7 Days Cooking Holiday & Beginner French Course

  • Ecole des Trois Ponts, Villa Beaulieu, 645 Marechal Foch, 42153 Riorges, Grand Roanne, France

French Immersion & Cookery Holidays

If you are a beginner 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 cooking courses to prepare delicious and easy-to-make French cuisines 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!

Highlights

  • 4 hands-on cooking classes
  • 5 French language immersion classes for beginners
  • Native certified French language instructors
  • Learn French cuisine directly from a chef
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 5 days with instruction
  • French, English
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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 office. 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 dcor 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. We have two annexes containing 9 bedrooms for our guests. These annexes, together with the original villa, overlook a spacious courtyard garden and lawn area.

Our rooms are all at ground level, each with floor to ceiling glass doors overlooking the garden. We have 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's a hand basin, hairdryer and WC too. Thanks to our quiet residential neighborhood, you can be sure of a good night's sleep.

If you are new to French and also want to learn French cooking skills, then this is the course for you. In the mornings you attend the beginners group language classes and in the afternoons the cookery course. 15 hours language on Monday - 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 6 per class. Learn formal and informal French, with an emphasis on conversational skills. We consider you a complete beginner if your result on our French Test is 7 or less.

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

A typical class includes the preparation of a starter course, main dish, and dessert. Cooking classes are hands-on, and are designed for the at-home cook who wants to learn more about French regional cuisine.

Past menus have included: Smoked salmon cake, pork filet with a fondue of shallots, potato gratin, and caramelized biscuit with pineapple. Potato tart with goat cheese, shrimp brochette with banana and rum, and vanilla-honey crme brle. Endive salad with fresh goat cheese and walnuts, lamb stew with baby vegetables, and chocolate mousse with almond tuiles.

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 our in-house chef.

Trois Ponts Cooking Tours & French Language Itinerary

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 farewells all round as we wish you bon voyage!

  • Valérie Perez

    Valérie has been working at Ecole des Trois Ponts since 1997. She is the head teacher and one of the full-time French tutors. In her spare time, she also enjoys swimming, travelling, and studying ancient civilizations. She's also a course coordinator and responsible for public relations. She holds a Master of Applied Foreign Languages in Besanon. Valrie speaks English and Spanish as well.

  • Adeline Gatelier

    Before joining Trois Ponts France as a French teacher, Adeline taught French at an institute specializing in immigrant integration in Sicily. Her hobbies include literature, cultural events, and dance. She holds a master of foreign civilizations in English in Lyon. Previously, she was a French teacher at Cultural Institute of Palermo, Sicily. Adeline also speaks English, Italian, and Spanish.

  • Alain Berne

    Alain is a pastry and chocolate specialist. He was a pastry chef at Lentre, Bernachon, Paul Bocuse Institute, and Director of Culinary / Pastry school in Japanese school Tsuji. He was awarded Craftsman of the Year in France 1982 (Meilleur Ouvrier de France 1982). Alain enjoys the great outdoors, especially hiking in the French countryside.

  • Geneviève Briennon

    Geneviève has been with Trois Ponts France since 2005 and is a full-time teacher at Ecole des Trois Ponts. She also teaches adults preparing for administrative competition contests. When she's not teaching, she enjoys volleyball, travelling, and diverse readings. Geneviève holds master of teaching in French linguistics and Techniques also a master of language sciences in Lyon. She also speaks German and English.

  • Marie-Christine Kagan

    Before joining Trois Ponts France as a French teacher, Marie-Christine taught in various establishments. Her hobbies include literature, travel, music, and animals. Marie-Christine holds a master of applied foreign languages in Clermont-Ferrand. She also speaks English and Spanish.

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 our love of nature.

General
  • Multilingual staff
Services
  • Free! WiFi/Computer
  • Tour assistance

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

Typical daily meals comprise of breakfast - a healthy start of cereals, yoghurts, 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 our chef.

Please note that those attending courses between November and February (inclusive) will usually have their lunch and dinner off-site at a local restaurant. This does not affect course fees, which remain the same throughout the year.

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

We 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 3-star restaurant Troisgros, and we are always happy to make reservations for our guests, if they so desire.

The Ecole also offers group tours in cooking and gastronomy as well as wine and gastronomy. These tours include excursions to local markets, oil-pressing workshops, chocolate/pastry shops, and vineyard tours in Burgundy and Beaujolais. We are now offering an initiation to medieval life week which includes tours and demonstrations at a medieval abbey, cooking classes and a costumed banquet.

