Why Everyone Should Visit Gascony
We simply love where we live and teach, so we want to tell you why! We’ve come up with all the reasons why we think you should come and visit us here in Gascony.
The area of Gascony is situated in South West France, approximately six and half hours or 680km from Paris. The Gers is the central department of Gascony and is often referred to as the French Tuscany because of the rolling countryside and rural villages. It is the least densely populated area in France with no major roads or industry.
In this region, you find village houses, attractive half-timbered homes, ancient farmhouses, beautiful châteaux and cathedrals. Typically, a village will have a central square with the town hall as the main feature, with shops and restaurants along the four sides of the square. Wide pavements allow for alfresco dining!
Largely due to the rich and fertile soil and agricultural practice, Gascony enjoys gorgeous vineyards, farmland and a high proportion of unspoilt countryside. The fabulously green and lush landscape is enhanced further by fields of sunflowers during their season.
Being so close to the Pyrenees on the French/Spanish border, skiing in Winter is very popular. Along the west coast there are many beach resorts, great for surfing and sailing and most other water based activities. Gascony boasts many opportunities for cycling and walking too.
Nature at its best
It’s all about flora and fauna and Gascony attracts a vast array. Forests including pine and oak trees and fields full of wild of flowers draw in butterflies and wild animals such as rabbits, hare, deer and boar.
Birdwatchers can enjoy the variety of birds. Owls, woodpeckers and buzzards all have their homes here. Spotting the rare bearded vulture will be your challenge!
After a brief Winter, Spring follows bringing with it mild and sunny days. The summer months are warm with balmy evenings great for eating al fresco.
The region is renowned for its production of Armagnac, a distinctive kind of brandy. But it’s thanks to an increase of wine making in the district, that it now produces almost as much wine as Alsace.
The Tannat grape is grown abundantly along with the Arrufiac and Tursan grapes are also cultivated here. On the other side of the river are the vineyards of the Gers. This area is also ideal for production of Armagnac brandy.
Gascon food is rich, very rich! Duck fat is a key ingredient and just about everything gets cooked in it. Foie gras, produced on family farms around the region is top of the list along with other specialities such as Magret de canard, Boar, Wild Honey and the Agen prune. The region really is a foodie heaven.
And that brings us nicely onto our work here at the Gascony Cookery School. Why not come and visit us to enjoy all the delights of Gascony and learn about French cooking at the same time. As a family run cookery school, we want you to feel as at home in our kitchen; one of our family, and part of the very special French village in which we live. Combining both of these ethos’ means that joining us for a week-long or weekend course at The Gascony Cookery School is a unique, memorable experience.
We cannot wait to welcome you all here – take a look at our 2020 season courses here. You will have such a fabulous and unforgettable time.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Dave and Bernard