days
- The school use fresh, local produce where possible
- If you have dietary requests these must be communicated to us at the time of booking, vegetarians can catered for

What can I do in my free time?
- During your free time, there is plenty to do at your farmhouse accommodation including relaxing by the heated swimming pool (May-September)
- The school offers a range of extracurricular activities onsite which are free of charge including table tennis, basketball, shooting, archery, cycling and board games to name a few!
- There are numerous fêtes, music festivals and exhibitions in the surrounding areas through the year and your host Caroline will be happy to advise you during your stay
- The closest towns are Nérac and Condom, and your host will be happy to suggest activities and transport should you wish to explore these during your stay