Borderlands - the adopted cuisines of Southeast Asia

  • Makrobia Makrobia
  • Vishovgrad, Bulgaria
  • Jun 16 - 23, 2018 (8 days)
  • 599 € per person 7 nights FULL BOARD

About us

This is a 7 night event but guests who wish to extend this may, subject to availability, stay additional nights. Please contact us for details.

Down the centuries since the Golden Age of the Khmer empire through to the mass immigration of Han Chinese in the twentieth century Thailand has always embraced and adopted the cuisines of its neighbours and visitors both near and far. Join us on a culinary tour and explore the colourful and vibrant cuisines from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao, Malaysia and Burma from the Thai perspective. Beau will lead us on this journey featuring such joys as the aromatic gaeng hung lay pork curry from the mountain tribes of the Burma/Thai borders and gaeng om, the fiery Lao chicken curry scented with dill, fermented fish and lime basil. From the fragrant precursor to the Persian biriani, Vietnamese por pia sot and the Muslim influenced masman curry you will savour the myriad cultures that have combined to form a cuisine of great depth and variety.

Guests are encouraged to participate in preparation and cooking of meals as well as picking herbs and vegetables from the gardens. Menu cards will be provided upon request at the end of the event.

Prices are per person and are based on sharing a twin room either with a friend/partner or with another same-sex person. Single occupancy price is £660 for 7 nights.

I had the most special stay at Makrobia with Marc and Beau in their beautiful grounds in the the Bulgarian countryside. They made me feel so welcome as a solo guest and made sure I had a relaxing and fulfilling holiday. The food was incredible, they talked me through everything they grow and produce on their land and found out what I liked so they could cook every meal suited to me. I felt that I had the perfect balance of my own time to enjoy my experience whilst they also went very out of their way to take me to all the places I wanted to see and provide such welcome company in the long summer evenings over great food and wine. I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a hidden gem getaway to reconnect with their health and wellbeing.

Event Highlights

  • A small intimate event of no more than 8 residents.
  • All foods prepared with local and/or organic foods, many from our garden.
  • Most meals can be taken al-fresco!
  • Learn about Thai culture and food history
  • Thai BBQ on our lovely stone terrace
  • Guests can take part in the preparation and cooking or simply relax in the garden with a cool drink!

Venue Highlights

Rural location but easily accessible by plane, train or car
Amazing Bulgarian summers
Great Thai food from a Thai chef
Mediterranean food from Marc
Health through good nutriton
Organically grown food from gardens
Tranquil location and amazing scenery


  • Free Wifi
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Tour Assistance
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant


Breakfast 08.00-10.00
AM - nutritional consults if required
Lunch around 13.00 or packed lunches can be provided for guests who want to take day excursions
Prep and cooking usually starts around 3pm for guests who want to take part
Dinner around 19.00

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Includes Meat
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free


Whether you come for a weekend or a week or more you will find great food made with fresh ingredients and simply cooked. Our aim is to cook tasty food that is also healthy and as free of additives and chemicals as possible. That said we still enjoy good wine, artisan beers and excellent bean to cup coffee!
Eat well
Live well
because we are what we eat!

Marc & Beau have a rich and varied culinary background. They have cooked professionally in a wide variety of restaurants – between them they have more than sixty years of experience!

Beau’s speciality is, of course, Thai – one of the healthiest of cuisines but she also loves to cook good simple British food and makes an excellent apple crumble with a Thai twist
Before you arrive we will send you a detailed food questionnaire. This will help us to ensure that as far as possible we serve the sort of food you enjoy and avoid any allergens or foods which disagree with you. It goes without saying that vegetarians and vegans will be catered for sympathetically and creatively. Guests with wheat/gluten/dairy intolerances will find solace in Thai food which is naturally very low in these allergens.


Three ensuite double rooms in our barn conversion with large shared living room area and terrace opening onto gardens
All rooms decorated with low VOC finishes - largely untreated wood with beeswax.
Two rooms with wooden floors and one with a lime clay composite floor
One double room with private bathroom in main houise. Total max 8 adults.
King size double beds or single beds available
All towels provided and basic toiletries
Log burner in living room
Rooms are naturally cool in summer due to massive stone construction and insulation.
Our excellent Makrobia breakfast is included in all options.


EASY JET offer flights from Manchester, Stansted and Gatwick to Sofia and from Gatwick to Varna on the Black Sea Coast.
RYAN AIR offer flights from Stansted to Plovdiv and Sofia and from Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham to Sofia.
WIZZ offer flights from Luton to Varna, from Luton, Bristol, Doncaster and Birmingham to Sofia, and from Luton to Burgas.
JET2 offer flights from Manchester to Sofia.
BULGARIA is surprisingly cheap and quick to get to from the UK - from around £50 return if you book flights in advance and avoid school holidays! Flights are around 3.5hrs and Sofia airport is small and very quick to negotiate.
VISHOVGRAD is located a 35 minute drive from Veliko Tarnovo, the ancient capital of Bulgaria. It is fairly central being almost equidistant by road from Sofia (2.5hrs ), Plovdiv (3.3hrs) Varna (3.3hrs) and Burgas airports (3.25hrs).
CAR HIRE is very reasonable in Bulgaria. We have only used Top Rent A Car who offered reasonable prices and courteous service. They have a pick up service at Sofia, Burgas and Varna airport. When we used them an English speaking rep was waiting at the arrival gates and we had the car within 10 minutes. Bulgarian roads are uncongested compared to the UK but in rural areas can be quite rough.
TAXIS are available at the airports and they will drive you all the way to Vishovgrad for comparatively little money but it is essential that you agree the price before you leave. .
AN AIRPORT TRANSFER SERVICE is available but of limited availability. Our village neighbour Paul, who also offers a taxi service to local attractions, can collect you from any airport at a fixed price depending on which airport 80 - 100 euros for up to 4 people. Paul is from Oxford area originally - so no language barrier! Contact us for details.

Tags: cooking food gourmet health nutrition peace relax thai walking

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