Discover Normandy

There is something for everyone in Normandy! Boasting 350 miles of rolling coastlines, everchanging, verdant landscapes, a rich culture and history, and world-class food and drink, Normandy is definitely a region worth discovering on this unique 4-night cooking vacation. You will find a blending of maritime traditons and a rural way of life during your stay, and your hosts will provide a unique insight into the art de vivre à la française, where socializing and mealtimes are an integral part of everyday life, whether you are in the kitchen, the garden, on the beach or in the school canteen. Your cooking courses will be at an 18th-century restored farmhouse, located in the breathtakingly beautiful Cotentin Peninsula in a tiny, typical Norman village. You will be just a few miles from the nearest sandy beaches and less than 15 miles from the lively port town of Cherbourg. The nearest market town, Les Pieux (literally meaning ‘the Sticks’), is just a couple of miles down the road.

For history fans, Normandy calls to mind D-Day, and you will be just a 45 minute-drive from the first village liberated on June 6, 1944, Sainte Mère Eglise and Utah beach, and just over an hour from Omaha Beach and the US military cemetary. And yet Normandy is more than just a war memorial: its culture extends to its gastronomy, its people, and its intimate, country way of life. Apple orchards dot the landscape, the fruits of which appear in many traditional Norman dishes; its fertile interior yields a cuisine famous for its simple, good, hearty dishes, its fresh local produce, exception seafood, dairy herds, and presalé lambs— the so-called “pre-salted” stock that grazes on sand dunes near Le Mont St. Michel.


Latest Review

No rating given with this review
We were very, very pleased with the cooking lesson, the chef, her family, her home, and most importantly her generosity in sharing her knowledge, love of food, life, and family with us...the setting was in a fairly remote, quiet part of Normandy but conveniently located. We enjoyed being off the tourist path. Her home was a labor of love...She and her husband rehabbed an old farm and built a separate, very commfortable B&B...The aesthetics, land, and home were great.. Her kitchen was new and very well thought out. The menu she selected was reflective of local foods and provided us with a educational ands fun cooking experience. She is very hands on and user friendly as well as organized and a wonderful story teller. She seems to love what she does and it is apparent in her entire "production" from beginning to end. She and her husband joined us for dinner...They couldn’t have been more engaging. We were also fortunate enough to be there on their daughters birthday so we enjoyed some of the families tradition in celebrating...I would highly recommend this cooking school to anyone. Judy & Dennis, IL

Trip Details

Enjoy 3 hands-on cooking sessions with your hostess, Sinéad. Irish by birth, she and her husband Philippe, the local veterinarian, moved to Normandy over 20 years ago. Sinéad quickly realized that her culinary background transcended borders and she delved into the gastronomy and way of life of her new home: she learned to ride a horse, speak French fluently, raise chickens (and kids!), and embrace the simple yet delectable food traditions of Normandy. The results will be yours to enjoy, as she leads you on your culinary discovery of Normandy’s fresh ingredients and rich flavors. Sinéad and Philippe’s philosophy is simple: to share their experience of everyday life with their guests, to open their homes, hearts and kitchens so that you can get an taste of the local culture and the simple, authentic country life of rural Normandy. Their cooking classes and accommodations have been featured in numerous publications, including Lonely Planet, The Telegrah (UK), and Le Figaro magazine. Their culinary experience was also named as one of the most intriguing and delectable cooking classes around the world’ in the 2011 Qantas magazine.


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Itinerary

B&B in Normandy

Day One

Order of activities may change depending on the season and days of the week.

  • Arrival on your own at your accommodations. (The nearest rental car offices are in Cherbourg, about 15 miles away.)
  • Time to chill out, and explore the accommodations and surroundings. You might wander the grounds and have a look at the lavoir and 1789 boulangerie, or head into the village of Benoitville or our local town, Les Pieux.
  • Have a light dinner featuring a Normandy cheese board with wine, crusty bread, and dessert.
  • Overnight.

Quiche in Normandy


Day Two

  • Continental breakfast: freshly-squeezed juices, a range of home-made jams, croissants, pains au chocolat, sourdough bread, café au lait/tea, and sometimes an Irish touch in the form of buttermilk scones!
  • Morning excursion to the market. While you select the freshest local produce with the help of Sinead, you will sample items offered by the proud, enthusiastic stall holders.
  • At 10:30, head to Sinead’s kitchen for your first hands-on cooking class about all French cuisine.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, drinks included.
  • At 3:30 p.m., depart for a visit of the local organic cider farm for a tasting. Weather permitting, walk up to the orchards through the sunken paths, which facilitated the battle of the hedgerows (for the American army in Normandy during WWII).
  • Dinner on your own. Sinead can provide recommendations as well as call and make you reservations.
  • Overnight.

