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Meals at Gardoussel

"As a connoisseur of retreats we were overjoyed to find excellent vegetarian food. In contrast to other venues we'd frequented, we were not desperate to return home to 'real' delicious vegetarian food; in fact we could have stayed here forever." Danny & Carol (Ayurveda UK)

Full-board is provided during themed events, and evening meals can sometimes be supplied outside of catered events by prior arrangement. Catering is usually co-ordinated by Frances under the guidance of Alex and consists of delicious, fresh, home-made vegetarian meals inspired by Ayurvedic nutritional principles, adjusted to western foods and culture.

Most of the ingredients we use are organic and grown in the local area. Many are grown by our neighbour Benedicte Bourlier who has an impressive organic garden.

Breakfast is self-service and continental-style (breakfast cereals, toast, jams, juices, tea / coffee etc). A cooked Ayurvedic breakfast is sometimes offered.

Meals for group events are normally served on a terrace overlooking the valley, or in the communal living/dining room when the weather is not suitable for eating outdoors.

Guests are usually requested to assist at meal times by washing up and clearing away afterwards.

Vegans & Special Diets

Most of our meals are suitable for vegans, however we can usually cater for people with other special dietary needs. Contact us well in advance to discuss options.

What is 'Ayurvedic' food?

Ayurvedic nutrition teaches us how to balance our doshas (body energies) through the act of eating. It is not merely a question of what to eat and what not to eat. Each individual is considered in terms of constitution, capacity for food, digestive strength, age, state of health and lifestyle. Taking these factors into account, a trained Ayurvedic practitioner can guide you towards a healthy eating program.

'Ayurvedic food' consists of many considerations other than the actual food that is served. So in what way are the foods we serve at Garduossel 'Ayurvedic'? Well, apart from the fact that you are eating in nature, in a relaxed supportive atmosphere, at regular times of the day, the following points are worth mentioning:

  1. Meals are designed with the season, climate and weather in mind.
  2. Meals are prepared using home-made organic ghee and cooked gently (when applicable) so as to preserve their nutritive properties. Only ghee or sesame oil are used when baking or sauteeing as other oils can become rancid when exposed to high temperatures.
  3. The largest meal of the day is served at lunchtime as this is when the body is best able to digest foods.
  4. Desserts are not served with each meal, however we do offer light puddings and desserts, usually once a day.
  5. Meals are freshly prepared from mostly local and organic produce. Whole grains and whole grain flours are preferred.
  6. Cheeses are normally served separately so that they can be eaten towards the end of the meal. Some meals have cheese baked into them.
  7. We focus on quality not quantity. Meals are prepared in a positive atmosphere and are offered as a gesture of love to all those who may eat them.

Alex teaches these Ayurvedic nutritional principles and other aspects of Ayurveda as part of his one-to-one consultations and occasional workshops.

NOTE: Local red wine is usually offered at the evening meal (unless your group leader has requested otherwise). A small amount of red wine aids the digestion and we are, after all, in France...



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Gardoussel Retreat, 30940 St Andre de Valborgne, France
09 64 28 32 71 (from UK/world dial 0033 964 283 271)