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French Cooking Holiday in Pennsylvania, USA

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Spend a weekend in this amazing bed and breakfast hotel and enjoy the magnificent surroundings of a turn-of-the-century Georgian mansion on six and a half acres of terraced lawns. Learn about French cuisine with two hands-on cooking classes in the heart of Pennsylvania. The Mercersburg Inn is proud to partner with the acclaimed L' Academie de Cuisine of Bethesda, MD to present a series of culinary weekends offering French cooking classes throughout the year.

Meet the instructors

Francois
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Highlights

  • Lunch with wine
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes
  • Optional 5-course French Chef's Dinner
  • Magnificent surroundings
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


2 days with instruction
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Accommodation

Mercersburg Inn is located just a morning's drive from Washington DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. The decorative tile, oak flooring, double-curving wrought-iron balustrades, scagliola columns, and the mahogany and chestnut paneling are all original to the house.

The 17 rooms in the main house and carriage house include 4 different types of rooms ranging from standard to extravagant. Byron's Dining Room is the Mercersburg Inn's fine dining restaurant. Seating is from 17:30 to 20:30 Thursday thru Saturday and from 17:00 to 20:00 on Sunday.

Standard rooms

The three quaint standard rooms are bright and cozy with comfy queen beds.

Garden view: Crisp and bright in blue and white, this sunny corner room features a queen bed and a small bath with a shower. Overlooking the inn's back gardens, it offers a quiet and tranquil repose.

Lavender room: Featuring exquisite antique prints of fruits and vegetables, this luminous room gleams with lavender and white accents. An antique armoire and private bath complete the intimate atmosphere.

Nanny's room. Sunlit and inviting, this quaint and colorful room was once the restful refuge for the Byrons nanny. Features include a queen featherbed, antique bureau, and a small, private bath with shower.

Deluxe rooms

Plush queen beds and added amenities distinguish our two lovely deluxe rooms.

Sitting room offers a queen bed tucked into a cozy alcove and a large, separate sitting area with an antique love seat and desk. Perfect for business travelers or guests seeking distinct sleeping and lounging spaces, this fetching room also offers a private bath and walk-in closet.

School room: Once a classroom for the Byrons sons, this alcove now serves as a country hideaway. A hand-stitched quilt drapes over the queen bed, and a private bath and dressing area complete the homey atmosphere.

Superior rooms

With special touches and soft king beds, the seven superior rooms offer pampering comfort.

Dressing room: Featuring a canopied king bed, private bath, and magnificent views of the Tuscarora Mountains from the private balcony, this open, airy room is awash in soft, subtle tones.

Iones room: The former sanctuary of the mistress of the house, this pleasant room presents a king canopied bed, queen-size sofa bed, and a huge bath with an old-fashioned soaking tub and separate marble shower.

The loft: Secluded and soothing, this two-room suite offers a king canopied bed and a graceful antique love seat. A multi-paned window adds architectural flair to the additional loft bedroom, where a twin bed with a matching trundle doubles the sleeping space. Perfect for families or friends traveling together, this room also features a small, private bath with a shower.

Julia's repose: Soft blue and yellow tones take center stage on the canopied king bed and in the spacious bath, which features an antique dressing table and an old-fashioned soaking tub with a shower.

Tidds room: This charming room was once the scheming and dreaming place for the Byrons youngest son, Tidd. Replete with country antiques, the ample interior features a king canopied bed, leather recliner, and private bath. A second door leads to a balcony.

Vaughns room: Dressed in timeless black and white toile, this delightful space features a walk-in closet, a king bed, and a private bath with a modern tub and shower combination.

Academy view: Featuring a canopied king bed and large, antique bureau, this gracious corner room looks out on the stunning spires of Mercersburg Academys chapel. An overstuffed love seat graces the sitting area, and a large walk-in closet leads to the private bath with a modern tub and shower combination.

Extravagant rooms

Featuring sumptuous king beds and fireplaces, the three extravagant rooms offer the ultimate in luxury!

Prospect view: Once the private retreat of Harry Byron, Prospect View is now the inn's most spacious room with a king-canopied bed, private balcony, and grand fireplace. Original tile floors and fixtures grace the enormous bathroom, which features an old-fashioned soaking tub and separate marble shower.

Romantic retreat: Private and romantic, this large suite is tucked away in an upstairs corner, perfect for honeymooners or those romantically inclined! A see-through fireplace casts a warm glow over both bedroom and bathroom. A whirlpool tub for two, a king poster bed, and a cozy window seat complete the secluded setting.

Marie Claire: With a large, lovely fireplace and a private, covered balcony, this sun-filled room is an inn favorite. Soft light streams onto the window seat a perfect place to curl up with a book. A charming sofa bed in the sitting area, leather recliner, king canopied bed, and private bath make this room a perfect peaceful haven.

The Carriage House rooms

A few steps from the main house is the Carriage House, built in 1909. The newly renovated upper floor contains two rooms with individually controlled heating and air-conditioning and private baths with Jacuzzi tubs. Although the construction is new, the furnishings are of a period matching those in the main house. Here you will find the same luxurious featherbeds, down quilts, and plush pillows guests have come to expect from The Mercersburg Inn.

Program

The weekend includes two classes. You arrive Friday afternoon or evening and the first class starts directly after breakfast on Saturday morning. The second class starts after breakfast on Sunday. These are two intensive hands-on cooking classes and, of course, fabulous meals for you to enjoy are the results. Saturday night's Chef's Dinner, prepared by the Inn's Chef de Cuisine Dan Nowalk, is an elegant gala event.

