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French Immersion & Culinary Holidays

If you are a beginner or intermediate in French and want to deepen your fluency in the language, this combination of culinary vacations and French language immersion course is specially tailored for you by Ecole des Trois Ponts in France. Join group discussions to attune with colloquial French guided by professional native teachers. What is more, you will also take part in chef-led baking courses to prepare delicious and easy-to-make French pastries to indulge your tastebuds, not to mention the stylish garnishes that you will also learn. Book this perfect holiday now and rest assured your French will significantly improve on the right hands, at the right place!

Meet the instructors

Valérie, Geneviève, Marie-Christine, & 1 More…
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  • 4 hands-on pastry classes
  • Learn French cooking / baking techniques
  • 5 French language immersion classes for beginners or intermediate
  • Certified native French language instructors
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All meals

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


5 days with instruction in French
The organizer also speaks: English
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
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  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Multilingual staff
  • Picnic area
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
  • Dry cleaning
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Ironing / ironing board
  • Laundry
  • Meeting room
  • Newspapers
  • Parking lot
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet

The Villa Beaulieu is a lovely 19th-century ivy-covered house featuring nine newly constructed guestrooms surrounding a peaceful, central garden. The main floor of the villa is comprised of a salon, a large combination kitchen/dining room, and an office. The classrooms are on the second floor.

All guestrooms look out onto the garden and are comfortably appointed with twin beds, desk, and chair, armoire, private bathroom and shower. Single rooms are available for a supplemental fee. The decor is comfortable, typical of what one might find in a French home.

All meals at the villa are included, from Sunday dinner to Saturday breakfast. There are two annexes containing nine bedrooms for the guests. These annexes, together with the original villa, overlook a spacious courtyard garden and lawn area.

The rooms are all at ground level, each with floor to ceiling glass doors overlooking the garden. There are twin, double or single rooms, all with a cupboard, a desk and a private bathroom.

The bathroom features a spacious and powerful shower, giving you the perfect start to each day. There are a hand basin, hairdryer, and WC too. Thanks to the quiet residential neighborhood, you can be sure of a good night's sleep.


French and Pastry and Baking Courses

This course includes French language classes, French pastry classes, as well as chocolate making courses. French and the Secrets of French Pastry is a delectable combination of French pastry, chocolate creations, and French language! After a morning of French language classes, you are invited to don an apron and head to the kitchen for the hands-on pastry and chocolate sessions.

A unique opportunity to develop your artistic side and your taste buds. Your enthusiastic, talented chef instructor, with his artistic flair and advanced technical qualifications, teaches in a relaxed setting. He leads you on a creative adventure that covers the basics of pastry and chocolate production, how to make technical improvements, and encourages you to use your imagination in the creation of a chocolate presentation.

French viennoiserie

Learn techniques and little secrets for preparing several types of croissants, pain au chocolat, brioche, and viennoiserie: all you need to know about French bakery in France.

The croissant is indispensable to every good French breakfast. This pastry was created in 1863 in Vienna, but it was Marie Antoinette from Austria (originally from Vienna) who officially introduced and popularized the croissant in Paris, dating from 1770.

In the 18th Century, it was only a simple bread dough with a few improvements. The flaky, butter croissant that people eat today burst on the scene in 1920 under the agile hands of Parisian bakers.

It’s important to note the difference between the butter croissant and an ordinary or plain croissant (made with margarine). In terms of butter, France is unbeatable: the butter from Surgères (Poitou Charentes), d’Isigny (Calvados) and from Normandy are like diamonds to the pastry chefs.

They are equally used in the production of pains au chocolats (general term) or chocolatines (the product from the Southwest: Bordeaux and Toulouse, and in Quebec) and in all viennoiseries.

The French recall with great fondness the pain au chocolat, the raisin bread or the sugared brioche bought on their way home from school. Immerse yourself in childhood memories and share the unequaled pleasure of seeing, smelling, touching and listening to the array of French viennoiserie pastries!

French brioche

The brioche, similar to the type that you eat today, was born in Normandy in the 16th century, but brioche dough was developed in medieval times. It has undergone many different forms and flavor profiles, according to the region of origin (sugar brioche, Tarte Tropézienne, gâche, Brioche Nanterre, Brioche Vendée, braided brioche, Cougnou, Pogne, Saint Genis, Brioche Chinois, etc.) and also gains its reputation from the quality of the butter used in its fabrication.

Here in Roanne, the most well-known brioche is the Praluline. Become a brioche expert and join in the grand tradition of French pastry makers in mastering the secrets and mysteries of the butter brioche that once delighted Marie Antoinette.

Chocolate making course

Indulge your chocolate cravings with instruction on how to create several chocolate desserts. Who has never salivated in front of a pastry shop window while surveying all the little chocolate confections? Chocolate Religieuses, Chocolate Eclairs, Opéra cakes, Black Forest cakes, Chocolate tarts….the choices are vast! This chocolate making course is based on a strong historical background.