Driving directions from Geneva

Geneva to Lyon - follow signs to Lyon. When you pass St. Exupry 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 directions 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 we recommend that if you can drive a manual then it's easier to pick that car up in Roanne. 120 kilometers from airport to Villa Beaulieu in Riorges.

To get from Lyon St. Exupry 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.

Then follow the yellow signs for Paris-Gerland. Then follow A6 Paris-Roanne. Stick to 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 from London

London Heathrow, Stansted or Manchester Airport to Lyon-St.Exupery with British Airways or EasyJet.

Arrival by train from London

Eurostar: leave London St Pancras station at 8.57 a.m., arrive at Lille Europe at 11.30 a.m., change in Lille at 1.03 p.m., arrive at Lyon Part-Dieu station at 4.00 p.m., change in Lyon Part-Dieu station at 4.12 p.m., arrive in Roanne at 5.30 p.m.

Eurostar: leave London St Pancras station at 9.31am, arrive at Paris Nord at 12.47 a.m., change in Paris gare de Lyon at 1.53 p.m., arrive at Le creusot Montceau les Mines station at 3.11 p.m., change in Le Creusot station to take a bus at 3.25 p.m., arrive in Roanne at 5.10 p.m.

Eurostar: leave London St Pancras station at 11.01 a.m., arrive at Paris Nord 2.17 p.m., change in Paris gare de Lyon at 2.57 p.m., arrive at Lyon Part-Dieu station at 4.56pm, change in Lyon Part-Dieu station at 7.12pm, arrive in Roanne at 6.30 p.m.

Eurostar: leave London St Pancras station at 12.57 a.m., arrive Lille Europe at 3.30 a.m., change in Lille at 5.02 p.m., arrive at Lyon Part-Dieu station at 8.00 p.m., change in Lyon Part-Dieu station at 8.12 p.m., arrive in Roanne at 9.30 p.m.

Arrival by train from Lyon Part-Dieu

Take the Tram Express at St. Exupry airport direct to Lyon Part-Dieu train station. Every 15 minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight. Price 13 EUR for a single ticket and 23 EUR for a return ticket. For more information see www.rhonexpress.fr

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. Trip takes 1.25 to 1.5 hours. When you arrive in Roanne station, take a taxi to the villa. Price is about 12 EUR.

Arrival from other part of Europe by train

For information on train routes across Europe, go to http://www.raileurope.com/us/

For information about the booking conditions, please send Trois Ponts France an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by Maria B.

    "Coming to Ecole des Trois Ponts was a huge opportunity because the professors are phenomenal. They are very encouraging throughout the entire program, and they constantly speak to you in French...so that you can progress at every moment. Every class was super educational, as they apply phonetics and grammar to develop your conversational skills. My professor was Valérie, and she is exceptional...as they all are. I also had Ambre in my first week, and she is awesome too. All the professors will help you and are happy to do so. Everyone is so positive, and the entire school projects good energy. The students this school attracts are amazing as well. Towards the end of my second week at this school, I became so much better at speaking, which was a huge progression from where I started...because I didn't come with an elaborate French background. But I completely surprised myself when I was able to hold conversations by the last days of my second week. I could understand and speak a bit. If I stayed longer, I would have been able to keep growing. I really really enjoyed my time here, which was two weeks. The school is beautiful, and the little town is beautiful too...and peaceful. Everything was so clean, and my room was incredibly comfortable...which I really appreciated. I look forward to coming again...and then again and again! And I miss the experience already...and all the people!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Connie Simps from Pennsylvania, USA

