If mankind had never learned to cultivate gardens, cabbage heads would sprout up willy-nilly from bike lanes, babies' cribs, and the empty collars of headless horsemen. Keep specters frightening with today's Groupon: for $42, you get a three-course garden lunch and garden tour at Auberge de Seattle Inn & Specialty French Cooking School in Woodinville wine country (an $85 value).
Each of Auberge de Seattle Inn & Specialty French Cooking School's garden tours is heralded by a three-course lunch that commences with a fresh green salad topped with house-made vinaigrette. The chef's quiche of the day blends homegrown garden veggies, free-range eggs from Edge of Seattle's neighbors, and sodium from the president's private salt mine. For dessert, an Auberge gateau re-sharpens any dull sweet teeth. Then a three-hour educational garden romp acquaints tour-takers with their choice of either the Bellevue Botanical Garden, the Washington Park Arboretum, the Jumanji Cluster of Sentient Vines, or the Garden Conservancy Preserves. Tours run Tuesday–Thursday, and garden gurus greet guests during lunch, where the certified horticulturist guides deliver an introduction and directions to the destination.
Edge of Seattle Cooking
The staff at Edge of Seattle Cooking ushers guests onto its lush, 5 acres of wooded land for gustatory experiences ranging from simple, peaceful relaxation to a romantic and refined experience in this culinary destination. An extensive roster of chefs, including French natives and a culinary instructor from the Art Institute of Seattle, welcomes students to six-hour, hands-on cooking classes, ongoing class series, and Michelin-starred bake sales. Classes instruct students in a range of skills, from basic kitchen competency to how to whip up haute cuisine, and many courses focus on classic French cooking methods. Owner and Proprietor Nancy Gates-Douglas developed her love for food and wine growing up in Morocco and the Loire Valley of France, and these culinary roots spurred her to create the inn as a place for celebrating French regional cuisine and Washington-state wines. The inn itself combines the provincial with the modern by incorporating such contemporary touches as wireless Internet into its bedrooms and banquet areas, which brim with French antiques and fluffy, decorative lap dogs.