What an absolute pleasure it was to spend 5 days in the French countryside cooking with Mary.
Right from the beginning she could not have been more helpful. She sugggested all of the best ways to arrive at the Chateau, and even picked me up from the bus. The Chateau itself was just charming; the real-deal French country house that it appears in the photos. Xavier, Mary and their housekeeper Ella was so incredibly attentive to all of our needs and made our stay so welcoming.
We had a lovely few days cooking a wide variety of beautiful sweet and savory dishes, and covered lots of basics like the perfect mayonnaise and vinaigrette. Every meal was a true feast, with all of the amazing food we had cooked, accompanied by locals wines that Xavier was able to give us some real lessons on.
Mary was an excellent teacher, and keeping the classes small and fairly relaxed was a great way to help us learn but also make us feel like it was a holiday too!
I thoroughly enjoyed my week at Chateau de la Barbee and would recommend it to anyone who loves French food. Mary and Xavier were the most perfect hosts and I hope to be able to go back again one day in the near future!
a traveler Australia
From the time I first visited France, it had been a mystery to me how food could taste so much better than what I was normally accustomed to eating at home.
I’m recently retired and wanted to embrace a healthier lifestyle, so began my journey of discovering the joy of ‘eating for the pleasure of eating’.
Our gracious hosts Mary and Xavier provided us with fascinating insights into French culture, cuisine and history of Château de La Barbée; built by their family at the time of the Revolution in 1790.
The six day course was a full and varied program, the tuition both enjoyable and very well-paced as were the excursions.
If I may say so, the meals and wine were superb!
I’ve learnt a great deal from the course and already impressed my friends with the results
All round a great holiday experience!
Like so much of the Loir, both the Chateau and Estate resonate with the rich history of France and might be said to have a certain ‘rustic charm’.