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4 Day French Cooking, Culinary, and Laughter Holiday in a Beautiful Chateau in Loire Valley, Sarthe
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


(No availability) 4 Day French Cooking, Culinary, and Laughter Holiday in a Beautiful Chateau in Loire Valley, Sarthe

La Vie du Château, Château de La Barbée, Bazouges sur le Loir 72200, France

Culinary Getaway in France

Welcome to this Tuesday-to-Friday cooking program. Expect a mixture of cooking, open markets, excursions, laughter, good food, and good times. Learn to make some of the basics and standards of French cooking, as well as and some other special and elegant dishes, in the newly renovated 18th century kitchen. Not only that, explore the diverse local culinary culture and the Loire Valley‘s rich history, visit open markets, go for cheese tasting, visit the impressive Chateau du Lude, and more!

Meet the instructors

Mary
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Highlights

  • Cooking classes and cheese tasting
  • Enjoy lunch in a beautiful setting on the Loir river
  • Visit an open market to buy the freshest produce one can get
  • A guided visit to Chateau du Lude, with its medieval kitchen and beautiful gardens
  • After-dinner drinks, infusions, and chocolates in the grand salon
  • Lunches and dinners served with fresh baguettes and wine
  • A complementary apron and recipe folder
  • 3 nights accommodation

Styles


4 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French
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Accommodation

Château de La Barbée is one of many private châteaux in the Loire Valley - but few offer an experience like this. The chateau was built in 1790, during the French revolution. The architectural style is very representative of this period, which is why it is classified as a historical monument.

You are welcomed into this 18th century home for an authentic “vie du château” experience, where you will live, cook, eat, and play. The rooms in the château are simply but elegantly furnished, with shared or private bath or shower and WC facilities and views overlooking the garden.

You can relax in the library, the salon, outdoors on the terrasse, or by the fountain. All in all, you are invited to feel at home during your stay.

Meals will be taken in various locations in the château. Your formal dinner will take place in the formal dining room. More casual meals may be served in the dining room, the sunny foyer, or on the terrasse.

Program

Day 1: Get settled, enjoy lunch, get cooking!

Arrival for lunch, between 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. After getting settled, acquainted, and connected, you will enjoy a relaxing lunch on the terrasse, looking out over the fountain and fields beyond.

After a break where you will be able to relax in your rooms, by the fountain, or have a nice walk around the property, La Vie Du Château will then give a presentation of the course program and get your aprons on to prepare a delicious dinner.

Day 2: Open market, cooking, and cheese tasting in the Orangerie

Today after some lunch preparations, you will head to the open market in the nearby town to buy the freshest meats, seafood, and produce one can get. You will take the scenic road that goes through the apple orchards that the region is well known for and pass by a beautiful chateau or two, or three!

Back home, with your baskets full, you will continue preparations for lunch.

After a leisurely lunch, you will have time relax and then, with inspiration from the market, you will put your aprons back on and continue preparations for dinner. You will also have a cheese tasting at the Orangerie (weather permitting) with a choice of local cheeses and discussions about the different varieties - accompanied by a variety of local wines.

Day 3: Cooking, lunch on the Loir river, visit to a beautiful chateau

With all the best ingredients from yesterday’s market, you will spend the morning in the kitchen preparing a four-course dinner. Then head out to enjoy lunch in a beautiful setting on the Loir river followed by a guided visiting the impressive Chateau du Lude, with its medieval kitchen and beautiful gardens. Then back home and after a break, you will finish up preparations for dinner in the formal dining room.

Day 4: Cooking, re-cap, lunch, and departure

This is your last morning together. You will prepare a nice light lunch and take time to re-cap on your week's recipes. Leisure departure after lunch.

Included excursions

The open market

The weekly Wednesday market is a foodies dream come true, with it being the second largest in the region, with 180 vendors displaying products from near and afar.

Most notable is the abundance of local products, from fruits and vegetables grown right next door to displays of cheeses, charcuteries, and the freshest seafood you can get. They arrive straight from the seaside early in the morning and the fish are all clear eyed with bright red gills. Piles of fresh perrywinkles, whelks, muscles, and venus clams are all lined up next to the live (still jumping) shrimps.

