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France, Loire Valley – French Cooking in Loire

From $4275pp

  • duration-trip
    7 Days
  • trip-travelstyle
    Travel Style
    iconCooking Classes iconFood & Wine
  • Product Code


Learn classic French and Mediterranean dishes, master the art of seafood, iconic desserts, pastry, bread making and more, in this seven day live-in experience.

Your school is set in the heart of France and The Touraine region of the Loire Valley. Without question this is the home to European Renaissance which brought with it a rich and diverse culinary history and depth.

Your chefs are both qualified and award winning, who have competed and won gold medals at international level as well as having cooked by demand for heads of state, celebrities and finally on several occasions on demand for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Arrival Day

Arrive after lunch and check into your home for the next week.

This evening there will be a welcome Champagne cocktail and the opportunity to meet your fellow cooks.

A special welcome dinner will present to you a ‘Taste of the Loire Valley’ in the old stables of the manor.

Overnight Relais Manor House

Meals D

French Mediterranean Fare

Enjoy a traditional French breakfast to start your day.

Today you’ll learn about French Mediterranean dishes which are known for their seasonal, local, and fresh ingredients.

During all your classes, you be introduced to traditional accompaniments and the preparation of side dishes as well.

Your task today is learn the techniques of quiche Touraine, flatbread, grilled piperade and Provençale salad.

Following the class, enjoy your morning’s cooking for lunch.

This afternoon we continue our Mediterranean journey beyond French borders, as your Chef shares some of his favourite memories with you.

We prepare a brioche dough for tomorrow, as it needs to rest overnight and you learn two desserts that are enjoyed all over the globe, but with a twist.

Your menu looks like this for tonight’s dinner:
• Roasted garlic and Camembert brioche
• Gnocchi of the moment
• Free-range chicken
• Burnt panna cotta and homemade gingerbread
• Chocolate crème brulée

There is some leisure time between meal preparation and dinner for you to relax and refresh.

This evening we enjoy the dishes we prepared together.

Overnight Relais Manor House

Meals B, L, D

Ice Cream & Sweet Things

This morning we will enter the sweet world of ice cream and dessert, where it’s your turn to unlock the secrets of the following favourites:
• Salted caramel ice cream
• Spicy chocolate ice cream lollies
• Lemon and coconut ice cream
• Chocolate marshmallows
• Mousse au chocolate

For lunch you will enjoy the classic Croque Madame followed by a contemporary take on the Pain Perdue. Both using the Brioche we made together last evening.

This afternoon it’s time to learn the secrets of the perfect Macaron, where you take on the Exotic Chocolate Macaron as well as other seasonal macaron creations.

Tonight let your chef’s excite your palate and cook for you from their very own cookbook!

Overnight Relais Manor House

Meals B, L, D

Loire Valley Excursion

It’s an early-ish start, because today you’re having a day out of the kitchen.

First stop is Tours where we stop at the best bakery to choose our breakfast pastries, which we take with us to enjoy in a little market coffee shop.

This morning we explore both the indoor ‘Les Halles Food Market’ and the twice weekly outdoor market.

We also visit the old town which clusters around Place Plumereau; its old houses restored to their former glory. Today this is the place for pavement cafes and people watching in the summer but if you care to stroll the smaller, narrow streets like Rue Briconnet you’ll step back into medieval times.

To the south you’ll find a Romanesque basilica, the Cloitre de St-Martin and the new Basilique de St-Martin. You’re in the place which was once on the great pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. St-Martin was a soldier who became Bishop of Tours in the 4th century and helped spread Christianity through France. His remains, rediscovered in 1860, are now in the crypt of the new Basilique.

We depart for Chateau Chenonceau where we enjoy lunch. You then have the afternoon to explore the castle and surrounds at your leisure

This world famous château bridges the River Cher. Founded on the pilings of a mill in 1513 or 1515 by Thomas Bohier and completed in 1522. It represents a type of architecture somewhere between Gothic and Renaissance styles.

