|Food and art in Tuscany|
Guests who come to this water mill in north-western Tuscany hardly can decide whether they have come for the food or the art instruction. Most of them don't seem to care. They're too busy pinching themselves that they can enjoy both at once.
In true Italian fashion, food plays an important role in the creative holidays (painting and writing courses) at the beautiful Watermill at Posara in rural Tuscany, Italy. Inspire your mind, hone your talent and stimulate your tastebuds with superb local cuisine from Tuscany and the neighbouring regions of Liguria and Emilia-Romagna, be it gorgonzola soufflés, traditional Ligurian pesto using fresh basil from the garden or homemade tiramisu, all accompanied pre-dinner aperitivi and wines.
Among the most popular dishes is chocolate torta from Capri, a sumptuous cake made entirely without flour. Here's the recipe for a cake large enough for 10 to 12 servings.
225 grams of plain chocolate (not less than 72% cocoa solids)
Chop the almonds into small pieces (this can be done in a food processer but don't chop them too fine: you don't want ground almonds). Remove the almonds. Chop the chocolate to the same size. Remove the chocolate.
Cream the butter and sugar together in the food processor until fluffy. Separate the eggs. Add 4 egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture.
Whisk the egg whites to 'soft peaks'. Fold in the chocolate and the almonds into the butter/sugar/egg yolk mixture. Then fold in one large spoonful of whipped egg white to soften the mixture, before gently folding in the rest.
Line the bottom of a 20cm spring-release cake tin with greaseproof paper. Put the mixture into the cake tin and place in a pre-heated oven at 350ºC (180ºF). Cook for one hour.
Leave to cool, remove carefully from tin and slice. Serve with skinned, segmented oranges and softly whipped cream. Buon appetito!
The Watermill at Posara usually serves its homemade Capri chocolate torta at dinner on Thursdays during the painting holidays and creative writing courses. You can find out more about their painting holidays by clicking here. And about their creative writing courses, by clicking here.
The Watermill at Posara's 2014 programme includes 12 painting courses and three creative writing courses (crime fiction, TV scriptwriting and writing romance). Three sample courses include:
It doesn't matter if you haven't picked up a paintbrush since school as all levels are catered for on this course (7-14 June 2014), led by sympathetic American artist Becky Joy. You'll be given the tools to create your own unique style through brushwork and colour. Your paintings will be filled with light when you discover how to make a painting glow. You'll head out and about into the Tuscan hills, using the local surroundings as inspiration. There's plenty of one-to-one tuition with Becky, and the week ends with an informal exhibition showcasing all of the students' work. Costs from - (GBP) 1,310 pp (two sharing)*.
They say that everyone has a book in them, and author Sharon Kendrick knows exactly how to extract ideas from her students. With more than 90 Mills & Boon books to her name, she's led six immensely popular courses at the Mill. During the week (3-10 May 2014), Sharon will guide you through the entire process, from the early days of plots, characters and dialogue, right through to selling your story and working with agents. Personable and enthusiastic, Sharon's passion for romantic fiction is contagious and she knows exactly how to bring out the best in her students. Costs from - (GBP) 1,310 pp (two sharing)*.
Self-taught English artist Trevor Lingard (20-27 September 2014) has won international acclaim for his watercolours, which are colourful and dynamic. Introducing figures into your work, he reckons, cold be the hallmark of success.Trevor's teaching is enthusiastic and informative and caters for artists of all levels. He aims to help students to build their confidence and encourages a loose approach to watercolours. On location, in the beautiful landscapes surrounding the mill, and in the studio, he'll demonstrate architectural, figurative, townscape and landscape compositions. Costs from - (GBP) 1,310 pp (two sharing)*.
*Prices include all tuition, seven nights' accommodation, all meals (including local restaurants), drinks and aperitivi, transfers (to/from Pisa), local transport, materials and a mid-week excursion. Flights extra.
- V is for Venice
- Gruesome grottos
- World's largest Christmas tree
- Stay in a Monastery
- Ca Sagredo, Venice, Italy
- Belmond Hotel Cipriani
- Meet Sarah in Venice
- Suppli in Italy
- Eataly in Italy
- Italian Easter cakes
- Ride like an Italian
- Taste Sicily
- Budget gondolas, Venice
- Eating gelato in Rome
- Italy's distant islands
- Luxury Venice
- Tour Tuscany
- Street food in Italy
- Christmas in Tuscany
- Monastery Tours
- The rest of 'The Boot'
- Fascinating Facts about Sicily
- Facts about Sicily
- Italian - a few words
- Let's Visit Sicily
- La Pasticceria - Italian pastry shop
- Coffee in Italy
- Pizza - Italy's contribution
- Dining in Italy
- Driving in Southern Italy
- Southern Italy on a plate
- Christmas in Liguria
- Just a Little Italian accommodation details
- Escape to the Hills
- More to See and Do
- Food to Taste
- Places to Visit
- Things to Do
- Helpful Information
- Explore Italy and Its Food
- In the Mood for Italy
- Introducing Rome
- Introducing Tuscany
- Introducing Venice (Venezia)
- Out in the Tuscan Sun
- Rome's Left Bank
- Southern Comfort
- Venetian Class
News FeedFeed Entries
India's best-kept secret - a state of excitement and mystery.
Fells and dales, gingerbread, shaggy sheep and weird standing stones.
Glasgow is shaking off its grey reputation.....
Still find all the food and fun of Central Taiwan ....
From the valleys to the seaside - sharing the surprises of South Wales.
Lovely green Kerala has a friendly welcome for everyone.
Listen to the podcast
Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city, is full of surprises!
Can't get enough of Singapore?
Why does dining on an island always seem so much better?
FIFTY places and foods you may (or may not!) recognise.
The world's BIGGEST war memorial. HINT: it's in Australia.
Meet the courageous Japanese city that is embracing the future.
The Blue Mountains have much to offer - summer or winter.
A cruise around south-east Asia uncovers some fascinating secrets.
So you thought throwing the wedding bouquet was strange....
If you like beer, this could be helpful when you travel.
Pack your Big Yellow Suitcase ...