    "If you have been thinking about learning French, or improving your level of French comprehension and conversation, I strongly suggest that you consider Ecole des Trois Ponts. I just returned from two weeks at the school (June 19 - July 2, 2016) and it was fantastic. Before coming here, I had been studying French one hour a week for the past three years. The only problem was that I did not have anyone with whom I could speak outside of class and my conversational skills were lacking. I started to lose confidence in my ever being able to converse in French. I started toying with the idea of signing up for an immersion program in France. I had a few criteria in mind. I wanted a school with a smaller class size, located in a smaller town (Paris would be too distracting for me!), and I was hoping to find a residential school. I had no knowledge of any programs so I started "Googling" things like "French immersion," "small classes", "residential". Fortunately, one of my searches brought up the page of Ecole des Trois Ponts. I devoured the page and came back to it often, comparing it to other programs that I looked into. I was nervous about signing up online and going to France. I had never been to France, or to Europe, for that matter. Signing up online was effortless, however, and Valerie, the Director and Proprietor of the school, immediately responded. I signed up for a two week session. I was finally going to France and hopefully would be able to improve my grammar and conversational abilities. After the initial elation subsided, I got nervous. What have I done! How was I going to do all this by myself? I can hardly carry on a conversation in French, I don't know anything about getting around in France, would it be difficult getting to the school? I decided that if I didn't go now I probably would never go. I had signed up for a two week session at the school. One week of general French lessons in the morning and the "cours de cuisine" in the afternoon. I figured that it would be better for me to ease my way into the language. My second week I signed up for intensive French. Three hours of class in the morning and then a three hour one-on-one session in the afternoon. As the time neared for my departure, France (the Paris area) experienced flooding, the transportation sector went on strike, the Euro cup started playing at various venues across France, and worries of terrorism increased. I left with trepidation. My fears were unfounded, however. I arrived safely in Paris, the train from Charles de Gaulle airport was not in service because of the strike, but I was able to catch a bus into the city to where I was staying. I stayed in Paris for five days before taking the TGV to Lyon for three days and then heading to Roanne and the Ecole des Trois Ponts. If you, like me, have never been to France and taken the trains (The TGV or the local trains) you can buy your tickets online and have them sent to you. I used Rick Steve's web site to purchase my tickets and they arrived two days later at my house in Pennsylvania (I have to say that Rick Steve's travel books on Paris and France contain a lot of practical "how to" information which I found to be helpful). The TGV from Paris whizzes you right to Lyon and then at the station in Lyon it's a simple matter to transfer to a train to Roanne. By the way, if you liked Paris, you'll love Lyon, a very beautiful city. Valerie had provided numbers for a taxi cab once I arrived in Roanne at the station to take to the school. I got lucky. Upon my arrival, a cab was there picking up another student and I was able to share a ride with her. The cab ride cost about 10 EUR total. The campus of the school is a short cab ride from Roanne (about a 20-30 minute walk). The school's campus consists of the Villa Beaulieu and two residential wings. I signed up for a private room. The room was very nice, with a private bathroom. The campus is very pretty. A practical point, laundry service is available for a small charge. Just leave your items with Val, the very nice lady who takes care of the rooms, so don't over pack. I found the school to be exactly what I was looking for. You reside at the school, take all your meals there (with the exception of Saturday evening), and you have opportunities to explore not only Roanne, but villages in the area. Wednesday afternoons are free until dinner time and I would encourage you to sign up for one of the excursions offered by the school to see beautiful historic villages nearby. The point of my visit the classes, did not disappoint. I appreciated the small class size, three of us in my class (12 of us were there my first week and you are placed based on a short oral exam with Valerie. I found my placement to be accurate.). All conversation is in French in the classroom, meals, and at the school. If you are at the school for longer than a week you will have a different instructor the following week so that your ears can attune themselves to a different person speaking the language. I am really glad that I selected the Ecole des Trois Ponts. It helped to build my confidence in my conversational abilities and the entire approach was nonthreatening and relaxed. The instructors are very friendly and experienced and help you on areas in which you need improvement. They are all native speakers. I found the town of Roanne to be the perfect setting. Though not a tourist town, it has several interesting sites to explore and the centre-ville has many shops and restaurants. The plus is that not being a big tourist town, you really get the opportunity to practice your conversational skills when you go out. I found everyone to be friendly and helpful. I plan to return next year for a two week intensive course. Maybe I'll see you there?!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Barbara T.

    "I first went to the school in June/July of this year, and liked it so much I went back in September/October for 2 weeks. This is an excellent venue for learning French. It is total immersion, even during mealtime only French is spoken. Students are serious about learning, we even spoke French during our walks or shopping excursions. It is centrally located in a lovely town with plenty of good restaurants and shopping nearby (within walking distance). All of the instructors are excellent."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Los Angeles, USA

