A holiday or a short break is a chance to recharge your batteries. What could be better than eating fresh, simple but healthy food that is produced with the utmost respect for the environment and in a suitainable manner?

Nature shines through in everything we do at Château Mitaud; from the way we grow our grapes bio-dynamically to our organic fruit and vegetables.

Nutrition has such a major impact on our health and well-being that we all need to be aware of what we put inside our bodies. There is a wonderful book called ‘The China Study’ by T. Colin Campbell PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II. MD that we are happy to lend or buy for you. Written by doctors in the US, it explores at length the relationship between, and the huge impact of diet on, health and disease rates, backed up with one of the largest ever studies on the ground, which just happened to be carried out in China, so resonates particularly with us. It may be controversial and some of the findings have been disputed, but it certainly was influential on Andrew's and Angela's outlook on life and food


A Chinese approach to the Western concept of 'detoxing' is called "辟谷" pronounced 'Bigu'.

Bigu is often associated with fasting over an extended period of time and has become increasingly popular as China moves away from a vegetable and rice-driven traditional diet and adopts a more Western high-fat and high-calorie diet, including junk food (垃圾食品 literally 'rubbish food' in Chinese).

Bigu is a way of withdrawing from the high-stress, high-speed, social media-obsessed world in which we live today. In China, the concept typically refers to a set-up where people retreat to a quiet place where they will not be disturbed by work or other demands with clean air and basically do and consume nothing for a period of time, often as a radical weight loss strategy.

You do drink tea or ingest other concoctions such as diluted tamarind powder and do exercises to stop you feeling hungry during bigu. The theory is the process cleans out the body by removing built up toxins and helps people to lose weight. To succeed with a bigu, you do need experienced coaches to guide you through the tricks and exercises so that you avoid feeling hunger pangs.

Andrew has managed four days so far, but Angela has done two weeks (and yes, she is still around to tell the tale). Bigu is available on request if there is sufficient demand for a group and a coach is available.


The history of fasting goes back to biblical times (Christians and Muslims) and has always been an exercise in self-control and restraint. Andrew is on a "5+2" regime. He fasts completely on Saturdays and keeps his intake to one meal (around 600 calories) on Wednesdays, although the days can change due to client commitments or social events involving eating. It is important to drink enough water on the fast days to keep your body hydrated. Andrew has also realised it is vital to keep yourself occupied, because it becomes all too easy to fixate on food when you have nothing to distract you. Oh, and fasting gets tougher towards the end of the evening on Saturday, so you need to keep busy and think about other things to get you through the evening. He acknowledges not everyone will want to or be able to follow him, but has noted that he gets a feeling that his body has genuinely cleansed itself and feels lighter with better digestion after a fast day.

All we can say is that after one year on the regime people around Andrew remarked that he looked thinner and fitter, and he certainly feels better for it. But don't take our word for it – try it for yourself and make your own mind up!

Winery visits

Find out about our network of vignerons and available excursions nearby