Chateau de Chenonceau is the most visited and photographed in the Loire Valley. It is often described as ‘the Ladies Chateau’ as throughout its history it is they who have most influenced its design and destiny.

Return in the afternoon for some time to refresh before a very relaxed dinner where you can discover French cheeses, charcuterie and local wines.

Overnight Relais Manor House

Meals B, D

Seafood, Souffle & Chocolate

At 4am our fish delivery arrives, fresh from the boats at nearby coastal city La Rochelle.

Enjoy an early breakfast before embarking on a day of seafood preparation. You will learn about the best catch for each season, how to identify and ensure it is fresh.

Your lessons today will include techniques of preparing and cooking various seafoods. Mussels and fish are typical, but we will use seasonal catch so it could vary.

For lunch, we enjoy our morning’s toil.

This afternoon we learn about an icon of French cuisine – the souffle! Preparing both savoury and sweet options, is sure to be a highlight of your week. You may cook a cheese souffle, and a passion fruit soufflé with coconut and lemon grass ice cream, for example!

This evening it’s time for a tasting of wines from the Loire Valley, paired with French chocolates. The two are a perfect match; perhaps this is because the process of making chocolate is very similar to wine. Both cocoa beans and wine are fermented with the very same type of yeast.

The tasting is followed by dinner.

Overnight Relais Manor House

Meals B, L, D

Bread Making

This morning we enter the world of bread making. You will learn how easy it is to prepare an array of freshly baked breads using fresh and dry yeasts including laminated dough which can be used for pastries.

Lunch is followed by lessons in ‘Fire and Spice’ which reflects your host chefs’ adventurous side to cooking. Having met and tied the knot in Africa and lived in several African countries, they have a passion for cooking on the BBQ or over the coals of a fire pit.

Watch first hand as they lead you with a new and exciting approach to cooking outdoors and the depth, flavours, and techniques of what they call, ‘Taking a Walk on the Wild Side’.

Take some time out to relax before an evening of certificate presentation and Champagne unfurls, followed by your hosts’ Fire and Spice Evening.

Overnight Relais Manor House

Meals B, L, D


One final delicious French breakfast and then it’s time to say farewell.

Meals B

  • Accommodation for six nights on twin/double share basis

  • French breakfast daily

  • Lunches & dinners with wine

  • Entrance into Château Chenonceau

  • Transport for all activities

  • Personalised apron and recipe folder

  • Transport from and to airport or station can be arranged for an additional charge

  • Relais ‘Manor House’ is a Charming 18th Century Coach Inn, just 3 minutes from Le Calabash that has been renovated to the most modern standards of comfort to provide one of the region’s finest hotels. It has retained its original charm and character.
    Set in the small tranquil French village of Yzeures sur Creuse on the river Creuse in the Loire Valley it overlooks the village square and church, which includes a 15th century shrine and the Museum of ‘Mado Robin,’ France’s famous Opera Soprano as this is where she was born.
    The beamed bedrooms are all of a superior standard and decorated in period style, with en suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, wifi and flat screen TV. The bar and lounge offer a comfortable area to relax with a Grand fireplace, or enjoy the calm of one of the two picturesque gardens with a glass of Loire wine.
    If you enjoy the outdoors, you have a swimming pool, tennis court and you are provided with canoes to explore either the Creuse or la Gartempe Rivers, or discover the area by bicycle on the numerous cycle routes which are also provided.
    You are on the doorsteps of the Brenne, famous for its bird life, lakes and endless walks.

Class Dates

7 May 2023 14 May 2023 28 May 2023 18 June 2023 25 June 2023 9 July 2023 16 July 2023 20 August 2023 27 August 2023 10 September 2023 17 September 2023 15 October 2023 Ask us for 2024 dates if you are looking to travel later

Please note that prices are indicative only, subject to availability for your travel dates and the exchange rate.
$4275 per person

Based on twin/double share

$1767 per person

For a partner not participating in classes


Single supplement for a single room

Please note that prices are indicative only, subject to availability for your travel dates and the exchange rate.
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