    "I just left Ecole des trois points, saturated with French and chocolate. I absolutely loved my stay there! I was a little nervous about going to an immersion program by myself but now I regret that I did not sign up for a longer stay. All the instructors and other students were very friendly and helpful. My instructor, Valerie, who is also the director, is a great teacher. I learned more in one week than I have learned in 2 semesters at my class at home. It was challenging to be surrounded from morning to night with French, but by the last day, I felt I could understand and communicate pretty effectively. There were two women in the group who were complete beginners and planning to stay for a month. The other students had some background in French with several repeat students (one who was there for her 14th stay). The accommodations are very comfortable and the food was excellent. We had daily creative and delicious meals prepared by our very talented (and handsome) chef. I also took 4 afternoons of chocolate classes with Laurice, a very talented and sweet pâtissière. We learned how to make a variety of chocolates- hand dipped, molded, sculptures. One day, we made marshmallows (yum), meringues, fruit jellies. It was great fun and I learned some things that I'm eager to try out at home. I can't wait to go back! Meanwhile, I am inspired to continue my French studies."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Bernice from New York, USA

    "I need both hands to count the number of times I've spent a week at Ecole des Trois Ponts, but right from the first year, I felt completely at home. The delicious meals are family style, prepared by an excellent chef who happily explains, in French of course, methods and ingredients.The accommodations are attractive and comfortable and lead out to a lovely center garden where it's easy to find a chaise lounge and chat in French with others, or read and relax. The director and teachers are not only warm and welcoming, but enthusiastic and expert in their approach to teaching.The course work is rigorous, yet relaxed, and I find that each year, when I leave the school, I understand native speakers more and more easily. I have gathered a valuable set of materials that I wish to internalize.I remember participating in the lessons as if they had been in my native language. In this way, I know that every time I attend a session at Trois Ponts, not only am I at home there at the school, but in all of France with my improved command of the language."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by JJoleta from Illinois, USA

    "My husband and I stayed at Ecole des Trois Ponts for a week with a group from our local community college for a French Country Cooking class. We had excursions in the morning (winery, oil manufacturer, chocolatier, outdoor market, pottery workshop, etc.) and cooking classes in the afternoon, then ate what we cooked for supper. Rene, Genevieve, and Valerie were often with us on our excursions and available at dinner to tell us about the local area.Although this wasn't a French immersion program, they were happy to speak French with me. The new chef, Regis, is a very funny guy. He doesn't speak much English, but he is a good teacher and seemed to be on the premises from early morning to late at night. The accommodations are clean and quiet. We had room B, which is set up for handicap accessibility (which thankfully we don't need). I would love to return to Ecole des Trois Ponts for a week of French language immersion classes."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Vancouver, Canada

    "Ecole Des Trois Ponts has been my travel destination in France 5 times now. The staff are great and are really serious about helping you learn French or polish your French. The atmosphere is very congenial.It is an immersion program, so you need to be geared up to stick to French in order to have more fun. Lunch and dinner are eaten family style, with food ranging from very good to extremely good.If you're lucky, you may also share dinner at the school with some of their good friends who bring an extra touch of liveliness to the good wine and good company. The cooking courses are also great fun."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Indiana, USA

    "I came to Ecole des Trois Ponts for a spring break immersion trip with my french class, and was blown away by several things. First and foremost, I was blown away by how friendly the staff was.The immersion experience was a lot to handle at times, but with Valerie, Genevive, and Rene there to answer questions and kindly correct our little missteps I felt a lot more at ease.The four cooking classes we had with Chef Krystel were amazing! Her patience and enthusiasm made the classes both fun and informative. Overall, I would have never expected just how much my French improved and how at home I would feel during my stay."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Amanda from Indiana, USA

    "The Ecole des Trois Ponts has an amazing staff who are dedicated to helping students succeed in French language and also sharing the love of their culture through cuisine. Our cooking classes with Chef Krystel were incredible and I learned so much in such a short amount of time.I'm so grateful for my time in Riorges, learning from such brilliant people, and also for the excursions we went on as well as everything we were able to see and visit. My French has improved immensely and I'm so confident in my abilities now that I've attended the Ecole des Trois Ponts. Merci mille fois tout le monde! "

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Barbara T.

    "I first went to the school in June / July this year, and liked it so much that I went back in September / October for 2 weeks. This is an excellent venue for learning French. It is total immersion, even during mealtime only French is spoken. Students are serious about learning, we even spoke French during our walks or shopping excursions. It is centrally located in a lovely town with plenty of good restaurants and shopping nearby (within walking distance). All instructors are excellent."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

Riorges, France

Ecole de Trois Ponts offers full immersion short-term courses for all language levels in French, plus cooking class options.

from --

7 days / 6 nights

Availability

This vacation is available from March to October with arrival on Sunday, departure on Saturday.

Departure:
Saturday July 15, 2017
(7 days / 6 nights)

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