Tomato dish in France


Day Three

  • Continental breakfast.
  • Today will be all on your own, giving you a chance to explore the area. Sinead will provide you with maps and a lot of information to set off in the right direction.
  • Some of Sinead’s suggestions for the day include a trip around Le Cap de La Hague, famous for its breathtaking beauty and rugged coastline; it is also home to Millet, the impressionist painter, as well as the smallest fishing port in all of France. Or, visit Le Val de Saire, known for its fabulous coastline; Barfleur, which was voted France’s third prettiest village in recent years; or Saint Vaast La Hogue, famous for oysters, and the renowned grocery store Gosselins!
  • Lunch and dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Bedroom in Normandy


Day Four

  • After breakfast, head to the kitchen at 10 a.m. for your second cooking class.
  • Lunch to follow, drinks included.
  • Afternoon on your own. Sinead suggests visiting La Maison du Biscuit, a fine grocery store and a foodie’s heaven; it is by far one of the most visited sites in the area.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Chef for your culinary tour in Normandy


Day Five

  • Breakfast.
  • Today will be on your own to explore more of Normandy. Sinead can suggest a few visits/tours, such as a visit to Bayeux and its tapestry (which depicts the Battle of Hastings in 1066), Sainte mere Eglise (the first village liberated during WWII), the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, the famous Normandy beaches, or Mont Saint-Michel.
  • Lunch and dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Mont Saint Michele in France


Day Six

  • Breakfast
  • In the morning, your third cooking class in which you’ll do some food prep for the afternoon activity.
  • Lunch on your own, with suggestions from Sinead.
  • At 2:30 p.m., head to La Ferme Auberge, a working farm to prepare a meal with Francois. You’ll use an 18th-century bread oven that once made bread for more than 100 locals who worked on the farm.
  • At 7:30 p.m., enjoy an apertif with Francois.
  • Dinner back at Sinead’s with the family.
  • Overnight.

Cooking in Normandy


Day Seven

  • Breakfast followed by departure. You will leave rich with recipes, tips, an understanding of life in rural Normandy, and of course memories. You will be ready to dazzle your friends and family with your culinary talents on your return!

Day One

Order of activities may change depending on the season and days of the week.

  • Arrival on your own at your accommodations. (The nearest rental car offices are in Cherbourg, about 15 miles away.)
  • Time to chill out, and explore the accommodations and surroundings. You might wander the grounds and have a look at the lavoir and 1789 boulangerie, or head into the village of Benoitville or our local town, Les Pieux.
  • Enjoy a light dinner featuring a Normandy cheese board, wine, and dessert.
  • Overnight.

Normandy B&B


Day Two

  • Continental breakfast: freshly-squeezed juices, a range of home-made jams, croissants, pains au chocolat, sourdough bread, café au lait/tea, and sometimes an Irish touch in the form of buttermilk scones!
  • Morning excursion to the market in Bricquebec. While you select the freshest local produce with the help of Sinead, you will sample items offered by the proud, enthusiastic stall holders.
  • At 10:30, head to Sinead’s kitchen for your first hands-on cooking class about all French cuisine.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, drinks included.
  • In the afternoon, around 4:30 p.m., visit the local organic cider farm, where you’ll also have a tasting of calvados, cider, and apple juice.
  • Dinner on your own. Sinead can provide recommendations as well as call and make you reservations.
  • Overnight.

Dessert in Normandy


Day Three

  • Continental breakfast.
  • In the morning, take part in your second cooking class with Sinead.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, drinks included.
  • At 2:30 p.m., visit the ferme auberge, a working farm where, along with Francois, you’ll prepare a three-coourse meal that you’ll cook in an 18th-century bread oven that once made bread for 100+ locals who worked on the farm. This is a treat for serious foodies and history lovers alike.
  • Following, a quick visit to La Maison du Biscuit, a fabulous grocery store featuring regional specialties.
  • Enjoy an aperitif with Francois, followed by dinner ‘en famille.’
  • Overnight.

Chef Sinead in Normandy


Day Four

  • After breakfast, head to the kitchen at 10 a.m. for the last time for your third cooking class.
  • Lunch to follow, drinks included.
  • Afternoon on your own. Perhaps visit La Maison du Biscuit, a fine grocery store that is one of the most visited sites in the area.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Chef Sinead in Normandy


Day Five

  • Breakfast and departure.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation at charming B&B

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches
  • 2 dinners (including 1 light dinner on arrival day)
  • Beverages with included meals

Classes & Instructors

Enjoy 3 hands-on cooking sessions with your hostess, Sinéad. Irish by birth, she and her husband Philippe, the local veterinarian, moved to Normandy over 20 years ago. Sinéad quickly realized that her culinary background transcended borders and she delved into the gastronomy and way of life of her new home: she learned to ride a horse, speak French fluently, raise chickens (and kids!), and embrace the simple yet delectable food traditions of Normandy. The results will be yours to enjoy, as she leads you on your culinary discovery of Normandy’s fresh ingredients and rich flavors. Sinéad and Philippe’s philosophy is simple: to share their experience of everyday life with their guests, to open their homes, hearts and kitchens so that you can get an taste of the local culture and the simple, authentic country life of rural Normandy. Their cooking classes and accommodations have been featured in numerous publications, including Lonely Planet, The Telegrah (UK), and Le Figaro magazine. Their culinary experience was also named as one of the most intriguing and delectable cooking classes around the world’ in the 2011 Qantas magazine.

