Short breaks to Europe don't have to mean a packed itinerary of museums and cultural sites. For a mini-break that takes in the best of food and relaxation, spend a weekend in Italy, France or Spain, where you can cook up a storm in the hotel kitchen.
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We've picked three fabulous hotels in Europe with cooking schools for a culinary holiday with a difference. Whether you fancy taking the family to Tuscany for a gourmet getaway in winter, or heading to Bordeaux to master the art of French cuisine as you sip delicious wine, you'll love a foodie break at these marvellous hotels...
Le Saint James, Bordeaux
The luxury Le Saint James Hotel in the beautiful village of Bouliac, just a 10-minute drive from Bordeaux is a contemporary hotel surrounded by glorious vineyards. Foodies to the French wine region can experience cookery classes at the hotel known as Côté Cours, under the expert guidance of Célia Girard Sous-Chef to Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Magie. The courses range from themed classes which allow you to refresh your knowledge of French cuisine with the likes of cod, snails and spring vegetable themes, along with world cooking which takes you on a culinary tour Japan, Spain and Portugal, while the Funny Chefs classes are for children who can learn sweet recipes in a fun, educational atmosphere. With Eurostar's new London to Bordeaux service, a Bordeax cooking holiday makes for a perfect mini-break. The courses range from 30 to 185 euros per person. Double rooms at the hotel start from 195 euros per night.
Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Tuscany
Lovers of Tuscan cuisine should look no further than Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco's La Canonica Cooking School, set in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Val d'Orcia. The authentic courses at the resort provide you with the opportunity to learn how to prepare tradition dishes from the region, whether it's fresh pasta, vegetarian specialities or pizza. There are family cooking classes to get the kids involved, as well as an Art of Vegetable Gardening course. For an unusual holiday in Tuscany, visit in winter to stay in one of the luxury villas. The restored farmhouses are perfect for putting your new skills straight to the test, with their full-service kitchens, and are ideal for family breaks. The Winter Villa Escape includes groceries and access to the on-site winery. Cookery courses start from 90 euros. Fully-serviced three-bedroom villas cost from 3,500 euros per day.
Son Brull Hotel and Spa, Mallorca
Set near the picturesque town of Pollenca, Son Brull is surrounded by olive and cypress trees, offering a natural setting for a foodie break in Spain. Its restaurant 365 offers cookery classes with chef Rafel Perello, who aims to teach a modern take on classic Mallorcan and Mediterranean dishes using the likes of cherries, almonds, citrus fruits and artichokes, all harvested on-site. A special cookery package for gourmands can be arranged and includes two cooking lessons lasting two hours, two dinners tasting the recipes prepared during the class, three nights' accommodation and four days' car rental. i-escape offers the package from £554 per person.
Browse Britain's best hotels with cookery schools below.