The universe of chocolate: this divine pleasure is reputed to have come from the Mayan civilization 2000 years ago, then the Aztecs, and was popularized worldwide after the conquest of Mexico by Christopher Columbus. It has never stopped holding people's attention. In 1615, France got a taste of chocolate at the marriage of Anne of Austria and Louis XIII in Bayonne.

The aroma and the flavor of a little piece of chocolate will instantly transport you back to your childhoods. And you have a good fortune, in Roanne, to be delighted on a daily basis by the Master Chocolatier François Pralus. A visit to his boutique is a must!

And don’t forget hot chocolate prepared and served in a porcelain or silver chocolate server. It was Louis XIV and his wife Marie-Thérèse of Austria who made chocolate consumption a habitual routine at the Court at the Château de Versailles. It was consumed hot, as a beverage, like coffee or tea.

There are still wonderful places to sip a true hot chocolate. The nearest location to the École is in Lyon, at the Grand Café des Négociants.

Course structure

  • 5 mornings of French language classes
  • 2 afternoons around French Pastry / Viennoiserie conducted in French with a discreet translation for non-French speakers where you can make cakes, pastries, desserts and decoration including gourmet viennoiserie (variations of croissant dough with the production of plain croissants, bi-colored croissants, pain au chocolat, pistachio breads and mini-viennoiserie), and types of brioche (shaping traditional brioche and creative brioche: plain brioche, garnished brioche, raspberry brioche)
  • 2 afternoons around chocolate; the themes are chocolate lover’s tart (preparing a creative chocolate tart using pâte sucrée, chocolate dough, milk chocolate cream and chocolate mousse), and chocolate creation (creating a chocolate verrine cup made of chocolate, garnished with a chocolate cookie and chocolate mousse). Each participant may choose their own type of chocolate to create their dessert.

In the mornings, you attend the beginner's group language classes and in the afternoons, the cookery course.

There will be 15 hours language course from Monday to Friday at 09:15 - 12:15 (group class) and 12 hours cooking in four afternoons at 16:30 - 19:30.

The French classes are taught by professional, native French-speaking tutors and have a maximum of six per class. Learn formal and informal French, with an emphasis on conversational skills.

Taking place in a relaxed and warm ambiance of Villa Beaulieu, the cooking course is aimed at those who love the presentation and extra details that give your dishes that special something.

Your chef's imagination has led him to invent some delicious, easy to follow dishes that will enchant your palate, awaken your tastebuds and delight your friends at your next dinner party! Almond tuiles, gratin dauphinois or tomatoes "à la provençale" will have no secret for you!

Trois Ponts Cooking Tours & French Language Itinerary

  • Guests are invited to arrive on Sunday evenings. A warm welcome awaits you and you will be taken to your accommodation to settle in.
  • At 19:30, you will meet your fellow guests for a three-course dinner prepared by the in-house chef.
  • Next morning, after breakfast, a private oral test is given to complete the assessment and guarantee that classes are as homogeneous as possible.
  • Then, it's off to class! There's a mid-morning coffee break, then back to class to finish at 12:30, in time for a tasty lunch.
  • A welcome break after lunch is followed by French cooking courses or further French immersion classes, where applicable.
  • For others not taking afternoon or evening classes, there's the whole of France to discover, so take a bike ride, a drive, a train ride, or simply explore the local area on foot.
  • Dinners are at 19:30 and are informal three-course meals with wine.
  • After dinner, you're free to go out or have an early night - whatever you prefer.
  • Courses finish on Fridays and you are encouraged to stay for Friday night's dinner - a chatty, hearty affair.
  • After breakfast on Saturday, it's farewell all round as Trois Ponts France wishes you "bon voyage!"

Included excursions

There's an optional excursion on Wednesday afternoon.


Valérie Perez

Geneviève Briennon

Marie-Christine Kagan

Vincent Drains


Riorges has a colorful history dating back two thousand years. History reveals that Roman soldiers garrisoned in neighboring Roanne came to Riorges for fun and festivities.

The name Beaulieu can be traced back to the 12th century when a priory for the Sisters of Beaulieu was added to an existing abbey. At the turn of the 19th century, Riorges emerged as a transportation hub when it became the terminus for a new railway line.

Today, the town of Riorges and its 10,000 residents provide a welcome balance between country charm and a revitalized downtown, with shops and restaurants within walking distance of the Villa Beaulieu.

Nearby parks with their numerous canals, walking paths, and family leisure areas offer residents and guests peaceful green spaces to enjoy the beauty of the region. In fact, Riorges holds the world record for the longest flower garland braid, a testament to its love of nature.


Meals are also included in the course fees and are taken in the communal dining area with your fellow guests and staff members. Meals are prepared by the in-house chef and include quality regional specialties. If you have any special dietary needs, no problem, just let your host know when you make your booking.

Typical daily meals comprise of breakfast - a healthy start of cereals, yogurts, fruit juices, tea, coffee and fruit, lunch - a buffet style lunch consisting of hot and cold foods, and dinner - a hearty affair consisting of a starter, main and dessert course. Wine is included, as well as a lesson on the daily cheeseboard selection, presented by the chef.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

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

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

Things to do (optional)

Guests looking for recreation will find cycling, equestrian and pedestrian paths, canoe excursions and the Roanne swimming pool which is only a 15-minute walk from the villa. Local artisans specialize in textiles, faience pottery, chocolates, pastries, and foodstuffs.