Excursions

  • Market visit, when possible (depends on the day of the week)
  • Visit to a local organic cider farm, with tasting
  • Excursion to the Ferme Auberge to bake in the 18th-century bread oven
  • Visit of a local regional grocery store to stock up on Norman products

Transfer Details

  • This itinerary requires that you have your own vehicle. We would be happy to help you with a rental car. (Not interested in driving? We an quote a fully escorted trip on request. Please inquire for details.)

Not Included

  • Transportation for the excursions

Included in the 4-Night Trip

Accommodations

4 nights accomodations at charming B&B

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches
  • 2 dinners (including 1 light dinner on arrival day)
  • Beverages with included meals

Classes & Instructors

Enjoy 3 hands-on cooking sessions with your hostess, Sinéad. Irish by birth, she and her husband Philippe, the local veterinarian, moved to Normandy over 20 years ago. Sinéad quickly realized that her culinary background transcended borders and she delved into the gastronomy and way of life of her new home: she learned to ride a horse, speak French fluently, raise chickens (and kids!), and embrace the simple yet delectable food traditions of Normandy. The results will be yours to enjoy, as she leads you on your culinary discovery of Normandy’s fresh ingredients and rich flavors. Sinéad and Philippe’s philosophy is simple: to share their experience of everyday life with their guests, to open their homes, hearts and kitchens so that you can get an taste of the local culture and the simple, authentic country life of rural Normandy. Their cooking classes and accommodations have been featured in numerous publications, including Lonely Planet, The Telegrah (UK), and Le Figaro magazine. Their culinary experience was also named as one of the most intriguing and delectable cooking classes around the world’ in the 2011 Qantas magazine.

Excursions

  • Market visit, when possible (depends on the day of the week)
  • Visit to a local organic cider farm, with tasting
  • Excursion to the Ferme Auberge to bake in the 18th-century bread oven
  • Visit of a local regional grocery store to stock up on Norman products

Transfer Details

  • This itinerary requires that you have your own vehicle. We would be happy to help you with a rental car. (Not interested in driving? We an quote a fully escorted trip on request. Please inquire for details.)

Not Included

  • Transportation for the excursions

Accommodation Information

Your accommodations are at a farmhouse that recently underwent renovations, and it now features a charming ensuite bedroom (with a double and single bed); a studio apartment with twin beds, kitchenette, and ensuite bathroom; and an apartment with two bedrooms— a twin and a double, both ensuite—that overlooks the beautiful Normandy countryside.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

6-night Program
US$1810 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$260 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks or any dates you choose for a minimum of 2, maximum of 6 people. NB: The program may start on any day of the week, but market visits are only available on Monday and Friday.

2019
February 3-9
February 10-16
February 17-23
February 24-March 2
March 3-9
March 10-16
March 17-23
March 24-30
March 31-April 6
April 7-13
April 14-20
April 21-27
April 28-May 4
May 5-11
May 12-18
May 19-25
May 26-June 1
June 2-8
June 9-15
June 16-22
June 23-29
June 30-July 6
July 7-13
July 14-20
July 21-27
July 28-August 3
August 4-10
August 11-17
August 18-24
August 25-31
September 1-7
September 8-14
September 15-21
September 22-28
September 29-October 5
October 6-12
October 13-19
October 20-26
October 27-November 2
November 3-9
November 10-16
November 17-23
November 24-30
December 1-7
December 8-14
December 15-21
December 22-28

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

4-night Program
US$1675 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$195 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Single occupancy rate: please inquire.


Tour Dates

Available the following dates or any dates you choose for a minimum of 2, maximum of 6 people. NB: The program may start on any day of the week, but market visits are only available on Monday and Friday.

