29.10.20

FINCA AL-MANZIL COOKING HOLIDAY 2021

A COUNTRY HOUSE IN THE HEART OF EXTREMADURA where you can stay at the cortijo and learn how to create delicious feasts. 
A four night holiday with cooking, relaxing, exploring historical towns and delightful country walks in the stunning Sierra de Montanchez. 
Our cooking style is a fusion of Iberic and Moroccan cuisine.


The holiday includes cooking, walking, well-being, cultural visits and country life.
We create and enjoy sumptuous Moroccan, Middle Eastern and Iberic feasts at the cortijo of Finca al-manzil.



Please check the web sites to see accommodation and also some of our walks and cultural visits-
www.extremadura-rural-retreats.com 
www.finca-al-manzil.blogspot.com


There has been much acclaim for the dinners prepared at the finca so we have decided to share our secrets and run a creative cooking course several times a year.

The cortijo kitchen is spacious with all the special equipment and implements needed to create delicious dishes from Morocco, Middle East, Spain and Portugal. We use natural fresh local vegetables, meat, fish, fruit and herbs; the spices are imported regularly from Morocco.
Our aim and pleasure is to inspire enjoyment of the food in the well designed and decorated surroundings of the finca. 


Dinner will be the highlight of every day; starting with tapas which we have had fun inventing then we eat dinner around the huge dining table or in the garden if the evening is warm. 


Possibly dinner will have been cooked in the traditional clay oven or over a charcoal grill. We serve Extremeña wines and maybe with coffee a special liqueur from the Jerte valley or some aguadente made from the medroño or wild strawberry bush.


The accommodation is at Finca al-manzil cortijo or barn and a neighbouring house all in beautiful, peaceful situations with splendid views of countryside and up to the peaks of the mountains. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms; there is a choice of single occupancy or shared twin room or renting a whole house for your own use. The sitting room has a wood burning fire for chilly nights and there are two terraces for gazing at the stars.








The classes are open for a maximum of 6 people and minimum of 2 people. 
Discounts are available if you are able to arrange your own group of 4 friends or more. 

Our holidays are designed on a 4 night basis and integrate an interesting programme of cooking, walking, nature observation and culturally based activities. Of course you are welcome to stay longer as a self catering guest at one of our houses.

Visits to either Merida, Caceres, Trujillo and Montanchez.






We also enjoy introducing our guests to any fiestas or seasonal agricultural  activities  that are going on, such as the grape harvest for wine making in September and the olive harvest in November and December.



THE HOLIDAY 4 nights at Finca al-manzil or neighbouring house with the following daily programmes, 2 days of cooking and eating the preparation for dinner, 1 day of alternative activities with dinner at the finca.

WHEN DO WE OPERATE?
All year except for July and August the hottest months which limit time for the more active part of the holidays. 
The climate is excellent in the sierra; Spring and Autumn, February – June, September - October are delightfully warm and sunny. Winter, Nov. Dec. and January are less warm but usually sunny and bright with of course more rain. It rarely rains for more than a few hours. We have a wood burning stoves and a cosy atmosphere for the chillier days.

Choose your day of alternative activity & suggestions for free afternoons
Optional afternoon walks in the sierra. We see the rich bird life and wild flowers of the sierra and the local agricultural activities, olive and fig groves, sheep and the iberic pigs nurtured on acorns in the woods. There are also mountain bikes if you prefer a ride on the quiet lanes around the finca.


Depending on the time of the year we participate in olive harvest (Dec/Jan) grape and fig harvest (September) Wild Asparagus picking in Spring. Visit to WOMAD in Caceres (May) Medieval Fair in Caceres (November) Usually every month has a local fiesta going on which we can visit.
A pause for another swim or preparing yourselves for the evening, we believe in making a special evening every evening, the table will be looking very pretty and the food is going to be stupendous.We are on Spanish time so tapas and drinks at 20.30 and dinner at 21 ish. Now the rest of the evening is up to you, you have had an interesting, active day so now relax, enjoy and converse.

Trip to Merida to explore the largest collection of Roman ruins besides Rome. 