The Scarabee event center offers a multi-use venue for concerts, trade shows, seminars and exhibitions in a lovely parkland setting. Take time to enjoy the treasures of Riorges and the Greater Roanne.

Optional tours

Trois Ponts France can arrange tours of several nearby medieval villages and local vineyards. Wine tasting classes by a local sommelier may also be arranged.

The neighboring town of Roanne is home to the famous three-star restaurant Troisgros, and Trois Ponts France is always happy to make reservations for you if you so desire.

The Ecole also offers group tours in cooking and gastronomy as well as wine and gastronomy. These tours are tailored to your specials needs and can include excursions to local markets, oil-pressing workshops, chocolate/pastry shops, and vineyard tours in Burgundy and Beaujolais.

What's included

  • French courses
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All meals

What's not included

  • Transfers to and from the airport or train station
  • Cold drinks outside meals
  • Excursion during Wednesday afternoon

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Geneva

  • Geneva to Lyon - follow signs to Lyon.
  • When you pass St. Exupery Airport (8 miles) follow Paris Peripherique Nord then Paris (green sign) N383 Peripherique toll Paris-Roanne green sign.
  • After 3rd tunnel, keep right, follow A6 Paris-Roanne, then N6 Villefranche-Roanne then D73 Clermont-Ferrand Roanne (73 kilometers), then N7 to Roanne. See Michelin for more details.

Driving direction from London

  • 516 miles. Take M20 to Channel Tunnel for Paris, follow direction Lyon-Autoroute du Soleil, and follow A77 then N7 to Lapalisse and Roanne. See Michelin for more details.

Driving direction from Lyon Airport

  • You can rent an automatic car with Avis at the airport, but Trois Ponts France recommends that if you can drive a manual then it's easier to pick that car up in Roanne. It's 120 kilometers from the airport to Villa Beaulieu in Riorges.
  • To get from Lyon St. Exupery Airport to Roanne by car: follow signs for Lyon on A43, then follow blue signs for Lyon on A43.
  • Take "pripherique sud - to" following signs for St. Etienne-Marseille. Continue to follow the green signs for St. Etienne-Marseille.
  • Follow the yellow signs for Paris-Gerland. Then follow A6 Paris-Roanne.
  • Stick to the right lane as you go under the overpass as you will veer right and keep following signs for Paris-Roanne. Follow green signs for Roanne on N7.
  • From Lyon City follow A6 direction Villefranche/Paris/Roanne then N7 to Roanne. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes. See also Michelin for more details.

Arrival by airplane

Arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Lyon St Exupery Airport (LYS), or Geneva Airport (GVA). Then take a train to Roanne train station. On Sundays (arrival day), there is a train every hour from Lyon. From Roanne train station, Trois Ponts France will arrange a taxi pick up if you wish (10-minute drive).

Arrival by train from London

Eurostar: leave London St Pancras station at 08:57, arrive at Lille Europe at 11:30, change in Lille at 13:03, arrive at Lyon Part-Dieu station at 16:00, change in Lyon Part-Dieu station at 16:12, arrive in Roanne at 17:30.

Eurostar: leave London St Pancras station at 09:31, arrive at Paris Nord at 12:47, change in Paris gare de Lyon at 13:53, arrive at Le creusot Montceau les Mines station at 15:11, change in Le Creusot station to take a bus at 15:25, arrive in Roanne at 17:10.

Eurostar: leave London St Pancras station at 11:01, arrive at Paris Nord 14:17, change in Paris gare de Lyon at 14:57, arrive at Lyon Part-Dieu station at 16:56, change in Lyon Part-Dieu station at 19:12, arrive in Roanne at 18:30.

Eurostar: leave London St Pancras station at 12:57, arrive Lille Europe at 15:30, change in Lille at 17:02, arrive at Lyon Part-Dieu station at 20:00, change in Lyon Part-Dieu station at 20:12, arrive in Roanne at 21:30.

Arrival by train from Lyon Part-Dieu

Take the Tram Express at St. Exupery airport direct to Lyon Part-Dieu train station. Every 15 minutes from 05:00 to midnight. The price is 13 EUR for a single ticket and 23 EUR for a return ticket.

You can check the timetable with SNCF, the rail operator as public holidays have timetables and Saturday timetables are different to the rest of the week. The cost of the ticket is about 12.50 EUR for a single ticket or 25 EUR for a return ticket. The trip takes 1.25 to 1.5 hours. When you arrive at Roanne station, take a taxi to the villa. The price is about 12 EUR.

Arrival by train from other parts of Europe

For information on train routes across Europe, please send an inquiry.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 12% 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.
7 days / 6 nights
from --

This vacation is available on April 19th and September 27th with arrival on Sunday, departure on Saturday.

Saturday August 21, 2021
(7 days / 6 nights)

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