2019
February 3-7
February 10-14
February 17-21
February 24-28
March 3-7
March 10-14
March 17-21
March 24-28
March 31-April 4
April 7-11
April 14-18
April 21-25
April 28-May 2
May 5-9
May 12-16
May 19-23
May 26-30
June 2-6
June 9-13
June 16-20
June 23-27
June 30-July 4
July 7-11
July 14-18
July 21-25
July 28-August 1
August 4-8
August 11-15
August 18-22
August 25-29
September 1-5
September 8-12
September 15-19
September 22-26
September 29-October 3
October 6-10
October 13-17
October 20-24
October 27-31
November 3-7
November 10-14
November 17-21
November 24-28
December 1-5
December 8-12
December 15-19
December 22-26

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

No rating given with this review
We were very, very pleased with the cooking lesson, the chef, her family, her home, and most importantly her generosity in sharing her knowledge, love of food, life, and family with us...the setting was in a fairly remote, quiet part of Normandy but conveniently located. We enjoyed being off the tourist path. Her home was a labor of love...She and her husband rehabbed an old farm and built a separate, very commfortable B&B...The aesthetics, land, and home were great.. Her kitchen was new and very well thought out. The menu she selected was reflective of local foods and provided us with a educational ands fun cooking experience. She is very hands on and user friendly as well as organized and a wonderful story teller. She seems to love what she does and it is apparent in her entire "production" from beginning to end. She and her husband joined us for dinner...They couldn’t have been more engaging. We were also fortunate enough to be there on their daughters birthday so we enjoyed some of the families tradition in celebrating...I would highly recommend this cooking school to anyone. Judy & Dennis, IL
No rating given with this review
We were very, very pleased with the cooking lesson, the chef, her family, her home, and most importantly her generosity in sharing her knowledge, love of food, life, and family with us...the setting was in a fairly remote, quiet part of Normandy but conveniently located. We enjoyed being off the tourist path. Her home was a labor of love...She and her husband rehabbed an old farm and built a separate, very commfortable B&B...The aesthetics, land, and home were great.. Her kitchen was new and very well thought out. The menu she selected was reflective of local foods and provided us with a educational ands fun cooking experience. She is very hands on and user friendly as well as organized and a wonderful story teller. She seems to love what she does and it is apparent in her entire "production" from beginning to end. She and her husband joined us for dinner...They couldn’t have been more engaging. We were also fortunate enough to be there on their daughters birthday so we enjoyed some of the families tradition in celebrating...I would highly recommend this cooking school to anyone. Judy & Dennis, IL
No rating given with this review
The cookery school in Benoitville with Sinead was FANTASTIC!  Well organized, fun, and most informative.  We liked the hands-on cooking involved, and the dishes were delicious.  I would highly recommend this school. The blend of traveling the countryside, visiting the markets, and cooking our dinners was just perfect.  Sinead was a wonderful host - she was able to span our ages from 15 to 65 easily! Thanks for handling this for us. Mary T., LA
No rating given with this review
Sinead was an absolutely outstanding instructor, chef and source of local knowledge. She has a huge kitchen which was a joy to cook in, and offered us an opportunity to cook a wide variety of dishes with locally obtained ingredients. We especially enjoyed the visit to the local farmers' market, a local Calvados/apple orchard, and authentic Normandy wood oven. Accommodations at her apartment were warm, cozy and private. All in all, it was an excellent time. Julia & Scott, CA
No rating given with this review
We cannot say enough good things about Sinead and our Normandy cooking experience. We loved our time with her, from the lessons in her kitchen to the delicous dinners eaten en famille, from the Calvados vineyards to cooking in the wood-fired ovens--it was fabulous from start to finish. Sinead and her family were so easy and welcoming, and engaged completely with our family (10, 12, 42 and 46). Even our youngest, who was the least enthusiastic about this part of the trip, was won over by Sinead's charm (and yummy treats!) and her family's warmth. I'd say that the highlight was cooking in an 18th century wood-fired, stone oven--but it might actually be coming home and making many of our recipes for family at Easter dinner. Sinead combines an incredible level of skill with the eye and judgement to tailor that to her audience (so precise, detailed and "foodie" the adults, while educational warm and humorous for the children as needed). We can't wait to go back! Joe and Alison T., GA
No rating given with this review
We spent a wonderful three days cooking with Sinead in her modern kitchen. She was well prepared for each of our cooking sessions, including providing us in advance with printed copies of each of the recipes so we could make notes as we prepped and cooked. Sinead's husband, Philippe, and her 2 teenage daughters joined us for meals as we dined on our "creations." All 4 speak perfect English, which helped the conversation flow effortlessly. Sinead's Irish background and time spent working in the USA proved very helpful in adjusting recipes to USA weights and measures. Accommodations at their refurbished farm were excellent and the side trips Sinead took us on were quite informative and worthwhile. Her delightful and engaging personality helped to make this a fun time. All in all, this was one of our top 2 European cooking engagements of the 6 we have experienced. We left with a dozen recipes for Normandy dishes that we can't wait to try at home and lots of fond memories. Russ & Janet B., NJ
No rating given with this review
Sinead is a great host and the property was everything we could have hoped for in terms of rustic farmhouse accommodations. The setting is beautiful and Sinead's approach to teaching us cooking and about food and culture in Normandy fully met our expectations. William & Marcella J., PA