Walk over the 2000 year old Roman bridge into the town where we will visit the impressive theatre and superb museum of Roman art.Time for some shopping or a break in the attractive plaza.Visit the traditional covered market for ingredients for tomorrows cooking. Lunch in a traditional bodega with great collection of bull fighting memorabilia on the walls.Back to finca for relaxing afternoon. Dinner prepared by Pippa , observers and helpers welcome

Trip to Trujillo a stunning historical town with the most atmospheric Moorish lanes and wonderful views.

A guided tour by Pippa.  Lunch in one of the most beautiful plazas in Spain.  Back to the finca. 
Dinner is prepared for you by Pippa but you can join in with preparation of creative tapas before dinner.


A WALK IN THE SIERRA- The watermill gorge 
A walk up the garganta de molinos, the watermill gorge, over the mountain to Montanchez and back down to the finca. A wonderful walk, takes 3 hours in total but we stop for lunch in Montanchez sampling the famous jamon and natural products of the sierra. If some clients do not wish to do the walk but wish to participate in lunch we can arrange transport. Relaxing afternoon at the finca. Dinner.

FOUR  DAY COOKING HOLIDAY
PRICES
DOUBLE ROOM FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY (ENSUITE BATHROOM)    €800 PP
2 PEOPLE SHARING A DOUBLE ROOM                                           €650 PP

INCLUDES ACCOMMODATION AT FINCA AL-MANZIL ; ALL DINNERS AND LUNCHES COOKING TUITION ON COOKING DAYS.
DISCOUNTS ARE AVAILABLE IF YOU ARE ABLE TO ARRANGE YOUR OWN GROUP OF 4- 6 FRIENDS.
NB. Non-cooking partners and friends are welcome and if you wish to stay longer than 4 nights on self catering basis we can provide accommodation according to availability.

ITINERARY
DAY 1 -ARRIVAL AT FINCA
Time to get to know your surroundings, meet the other guests and relax after your journey. Dinner prepared by Pippa
DAY 2 COOKING DAY - MOROCCAN
Breakfast
10.00 – 14.00 - Moroccan Cooking tuition, preparation and cooking of a selection of Moroccan dishes using typical ingredients and spices for lunch and dinner.
Afternoon is time to relax, depending on the season;  a siesta, a swim, some reading or photography perhaps. An afternoon walk in the sierra directly from the finca is interesting,  you can see the rich bird life and wild flowers of the sierra and the local agricultural activities, olive and fig groves, sheep and the iberic pigs nurtured on acorns in the woods. The walk to our local village of Montanchez takes 40 minutes, there is a Moorish castle, cafés and bars.
We also have mountain bikes if you prefer a ride on the quiet lanes around the finca.
Dinner - We are on Spanish time so tapas and drinks at 20.30 and dinner at 21.00

DAY 3 -Trip to Merida or Trujillo, a guided tour
Afternoon as day 2

DAY 4 COOKING DAY -IBERIAN
Preparation of Spanish and Portuguese dishes for dinner. 
Relaxing afternoon at the finca. 
Dinner 20.30 – 21.00

DAY 5 - DEPARTURE
Goodbye!  With promise of receiving all the recipes during your holiday by e mail plus many others from previous holidays

WHEN DO WE OPERATE?
The holidays are run all year except for July and August the hottest months which limit time for the more active part of the holidays. The climate is excellent in the sierra; Spring and Autumn, February – June, September - October are delightfully warm and sunny. Winter, Nov. Dec. and January are less warm but usually sunny and bright with of course more rain. It rarely rains for more than a few hours. We have a wood burning stoves and a cosy atmosphere for the chillier days.

JUST A DAYS EXPERIENCE WHILST STAYING AT THE FINCA OR ELSEWHERE?
We meet at the finca at 10.00 and spend a happy morning cooking a wonderful lunch with guidance from Pippa. We enjoy lunch on the patio or in the dining room. The meal will consist of 3 courses with wine, liqueurs and coffee. After lunch you are welcome to stay a while, for a little walk or a swim. The cost includes all the ingredients, tuition, serving and clearing of the meal,time to enjoy the finca. Per person €75. Minimum persons 2