Circle of Misse

1 & 2 Day Cooking & Wine Courses

Taking time to engage the senses and see things in new ways kick-starts your writing
Introduction to the Missé kitchen 

Whether you want to cook, taste wine or a combination of the two, these one and two-day experiences provide you with an authentic taste of France, something that our guests say is becoming harder to find. We put together mouth-watering menus and pick vineyards, markets and food producers to visit based on your interests. Then we cook and eat our way through the day/s, picking up skills, enjoying local wines all while having a fabulous time.

F.A.Q.

Who Attends?  Everyone. These courses are about having fun, trying new things and exploring the fresh flavours of France. They are particularly popular with participants who are holidaying in France and want to spend a day or two immersing themselves in the local culinary traditions and ingredients. Cooking skill level is unimportant. We use teaching techniques that meet you where you are in terms of knowing your way around a kitchen.

‘This has been an absolutely amazing experience. Many thanks for your fascinating hospitality, wonderful food and wine. It has been both instructive and inspiring. And the setting is like something out of a movie.’

- Karin (Stockholm, Sweden)

How does it work? Our cookery courses are social, convivial and a lot of fun, but we will also have you cooking at a level that will inspire you, improve your kitchen skills and broaden your culinary knowledge. We accompany this experience with an introduction to the wines of the Loire and those from further afield. We'll help you to understand how to pair wine and food and throughout the process you'll be taste some of the best wines of the region. These courses are the perfect key to unlocking the real 'joie de vivre' opening the door to the romance and allure of France and French food & wine, filling you with the joy, excitement and appreciation of the joys food can bring to life. It will help you to get most out of your time in the country. You’ll learn your way around a French market, about local cheeses, oils, wines and other specialities. You’ll also pick up cooking skills and tips that you’ll be able to use back home. After booking, we’ll ask you about your interests in food, things you like or are curious about and we’ll use this information to create a menu for the course.

‘We had a really relaxing time - learning, eating and drinking :) - the stuff of holidays. You have an excellent concept and we both wish you well as it unfolds. We will be back if only for another sampling of your hospitality.’

- Norma & Darryn (Johannesburg, SA)

I am vegetarian or pescatarian, is this course for me? Absolutely, We cook for all appetites here and our repertoire includes an extraordinary number of vegetarian dishes. We’re only an hour and half from the Atlantic coast, so our markets feature some of the best fish and seafood in Europe. We can’t promise that there won’t be meat dishes prepared on your course by others, but we always include vegetarian dishes as well and can ensure that you don’t have to work with meat if you do not wish to.

What will I take away? A deeper appreciation of seasonal cooking, a stronger passion for and understanding of French culinary traditions, and a substantial introduction to French culinary arts and wine that will allow you to get much more out of your subsequent travels in the country. You’ll also take away a binder with the recipes you have cooked, tips and ideas, along with a desire to flaunt your newly acquired skills.

Course Specifics

1 Day Course

Schedule: 1 day courses run from 09:30-17:30, with the focus on a late lunch.

Course Cost: £149 Includes course tuition, all meals (including wine and cocktails); beverages and snacks throughout the day. To secure a place a deposit of £75 is due at the time of booking; the balance is due 45 days before the course starts.

Cost with accommodation: £199 Accommodation is available in one of our properties on the night of the course. An additional night can be added prior to the course for £49.

2 Day Course

Schedule: 2 day courses start at 09:30 on Day One, with the focus on lunch and preparations for the following day. On the second day we start at 09:30 and focus on preparation of a late lunch. We finish circa 17:30.

Course Cost: £295 Includes course tuition, all meals (including wine and cocktails); beverages and snacks throughout the day. To secure a place a deposit of £75 is due at the time of booking; the balance is due 45 days before the course starts.

Cost with accommodation: £350 Includes two days course tuition; one night bed, breakfast and dinner accommodation (single or double occupancy); all meals (including wine and cocktails); beverages and snacks throughout the day; and any admission fees for local excursions. To secure a place a deposit of £125 is due at the time of booking; the balance is due 45 days before the course starts.

Practicalities

Travel Details: You can meet us at a local market (e.g. Thouars, Airvault, Chinon, Saumur, Montsoreau, Neuville de Poitou) or drive directly to the Misse house (we’ll provide directions). We can also pick you up and drop you off at Thouars rail station.

Accommodation:  The Circle of Misse comprises several beautiful properties, including, the Misse Farmhouse and River House in the Thouet River Valley, and the Old Post Office House in nearby Moncontour. All the properties have beautiful rooms with double beds, wardrobes and writing desks. Most share a bathroom. Due to the nature of how we schedule courses, we regret that we cannot take requests for particular properties or rooms. For the 2015 season, due to renovation work at the Misse Farmhouse, all courses and most accommodation will be held at The Old Post Office.

Booking & Dates

(2 day courses can begin on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday)

September October November/December
 T  W  T  F   T  W  T  F   T  W  T  F 
 1  2  3  4        1  2  Available
 8  9 10 11  6  7  8  9  On request
15 16 17 18 13 14 15 16
22 23 24 25 20 21 22 23
29 30 27 28 29 30

Cooking Courses in Pictures

  • Garganelli served with both fennel & tomato and pork ragus

  • A Wild Nettle (Stinging variety) Risotto

  • Writers reap rewards from the cookery school

  • Making Halloumi Cheese

  • Taking a break to taste a Sauvignon Blanc from Haut Poitou

  • A Misse speciality - Tagliatelli with Radish Leaf Pesto

  • Cooks Prepare White Asparagus Risotto

  • A Festive Ballotine of Turkey (Boned, layered and cooked in its original skin)

  • Peaches poached in Cabernet Franc Wine

  • Pasta Sunflowers stuffed with wild rabbit and dressed with a Girolle Sauce