A Hobby Holiday For Foodies: Sinead Allart’s Wilde Kitchen


Dublin-born Sinéad Allart, née Wilde, runs one-to-six-day residential cookery courses in her lovely home, La Blonderie, in Normandy. Formerly an abandoned farm which her husband, Belgian-born Philippe, had visited in the course of his work as a vet, the couple purchased the property in 2000 and started their ongoing renovations, removing the roof and leaving the granite staircases and walls intact. Two years later, they moved in and since then have welcomed a steady stream of guests.

“A friend from Naas visited regularly and would constantly take notes and question me on what I was doing as I prepared meals,” says Allart. “A simple comment from her ‘you should charge for this’ got me thinking that maybe I could use my culinary skills and create a job for myself in the process. I’d grown weary of teaching English as a Foreign Language.” The former Home Economics teacher, who credits her “Auntie Margaret”, (no relation), for inspiring her love of cooking, launched Wilde Kitchen in 2006, and so far has had guests from the US, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand all endorsing the experience of living à la francaise in the converted barn accommodation across the garden from the main house.

Typical holidays include excursions to local markets, restaurants and a cider farm, as well as demonstrations, hands-on cooking and bulging files of recipes to take home. For longer holidays, guests are close to the D-Day beaches, Le Mont St Michel and Bayeux tapestry for sightseeing. The Allart’s latest venture is to renovate a boulangerie which was built in 1789 (the year of the French Revolution), on their grounds, starting with the bread oven.


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