This is not a class where you sit and someone teaches. This is a hands-on, fun weekend. Chef Francois will do a demonstration and then discuss the menu and recipes. Then the group splits into teams and each prepares one course of lunch. This is for all skill levels. Got a question, want to know how to do something, Chef Francois is right there.

Sample schedule

Friday: Arrive at the Inn

  • 20:00 Group meet and greet

Saturday

  • 08:00 - 09:30 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Cooking class starts
  • 12:30 Lunch with wine
  • 19:00 Cocktails in the Tile Room
  • 19:30 4-course French Chef's Dinner

Sunday

  • 08:00 - 09:30 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Cooking class starts
  • 12:30 Lunch with wine

Instructors

Francois Dionot

Location

This culinary holiday will take place in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, USA.

Distances

  • Downtown - 8 minute-walk

Food

Sample menu for cooking classes

Saturday

  • Roasted Shallot Soup with Lobster and Lobster Flan
  • Seared Black Pepper Tuna on Crisp Vegetables with Ginger and Soy Sauce Vinaigrette
  • Braised Beef Blade Roast with Celery Root Purée and Glazed Carrots
  • White Chocolate Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce and Cigarette Russe

Sunday

  • Roasted Eggplant Soup with Rosemary Flan
  • Filet of Salmon with Wild Mushroom Mousse with Boulanger Potatoes
  • Braised Veal Cheek with Provençal Rice Pilaf
  • Galette of Roasted Pineapple with Passion Fruit Cream

Things to do (optional)

Cowans Gap State Park has hiking trails, a lake with a sandy beach for swimming, paddle and row boat rentals, fishing, and a concession stand. The innkeepers will happily provide beach towels and even pack you a picnic lunch with 24-hour advance notice.

  • Explore Franklin county
  • Pachallina of Long Acres farm - downtown Mercersburg
  • Summer Theater - 30 minutes away
  • Tee off at your choice of three 18-hole championship golf courses - all less than 15 minutes away: Whitetail golf resort, Great Cove golf club, and Greencastle Green golf club
  • The Pennsylvania Opry at The Star Theater in Mercersburg is located a short walk from the Inn
  • Tuscarora Trail runs through nearby Buchanan's Birthplace State Park. A bypass to the Appalachian Trail, the Tuscarora Trail follows the crest of the Tuscarora Mountains and offers day hikers one of the most striking treks in Pennsylvania
  • Visit Hagerstown for The Hagerstown Suns baseball field, skydiving, shopping at Prime Outlets, skiing, and several museums - 25 minutes away
  • Visit Hershey Park for roller coasters and water rides - 2.5 hours away
  • Visit Lancaster County for traditional farms, food and craft markets, restaurants, and museums - 2 hours away
  • Weekend wine tasting and pairing dinners
  • You have the possibility of adding various packages to your booking: Romance package, in-room massage, one dozen roses, champagne, and chocolates or wine and chocolate

What's included

  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Cooking classes
  • Lunch with wine

What's not included

  • Cocktails
  • Expenses necessary for traveling to the inn
  • French Chef's Dinner
  • Taxes

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Baltimore

  • Take Highway 70 west past Fredrick.
  • At Hagerstown, MD, take Interstate 81 north into Pennsylvania. Once you cross the Pennsylvania state line, the exit numbers will start over.
  • Take exit 5 at Greencastle, PA.
  • At the bottom of the off-ramp, make a left onto Highway 16. Travel through Greencastle and on to Mercersburg (approximately 11 miles).
  • When you approach Mercersburg, look for a sign for the Mercersburg Academy on the right and a cemetery on the left. You will then see a junction sign for Route 75. Turn left onto 75.
  • Turn right into The Mercersburg Inn parking lot.

Driving directions from Washington, DC

  • Take Highway 270 to Highway 70 west and follow the directions from Baltimore.
  • From Points East via the Pennsylvania Turnpike
  • Take the Carlisle exit and follow the signs to Interstate 81 south.
  • Travel south to Greencastle on Interstate 81 and take exit 5.
  • Make a right at the bottom of the off-ramp onto Highway 16. Travel through Greencastle and on to Mercersburg (approximately 11 miles).
  • When you approach Mercersburg, look for a sign for the Mercersburg Academy on the right and a cemetery on the left. You will then see a junction sign for Route 75. Turn left onto 75.
  • Turn right into The Mercersburg Inn parking lot.

Driving directions from Points West via the Pennsylvania Tumpike

  • Take exit 13, to Fort Littleton.
  • Go south on Route 522 to McConnellsburg.
  • In McConnellsburg, make a left onto Route 16 east. Mercersburg is approximately 12 miles from McConnellsburg. When you arrive in Mercersburg you will be at the west end of town where Highway 16 and Highway 75 join. Travel through Mercersburg.
  • At the top of a small hill, 16 and 75 split. Stay to the right on Route 75.
  • The Mercersburg Inn driveway is on the right just after 16 and 75 split.

Driving directions from New York

  • Take Highway 78 west to Interstate 81 south.
  • Travel south to Greencastle and take exit 5.
  • Make a right at the bottom of the off ramp onto Highway 16. Travel through Greencastle and on to Mercersburg (approximately 11 miles).
  • When you approach Mercersburg, look for a sign for the Mercersburg Academy on the right and a cemetery on the left. You will then see a junction sign for Route 75. Turn left onto 75.
  • Turn right into The Mercersburg Inn parking lot.

Arrival by airplane

Arrive at one of these 3 airports:

Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) - 90 minutes drive

Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington DC - 90 minutes drive

Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR) in Maryland served by Cape Air - 25 minutes drive

Distances

  • Closest regional airport - 25 minutes drive
  • Closest international airport - 90 minutes drive

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% 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.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
3 days / 2 nights
from --
Sunday September 11, 2022
(3 days / 2 nights)

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