the Wilde Kitchen
Irish-born Sinéad and Belgian-born Philippe moved together to Normandy in 1993 where their daughters, Ellen and Kate were born – a perfect European cocktail!
In the year 2000, they found their hauntingly beautiful, abandoned, stone farmhouse, La Blonderie. They’ve been renovating ever since! Each year brings a new challenge, a new project – a true labour of love.
In 2006, they opened the doors of their farmhouse kitchen to fellow food enthusiasts, amateur cooks and curious travellers. The Wilde Kitchen was born!
Shortly afterwards, a barn conversion meant that guests could actually stay at La Blonderie and experience for themselves la vie à la française in beautiful Norman surroundings.
Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying ‘I can’t stand people who do not take food seriously’. He must have thereby loved the French. Food is omnipresent. Over the course of a one day, three day or six-day stay, guests learn loads about local food traditions. Three-course meals are prepared and enjoyed, all washed down with a glass or two of local, organic cider or wine.
Young, old, foodies, non-foodies, experienced and/or novice cooks are all welcome at the Wilde Kitchen. Classes are seriously hands-on, fun and informative.
We’re family-friendly too – cooking is fun and is a great way to spend quality time during holidays.
Non-cooking guests are welcome too at mealtimes and/on excursions – please contact us for details.
Sinéad (née Wilde) studied and taught Home Ec. in her native Ireland where she met her other half Philippe, who it seems, was on a mission to learn English!
Since her arrival in Normandy, Sinéad has increased her culinary repertoire enormously, has learnt to speak French, has raised chickens, dogs and daughters, has trained as a tour guide for the Normandy landings, has participated in the renovation of their house, La Blonderie, has had many a fight with local builders, has learnt to ride a horse and to sing a little opera!
Her years of experience in Normandy and of traditional French cuisine ensures a unique and fun insight into French country kitchen.
The vast Norman coastline provides mouth-watering scallops in the winter, mussels in the summer and whelks and oysters year-round. Meat eaters will indulge in the succulent salt-marsh lamb, agneau pré-salé, a local specialty, as well as traditional black pudding, veal, pork and poultry. Cheese-lovers will be in paradise with Normandy’s famous creamy cheeses – Camembert, Livarot, Neufchâtel and Pont l’Évêque to name just a few. The apple orchards make for delicious cider, traditionally drunk at mealtime, and shots of Calvados (apple brandy) often served as a digestive, or after-dinner drink. Many of Normandy’s sweet dishes are apple-based, apple tart featuring on many a traditional menu along with Teurgoule, creamy rice pudding. All of the above, and much more, are available at the Wilde Kitchen.
Stay with us
Located in converted barns in what once were the domestic living areas and hay lofts, across the garden from La Blonderie, the main house, our guest rooms are comfortable and attractively decorated, each with its own style.
Try our courses
We run one day, three day and six day courses as well as tailor-made courses. Please note that all classes are held in english. However, should practising french be a priority, guests will find lots of opportunities to do so.
The quintessential image of Normandy is of beautiful landscape, green pastures dotted with brown and white Norman cows, apple orchards, calvados, good food and plenty of beautiful creamy cheeses.