Last week I spent a week in Tuscany (a small perk of working for Flavours) and I've come back brimming with stories to tell on our Flavours blog! I thought I would start with what was one of the most hilarious groups we've ever had with us. A group of ladies that really knew how to live la dolce vita!
We have a lot of clients travelling on their own with Flavours (mainly due to our zero single supplement policy) and a common trait of all of these single guests is the apprehension they feel towards the prospect of spending time in a remote villa with a group of strangers - not only that - having to share a kitchen with them too! I can imagine the kind of fear associated with going on a blind date, as you nervously search for that Flavours sign in the foreign and mildly exotic arrivals hall in a antiquated Italian airport, yet I can assure you that this is quickly put to bed when you pull up to the villa, as I did for an al fresco lunch with your fellow cooks!
It never fails to amaze me how food (of course with that secret ingrediant of Italian charm) brings people together, after that first sip of Italian chardonnay, everyone was getting along splendidly. I've seen an accountant from Nottingham swopping recipes with a art teacher from Kent and a retired project manager from Milton Keynes talking wine with a chiropodist from Dublin, every holiday has a huge range of professions and ages!
The great thing about Flavours holidays is that we bring people together that have one common passion, it could be painting or pilates but this time it was cooking! Food is central to la dolce vita that Italians are so fond of and it's suprising how quickly you can slip into a daily life of eating, cooking, sunbathing, wine tasting and shopping, without those niggling annoyances of home (you will never need to wash up on a Flavours holiday). I don't know if it was the wine or the sunshine but I have never laughed so much as I did that week, and I was at work...with compleate strangers! On the second day, one of the ladies coined a phrase that I think will become a Flavours cliche, 'it's like learning with laughter!' I couldn't have said it better myself! Our holidays are as much about relaxation and socialisation as they are about learning authentic Italian ways of cooking, you will find that the week flies by, yet when you come back, you will have scores of different things to do with courgettes, tomatos, rabbit(it's amazing!) and the shapes you will make out of pasta would easily put Henry Moore to shame!
The week ended with us all exchaning email addresses and ready to meet up in the future, I just have to find an excuse to get out of the office for a dinner party, just to make sure everyone was paying attention, rather than giggling behind wooden spoons and pasta cutters!