festive cookery course

scotland retreat

our first retreat at penninghame house was a great success!  a huge thank you for all who came and the wonderful folk nestled away in beautiful galloway who made us feel so welcome  
we have some one day events coming up and other weekend get-aways in the works  

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house_skyIt seemed if not a chore but a self-imposed inconvenience.  Our Intrepid travel writer friend Sarah who I had off-handily asked if she could recommend or have a quick look around for a location for a possible cooking retreat we could host, had handed me (too quickly, I might add!) a daunting list of a dozen or so lip smacking possibilities.


What had been a long-standing discussion about offering cooking lessons &/or a retreat -- in no small part because of the continual requests at the restaurant that we do so -- always dwindled it seemed into that which we had no convenient time for.


So a fantasy perhaps, but it suddenly became with this list a serious pursuit; a pursuit for which we could now at least pretend to explore!  Here before us was a great selection of probable locations for adventures we could share with our customers wanting to learn a little more about manna, vegan cookery, and healthy pursuits with a smile.



And an exotic selection it was for sure.  But for some reason we immediately opted for a practical consideration first and linked to the only serious UK venue on the list, albeit afar off in southwest Scotland.  Maybe it was only to get logic out of the equation therefore to move more into a fantasyland that would ultimately be easier to lazily dismiss, again!


However, we were abruptly stopped in our visual tracks; web page after web page of this site seemed to be heaven in the heather with everything we could possible want for our project!  But it was Scotland, it was the first one we looked at, weren't we dreaming of sunnier castles in the air?  So, we quickly dismissed this place and moved on to warmer climes and scanned all the other beautiful locations Sarah had kindly researched for us.  A vineyard here, a mountaintop spa there; a converted French abbey, a Portuguese paradise, an Italian farmhouse with more than its share of rustic bedrooms sans bathrooms; island retreats, yoga centres, et al.  But nothing seemed quite satisfactory, no matter how much we liberalised our requirements.  Why?  Because we kept returning to the Scottish site, many, many times -- we couldn't help it -- it was a benchmark, or so we thought...


But the more we learned about Penninghame House the more the question pressed: could this place really be that good, be as good as it looked?  If so, we really need look no further!


Ongoing talks with Sarah revealed her antennae already quivering as well and she was quick to offer additional help with a phone call/email or two on our behalf.  And within what seemed like minutes to our inconvenienced beings she was back with specific available dates for us to ‘go and see for our selves' and we were matching dates on our calendar.  Oh, we tried to dismiss the dates closest to us... "Next week...?  We're much too busy."  Besides, Sarah wasn't available for a month or so - and she must come with us.  Any excuse...!



But I couldn't leave it alone...