New Year Cuisine Weekend

26th - 28th January 2024

A New Year Culinary Experience Like No Other

Begin the New Year with lots of fun in the kitchen as you learn from the wonderful Maggy some very special French recipes to dazzle your guests throughout the year. Join us from 26th to 28th January for a weekend of cooking and relaxation as you pick up endless hints and tips to entertain and impress friends and family.

About the Retreat

During your culinary retreat, you will enjoy a perfect balance between hands-on cookery classes and restorative downtime. Hosted by chef Maggy Paul-Martinet in her beautifully rustic and welcoming home, your cookery classes will provide endless insights into traditional Charentais recipes using the finest of local ingredients.

About Your Teacher

Maggy Paul-Martinet is a true master in the kitchen. With a career spanning hotel management and catering, she spent 25 years at Air France, traveling the world and experiencing diverse cultures and cuisines. After running cookery workshops in Christchurch, New Zealand, Maggy returned to France and pursued professional training in cookery and pastry. A devoted mother and grandmother, her passion for hosting and cooking shines through her teaching.

About Your Hosts

Olive and Charlie will be your hosts for the week, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable experience from start to finish. Having made the move from Ireland to France some years back, they fell in love with the Charente region and have dedicated themselves to creating retreats that combine quality instruction and authentic French experiences, from the delicious local food and wine to visits to unique local attractions.

About the Venue

This very special weekend will be hosted in Maggy’s family home – an 18th century manoir surrounded by the vineyards of the Grande Champagne Cognac region close to the beautiful town of Chateauneuf sur Charente. The house is a truly special place - a bustling family home - which emanates warmth and charm in equal measure. It is the perfect setting for an unforgettable experience...


Day 1: Arrival and Afternoon Cooking

  • Arrival at Angoulême, where you’ll be greeted by your hosts, Olive and Charlie.
  • Transfer to Chateauneuf sur Charente and your country dwelling for the weekend.
  • Settle into your comfortable accommodation and relax over a light lunch.
  • Your first afternoon cookery class will introduce you to traditional Charentais dishes and begin your practice.
  • Having eased into your culinary groove, enjoy your first “apéro dînatoire” – a taster of the fine things to come…

Day 2: Immersion in Charentais Fare

  • Begin the day with a delicious French breakfast.
  • After breakfast, continue your culinary journey with Maggy, with a focus on savoury delights.
  • In the afternoon, the focus will move to sweet treats and French dessert favourites. 
  • In the evening, you will enjoy some wine tasting savouring the best of local producers, learning about the history and production of Cognac, wine and pineau.
  • Then gather for a communal dinner to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Day 3: Closing Cookery Class and Farewell

  • After breakfast, your final session will build on the skills you acquired over your days together.
  • Enjoy a final lunch followed by a wrap up session to finish off your culinary delights  
  • Transfer to Angoulême for your return train, taking with you cherished memories and newfound culinary talents.

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change.*

Travel Arrangements

If traveling from Paris, and to avail of complimentary transfers from Angoulême train station to and from Maggy's home, we recommend getting the 10.04 train from Paris Montparnasse on 26th January arriving Angoulême at 12.20, and the 17.26 train from Angoulême arriving Paris Montparnasse at 19.30.


The all-inclusive cost of this exclusive New Year Cuisine experience is €499 per person sharing or €619 if you wish to avail of a private room. The fee covers accommodation, food and wine, tuition and ingredients, as well as transport to and from Angoulême if you book the recommended trains. Train costs are not included and must be arranged by you separately.
A non-refundable 50% deposit is required in order to confirm your booking.

Register Your Interest in Our Christmas Cookery Weekend

As we are in the process of fine-tuning some details of this retreat to ensure it provides a transformative experience, we are currently not accepting immediate bookings. However, we recognise that you might already be considering this retreat for your future plans.
Once you express your interest, you'll be among the first to receive updates about the retreat. We'll keep you informed about when bookings will open and any exciting details or enhancements to the itinerary as they are confirmed.

    Far Above My Expectations

    My Painting holiday with Ceangal was far above my expectations: our hosts Olive and Charlie were very generous with their time, local knowledge and transport to beautiful local painting sites and towns. Our introduction to gourmet French cuisine, cooked lovingly by Maggy our very talented chef, was a real treat.

    Olivia Hayes

    Genuinely Warm & Welcoming

    This weekend exceeded my expectations. Olive & Charlie are wonderful hosts, immediately creating an environment which is genuinely warm & welcoming. Which in turn makes the group dynamic work effortlessly. I really cannot recommend it highly enough and look forward to my next trip to Olive & Charlie.

    Jennifer Callan

    A Place I Want to Return To

    Wonderful hosts, great house and ambiance, kindness amongst friends, beautiful countryside surrounded by amazing grapevines and sunflowers, birdsong and farm life. Living in the moment with mindfulness makes it a place I want to return to.

    Susan Barr