It’s a great time of year to visit Les Aleis, which is an hour and a half north of Toulouse; the garden and countryside around is abundant. Fig trees are dripping with fruit, the veg patch is jewelled with bright, red tomatoes, plump squashes and courgettes.
Dinners are accompanied by lush green salads, and followed by comforting fruity puds.
Last time I was there I followed our host Lucy Ackroyd (who is also the gardener and chef) around with a camera as she prepared our evening meal: pasta with roasted veg and feta.
She started by picking vegatables from the garden to roast: golden butternut squash, firm and shiney courgettes, garlic
and onions. To these she added locally grown red and green peppers, splashed with olive oil and popped in the oven.
Meanwhile, pasta was cooked, carrots grated and feta cheese chopped into chunks. When the veg emerged from the oven, the whole lot was mixed together, seasoned and served up to the awaiting guests, who were hungry after a not-so-arduous day of yoga, country walks and chilling by the pool!
Lucy’s home-grown veggie cooking has become so popular with visiting yoga students, she’s publishing a “Yoga Retreat Recipe Book”, which includes the secrets of her amazing beetroot and tomato soup, lentil lasagne, and carrot cake. I’ll post a link as soon as it’s available.
Meanwhile, I’ll be returning to Les Aleis
yoga sessions each day, guided silent walks and
meditations, trips to some of the stunning medieval towns nearby, and possibly a swim in the river… In between there will be time to relax, read a book and, of course, enjoy Lucy’s wonderful cooking.
You can see what previous guests have thought of the holiday here on YouTube, plus information here about accommodation, prices and travel details.