Our French Gastro Academy, offers a variety of cookery vacations from 3 days to 7 days with hands-on tuition from award-winning top French chefs.It is the only vacation school in the South West France region of its kind and calibre. Beginners or experienced cooks welcomed, as individuals or in groups - all you need is a passion for food. Our 5-day Creative Writing courses are open to individuals or groups, as is the 4-day Dean Friedman summer songwriting course. Both options are residential and all-inclusive.
Other arts and leisure courses include singing, books and drama, creative arts and digital movie-making. We also offer a private catered and facilitated venue for golf and corporate breaks. These options may be booked by groups only (minimum 6 people) and dates may be selected by the client group in consultation with M14480. Arts courses from £750 ($1,100)pp. Golf £850 ($1,240)pp. Gastro Academy: 3 days from £495 ($679) to 7 days from £1400 ($2,040) pp. Our vacations are all-inclusive of everything other than flights.
1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?
M14480 was conceived with the aid of a few bottles of excellent local French wine during an alfresco dinner by the pool on a hot summer’s night in 2005 – the perfect recipe for inspirational thinking! Moira Martingale and a group of very talented friends had what might be called “an inadvertant brainstorming session” and came up with the notion of using Moira’s beautiful 8-bedroomed property near Carcassonne for upmarket residential learning holidays.
2. What is your company's mission?
We aim to be the ultimate provider of chic learning and leisure holidays for groups of between 6 and 16 people – some of our breaks can only be booked as a group (e.g. Golf and Gourmet, some arts courses) and others are open to individuals (eg Cookery, Creative Writing, Songwriting and Creative Media).
3. What does your company specialize in?
All-inclusive residential courses to join as an individual: Gastro Academy options ranging from 3 to 7 days, Creative Writing with poet, writer and teacher Sarah Hymas, Creative Media (includes movie-making with Peter Ralley, songwriting with New York singer-songwriter Dean Friedman. All-inclusive residential for group bookings only (venue, accommodation, meals, all facilitated back-up, tutor where requested): golf and gourmet, tennis, creative arts, books and drama, group celebrations, weddings.
4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?
M14480 owner Moira Martingale is the author of two internationally-published books, a journalist, feature-writer and former columnist for national and regional newspapers and magazines in the UK. She has a novel nearing completion, a PhD in English Literature and a teaching qualification. She is a member of the Society of Authors and collaborates at the M14480 Carcassonne with theatre director Christopher Masters to jointly present the group Books and Drama courses.
5. What is your most popular travel package and why?
The Gastro Academy cookery courses run by our French (but English-speaking) Chefs who both have award-winning, immaculate pedigrees fill up fairly quickly. For this reason, during 2012 extra dates have been added, including an Advanced Gourmet Explorer course. Why is it popular? Well, for starters, you can’t beat learning how to cook French haut-cuisine recipes than from two of the best chefs in France, can you? Also proving very popular is Dean Friedman’s Summer Songwriting Workshop – the hit singer of the 1970s and 1980s is enjoying a renaissance on both sides of the Atlantic, touring Europe and the UK every year. 2012 will be Dean’s third year presenting this unique and wonderful course.
6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?
“If you’ve ever been to a house party, this one will top the lot... M14480 is an exceedingly well-run company...the attention to detail is simply superb.” - Hilary Scott.
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