Once upon a time I was invited to a school function by a friend. We were in Paris, it was an American school, her husband was away on business, and she didn’t want to go alone.
I really can’t recollect what the occasion was. I have no memory of that at all. What I do remember is that there was a raffle at the end of the evening, and suddenly to my horror, my ticket number was called out.
I had won a week’s cookery course in the Pyrenees and I really felt I was there under false pretences. I tried to give it to my friend but she hated cooking. I had to go.
So in November 1992 off we set to St Savin in the Hautes Pyrénées where we stayed in a tiny hotel called Le Viscos. The deal was that I would be in the kitchens in the morning while my husband played golf, we would have lunch at the hotel, and then spend the afternoon looking around the area. Our evening meal was included too.
The pictures are scans of photos taken in 1992, so please excuse the quality.
It turned out I was the only student, so the course became an intensive one. Sadly I don’t remember anything I learnt, but I do remember eating. I don’t think I have ever eaten so much. They even used to give me their version of pain perdu as a mid morning “snack”, just to keep me going between meals!
Unfortunately the weather was dreadful, but we had a lovely time. The hotel is still there, very much updated by the look of it, but the view from the bedroom we stayed in hasn't changed.
I believe the owners are the same and it seems they still do cookery lessons.