Christine comes straight from Guérande with her beautiful selection of rock salt, fine salt, fleur de sel, and other spices including fresh vanilla pods and salicorne.

You can also find beautiful baskets, kitchen utensils, live chickens and ducks, antique knick knacks, and all sorts of other goods.

Of course, Mary has selected her favorite vendors and has become pretty efficient in finding and choosing what she needs for the days-weeks cooking. She usually goes with menus sketched out in her head, but with a very open mind and thus letting her inspiration go with all the exciting food to be found.

It is so fun when you get back to the kitchen and spread out all the ingredients on the table and start preparing delicious dishes, old and new!

Instructors

Mary Pochez

Location

Food

Classes begin at 10:00 a.m. unless otherwise specified. Lunches at the chateau are usually at 1:00 p.m., dinner at 8:00 p.m.

Meals

At La Vie du Château, mornings begin with a breakfast of fresh croissants, assorted pastries, fresh eggs from the chateau's own chickens, ham, homemade jam and honey, cereals, yogurt, coffee, tea, fruits, and juices.

Lunches and dinners are served with fresh baguettes and wine. Dinners are followed by after-dinner drinks, infusions, and chocolates in the grand salon, which guests are invited to enjoy. Program specifics may vary due to weather, availability, current and evolving inspirations, and to take advantage of seasonal products.

Lunches and dinners are served with baguettes and wine. Dinners are followed by after-dinner drinks, infusions, and chocolates in the grand salon, which guests are invited to enjoy. Program specifics may vary due to weather, current and evolving inspirations, and to take advantage of seasonal products.

Cooking classes

During this program, you will learn to make some of the basics and standards of French cooking - boeuf bourguignon, cheese soufflé, ratatouille, gratin dauphinois, french onion soup, tarte-tatin, mayonnaise, vinaigrette, and some other special and elegant dishes - sea bass in a salt crust, beurre blanc, maroccan chicken, baked cognac peaches, crèpes suzette, and dark chocolate mousse. But you will always look to the market for seasonal inspiration!

Examples of what you will be cooking:

Day 1

Lunch: (already prepared)

  • Endive Roquefort Salade
  • Fresh Sea Scallops in a Cream Sauce, with rice
  • Cremets d’Angers or Ice bowl

Dinner:

  • Fennel Parmesan Salade
  • Maroccan Baked Lemon Chicken, couscous,
  • Frangipane Plum Pie

Day 2

Lunch:

  • Assortiment of Charcuteries
  • Cheese Soufflé
  • Ratatouille
  • Tarte-Tatin

Cheeses and wine in the Orangerie (conservatory)

Dinner:

  • French Onion Soup
  • Salt-Crusted Sea Bass served with Beurre Blanc
  • Leek Melt
  • Baked Cognac Peaches, served with home-made Vanilla Ice-Cream

Day 3

Dinner:

  • Cauliflower Caviar Mousseline
  • Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Pommes Chateau
  • Cheese Platter with fresh herb salad
  • Dark Chocolat Mousse
  • Baked Cognac Peaches, served with home-made Vanilla Ice-Cream

Day 4

  • Parmesan Crisps
  • Shrimp Chiffonade
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake served with Crème Anglaise

Menus depend on market availability, freshness, and current inspiration.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Cooking classes
  • 3 nights accommodation at the chateau
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Aperitifs and wine with meals
  • Excursions and on-site translation
  • A complementary apron and recipe folder

What's not included

  • Transportation and transfers to the chateau

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). Several high-speed trains operate directly from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Le Mans. Car rentals are available at multiple locations at the airport.

Arrival by train

High-speed trains run frequently from Gare Montparnasse to Le Mans, and less frequently to Sable. From Le Mans train station, taxis are available for about 50 EUR. You can contact to make La Vie Du Château for arrangements.

Alternatively, you can take a bus from Le Mans train station to La Flèche for about 8 EUR. La Vie Du Château will pick you up in La Flèche for transfer to La Barbe. You can also take a train from Le Mans to Sable, then take a taxi to La Barbe. Car rentals are also available at Le Mans station.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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