French Cooking Hop

A quick trip over to France to warm up in winter and spring and to try some wonderful recipes and enlightening wines in a stunning setting. Wake up to a champagne and truffled breakfast! Four days of conviviality and table talk in the heart of France.

Firstly this is a wonderful opportunity to spend some time in a beautiful part of France surrounded by markets and with a good kitchen to work in that sports wonderful views!

The markets teeming with fresh French fare take place firstly under the auspices of the great cathedral of Cahors with its imposing Gothic facade set with a large spirograph rose window and then secondly within the heart of the pretty hilltop village of Montcuq dominated by its twelfth century castle keep. Each place has rather useful cafés available for sitting, sipping and seeing la vie francaise saunter by.

For cooking we will concentrate on the traditions of south west France. Elizabeth David, the celebrated French provincial cooking specialist, called this area the gastronomic heart of France. Variations on a theme of cassoulet, foie gras, duck breast, cheese soufflés ... these and more will all be part of the composition of the long weekend. It is good to concentrate on heart-warming food as this takes place during the winter months. A dash of hedonisitic black truffle too will appear seeing that this is truffle season too.

We will also ask Christiane to come and give a demonstration of how to make the local pastry delicacy Pastis. This is made with the thinnest of filo type pastries and you will see just how one achieves this finesse on our farm house kitchen table.

James and Diana Tamlyn will be hosting the week as with all their walks. Both will be cooking with you to show you the skills they have learned over the past twenty five years of living in France.


You will stay at the home of James and Diana.  This is a charming C17th/C18th hamlet of three houses ‘paysanes’ which have now become one property.  Its hilltop position gives it commanding 360° views which in winter can take you all the way to the Pyrenees some 240km away!  We have converted one of the barns back to a beautiful house which has three bedrooms with bathrooms en suite.   It also has a spacious open plan kitchen sitting room with a terrace that has lovely views north.   The self contained kitchen will give you all an opportunity to cook for Diana and I one night!

Grade Of Walking

This really is not a walking weekend. You will find that you will want to walk a little to help refresh the brain and give you an appetite for some of the wonderful meals you are going to cook!


A simple way to start the day! A farm egg is dropped into a mug lined with clingfilm. Then you add a good sprinkling of chopped black truffle and seasoning. The clingfilm with egg is then extracted and sealed so you have a bag with an egg which is then poached. A fabulous way to start your day!

Once again the variety and selection of wines from James' cellar will astound you and tickle the palate!




4 days


9 miles




180 PP


13 Jan - 16 Jan

20 Jan - 23 Jan

27 Jan - 30 Jan

3 Mar - 6 Mar

10 Mar - 13 Mar

17 Mar - 20 Mar