Unique Culinary Vacations with La Vie du Château in France

There can be little that is more fun and more fabulous than taking a cookery lesson in a château in France – a land where gastronomy is UNESCO listed because it’s such an important part of French culture. And there’s nowhere better for an authentic culinary vacation and to experience the art of French living than at the Château de La Barbée, in the heart of the Pays de la Loire.

Culinary Vacations in an authentic French château in the Loire

Top: Dining room of the chateau; left: aerial view of the chateau; right: 16th century bridge on the estate

If you yearn to learn how to make the most scrumptious soufflés, tasty coq au vin, exquisite frangipane and other great French classics – this is the place to come. At the lovely Château de la Barbée in the Loire, you can join a course of 3, 4 or 6 days long and you’ll discover how to prepare some of the most classic, delicious French dishes.

La Vie du Château offers all inclusive culinary holidays (meals, drinks and excursions), a wonderful way to get an intimate introduction to château life, French cuisine and the magnificent Loire Valley. Here you’ll enjoy inspirational cooking classes and the most delectable dishes you’ve ever tasted – created by you! This is a holiday where you’ll take home more than a photo – you’ll have skills and memories that you and your friends and family will cherish for ever.

Learn the art of French Cuisine in France

Top: Mary (left) with students enjoying the cooking course; left: Château de La Barbée aprons; right middle: the “Cardinal’s Room”; right bottom: cheese party with local Anjou wines

Your welcoming cookery teacher is Mary Pochez who was born in Southern California. By one of those incredible quirks of fate, her life was changed after a French modelling agency spotted her on Malibu beach playing volley ball. They flew her to Paris and she became a top international model. Even more fateful, in Paris she met her now husband Xavier who took her back to his gorgeous 18th century castle that has been her home for 30 years. There, her mother-in-law la Comtesse d’Alton taught Mary the art of French cuisine. In turn, Mary delights in passing on that know-how in her fun and friendly cookery school. There’s lots of laughter in the classes while you learn the art of French cuisine covering the sublime to the sensational. It’s a proud and special moment when you place up the dish you’ve created on the château’s centuries-old china and toast your success with fine wines chosen by Xavier, somehow it tastes even better in ancient crystal glasses.

Cooking in a French château!

Top: the local open market; left: dark Chocolate Mousse; right: Mary in her kitchen

Located in the beautiful Pays de la Loire, in to-sigh-for surroundings, the chateau is quite simply stunning and the accommodation is elegant and comfortable. You’ll also get the chance to visit the surrounding area and see it through a local’s eyes.  Mary likes to shop at the authentic and luscious markets in nearby La Fleche and Angers for fresh ingredients.  The markets of France are the larders that make the food so divine and sourcing fresh, local and fabulous ingredients are a key part of the trip. Châteaux hopping, wine tasting at the best Loire Valley vineyards and visits to gorgeous medieval villages are all part of the programme.

A culinary vacation at this château is about much more than just a baking lesson, it’s one of those life-affirming experiences where you arrive as strangers and leave as friends… though friends who can cook French dishes to perfection!

A fabulous three day course costs €1050 and includes the freshest most delicious food and a trip to the local market, cookery lessons, a  cheese party in the Orangerie,  wine and a whole lot of fun.

See the website for details: lavieduchateau.com

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