Secret Garden

Pays de la Loire, France

A wonderful rural location in the heart of Valley du Loir, France.

Testimonials 8

  • a traveler United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    Friends and I on motor bike trip to lemans booked two nights and turned up a day early; nothing was to much trouble for our hosts. I wish I could have stayed longer, but fear of putting more weight on from the fantastic food I had to go. Great hosts made us very welcome hope to go again soon!

  • a traveler United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    An amazing experience. It is very rural which appealed but not for people who want "action". Les is a fountain of knowledge and is happy to impart this. The food is amazing and she will happily adapt to your needs. Cannot do enough for you. Cannot wait to go back - learnt so much in a very short time and it will be like going home.

  • Adrien United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    My wife and I had a great time and Lesley was very good considering that my wife is allergic to butter and buttermilk. This makes cooking a real challenge for sauces etc. but we managed it. Excellent lunches and evening meals and I have told Lesley we will be returning.

  • Alan United Kingdom

    Secret Garden TripAdvisor page

    I have just returned with my husband from one of Lesley's three day cooking holidays and we had a fabulous time. From the minute we arrived we felt chilled and quite at home.There were 8 on the course, and we all mixed well and had good banter and fun. The atmosphere is relaxed and the cooking is done at an easy pace,with everyone joining in but no rushing or competition, at a level to suit all abilities.The meals we prepared were delicious French rustic meals with homemade breads.We then ate our dishes together outside or in the dining room.Wine was served in the evening and included in the price.

    The accommodation is basic but clean with a real farmhouse feeling. You don't spend much time in your room as the day quickly passes with all the activity.On the second day there was a visit to a local wine cave with a tasting thrown in which was really interesting and no hard sell. We did buy some wine to bring home which was great value.

    Lesley, like myself,is a straight talking Glasgow girl, so there is no language issue,however the experience is authentically French and she and her husband Rinus have created something quite special. We plan to return for a gourmet break. Thanks Lesley.

  • a traveler United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    My wife and I have spent 3 absolutely marvelous days with Lesley learning some of the finer points of French cooking. Learned so much and picked up some wonderful little tips. Rinus is a smashing guy with a great music collection. He's not bad at handing out the wine either. It was so much fun cooking our own meals and even cooked for 2 Belgians who stayed the night during a walking holiday. They thought it was really novel how we were learning to cook and they were sampling our wares.It was a very pleasant evening with all of us eating (and drinking) together. They said they would be returning sometime. I know we will, having already booked to stay in October and also returning next year for another course with my siblings. Don't miss out - its a lovely set-up in a typical French rural setting. As Lesley says you don't have to be an expert you just to have an interest in food.

  • a traveler United Kingdom

    Secret Garden TripAdvisor page

    We loved our time spent cooking and eating with Lesley. I have experience in the catering industry but still found plenty to learn from our host. Thoroughly enjoyed our time in Courdemanche.enjoying warm evenings eating the fruits of our labours .My husband was so encouraged by his bread making experiences he has now acquired a baguette baking sheet to ensure authenticity. It's just a shame he didn't acquire any skills at washing up while we were there !! Loved it!

  • a traveler United Kingdom

    Secret Garden TripAdvisor page

    I attended the three night cookery course with my friend and loved every minute of it. Lesley gave us great cooking tips that you only get from years of experience, I hadn't made any of the things we cooked before so it was my first time making bread, gutting a fish, making chocolate fondant and more. I've been cooking Lesley's recipes since I got home and they're tasty every time and I keep getting compliments now when we're entertaining. I'm looking forward to going back one day to learn more. It was also nice meeting the other people doing the course too and tasting the wine at the wine cave I would highly recommend going, it's good fun, great people and delicious food.

  • Jan United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    Fabulous French cooking experience. Great hospitality, enormous fun, Lesley is a wonderful host. Beautiful place to stay in rural France, lovely garden, nice rooms. What more to say? Our first experience of a cooking holiday. Would love to return!

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