We are delighted to offer this opportunity to join eminent chef and sourdough expert Hilary Cacchio and Helen Underwood of White Cottage on a 5-night Atelier du Pain in the charming village of Auvillar inthe Lot et Garonne region of France. Auvillar, a derivation of ‘haut villa’, a reference to the Roman site of Alta Villa on which it isbuilt, is a quintessential village of the region and has been awarded official status as one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages.
Auvillar is on the pilgrim route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela and attracts many artists who come to paint the beautiful buildings and surroundings, or to take inspiration from its long history and culture. It boasts multiple museums and art galleries –astounding for a village of its size – together with bars, restaurants, artisan gift shops and a regular Sunday market offering local produce, artisan food and crafts.
Perched at the edge of Auvillar, as part of the ancient wall, sits Le Presbytère, with its walled garden, balconies and elevated views over the river Garonne. The old presbytery has been converted into a beautiful dwelling for visitors, offering simple, clean and charming accommodation. The perfect venue for a retreat. You will be sharing a room – there are no single rooms available on this retreat – and bathrooms, although ample, are not en-suite. As part of a small group learning, cooking and dining together each day, we hope the setting will add to your enjoyment of the atelier and the friendships you will make. If coming with a partner/friend and you require a private twin room, this can be made available. Rooms for parties of 3 or 4 also available.
Each day we will make a variety of typical French breads and patisserie, using local flour and ingredients wherever possible. And every afternoon you will have to opportunity to explore the village and environs, or volunteer to help the chefs prepare that evening’ssupper. Our menu will use seasonal and local ingredients, will be typically French and often de la région: panade au poulet du Périgord, cassoulet de canard et porc, tartiflette avec charcuterie, agneau roti avec pommes de terre boulangères.*
We will tour a local vineyard where we will taste the local winesand eat ‘en plein air’ on long tables next to the vines. Andfinally, on the last day of your retreat, we will hold a party in the presbytery garden to celebrate your time in Auvillar, all that you have learnt and the friendships you have made. And, as is fitting, we will invite our friends from around the village who have been so helpful in putting together a wonderful stay for you all.
* We will be pleased to cater for vegetarians but regret thisatelier will not be suitable for vegans.