Cooking course - regular itinerary

This cooking course begins on the Saturday early evening with champagne followed by a six-course gourmet dinner. You will have the opportunity to get to know your fellow guest/participants and sample the style of food you will be learning to cook for the rest of the course.

For the rest of the week we will have a full day in the kitchen on Sunday, mostly hands-on including bread making, butchery, fish prep, knife skills, sauces, seasoning techniques etc, with a couple of demonstrations and concluding in a six course gourmet dinner.

Monday & Tuesday again are hands-on until lunchtime, including making pasta, sous vide technique, sugar and chocolate work, pastry, and dinner preparation. 

In the afternoon we have a pastry Masterclass, making croissants and macarons with a traditional French pastry chef.The next day we will go and visit a sustainable sheep farm where they produce a range of cheeses and yogurt.

Then it is back in the kitchen for the finishing touches of cooking and presenting dinner. 

Wednesday is the last day in the kitchen and you are encouraged to use all your new skills in creating that night’s dinner. 

After lunch we will visit Vitré, an authentic medieval town with beautiful chateau and cobbled street. Time to relax and do some shopping.

This cooking course is concluded with another six-course dinner.

The aim of this course is to build on each of the clients existing skills so that they leave feeling very confident, with a far greater understanding of ingredients & techniques so that they can take their cooking to the next level. 

The itinerary may be subject to change according to the market in order to take advantage of the seasonal/regional foods.

Day 1 - Saturday

Arrival in the afternoon

17.00  – Introductory talk with complimentary champagne and canapés,  

Discussing aims and course structure 

18.00 – Dinner 6-course gourmet dinner


Seared foie gras with pear and balsamic reduction

Filet of seabass with a black garlic and

mushroom risotto

Gin and Tonic Sorbet

Duck à l’orange, crispy potato terrine.


Raspberry and lime bavarois, honeycomb and meringue

Tea and coffee

Day 2 - Sunday

8.45 – Breakfast (to include fresh croissants, breads and preserves, orange juice, local apple juice, yoghurts, tea and coffee.)

9.15 – Kitchen.Welcome, explore kitchen/equipment etc…

Hands-on Basic knife skills; care of knives, safety, sharpening, chop and slice onion, brunoise of carrot,

julienne of leek.. artichoke, ratatouille.

11.00 – Demonstration Leek and potato soup served with croutons

11.15 – Seasoning Techniques How to bring the best out of your ingredients

11.45 – Hands-on Bread making; plain, focaccia, caramelised onion & thyme, mixed seed & nuts, brioche.

13.00 – Lunch. Fresh soup produced from our gardens, cheese, pickles, salads and fresh bread

14.00 – Demonstration / Hands-on Chicken butchery. Marinated filet, stuffed chicken ballotine and confit drumstick. Beef bourguignon.

15.00 – Demonstration / Hands-on Scallop in shell lutée, oysters, prep salmon, Gravadlax of salmon.

17.00 – Aperitifs and nibbles

17.30 – Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 – Dinner


Goat cheese soufflé

Scallop in her shell lutée, leek fondue and truffle

Pear williams Sorbet

Seared salmon filet, tiger prawn, artichoke

and mini ratatouille


Flambées crêpes suzette

Tea and coffee

Day 3 - Monday

8.45 –  Breakfast

9.15  – Menu Explanation

Kitchen: Demonstration  Pasta dough

  10.45 – Demonstration/hands-on Tortellini; filled with chicken and

foie gras mousseline, ravioli, tortellini and tagliatelle.

Hands-on Menu Prep:  Pea purée, gratin dauphinois, crème brulée, ice cream,

Brandy snap, honey wafer baskets plus tuile work. caramel cages.

13.00 – Lunch Tagliatelle with a bacon, tomato and

onion sauce, fresh bread and salad, followed by cheese.

14.00 –  Excursion  Visit to a local sustainable sheep farmthat produce

cheeses and yogurt, Cheese tasting 

17.00 –  Aperitifs and nibbles

 17.30 – Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 – Dinner 


Foie gras tortellini, pea purée and truffle foam

Smoked mini croque monsieur with a 63° egg

Apple and Calvados Sorbet

Beef bourguignon and gratin dauphinois


Lemon verbena crème brulée,

chilli and coconut ice cream

Tea and coffee

Day 4 - Tuesday

8.45 –  Breakfast

9.15  – Menu Explanation 

Demonstration /  hands-on 

Braised pork belly. Crispy chicken skin.

Chocolate piping and chocolate teardrop, strawberry mousse,

iced pistachio soufflé. Sous vide chicken, pomme fondante,

glazed carrot, smoked pumpkin purée, béarnaise sauce, French onion soup.

13.00 – Lunch Selection of charcuterie, salads, homemade bread & pickles

14.00 – Hands-on – Master-class with a Traditional French Patissier making

croissants & macaroons 

17.00 – Aperitifs and nibbles

 17.30 – Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 Dinner


French onion soup with cheese croutons

Mojito Sorbet

Medley of chicken (4 ways) with smoked pumpkin purée & a béarnaise sauce


Strawberry and coquelicot in chocolate teardrop,Iced pistachio parfait

Tea and coffee

Chicken (4 ways) and béarnaise sauce

Day 5 - Wednesday

8.45 – Breakfast

9.15 – Menu Explanation


Hands-on:  Sweet pastry, choux pastry, croquembouche.

Gravadlax, pork sous vide, veg for pork dish. sauce for pork. Snail Bonbon, garlic purée.

13.00 – Lunch Barbecue.

14.00 – Excursion and shopping in Vitré, medieval town and castle.

17.00 – Aperitifs and nibbles

 17.30 – Back in the kitchen to finish prep

18.00 Dinner


Gravadlax of salmon scented with beetroot

Crispy snail bonbons, garlic purée, rocket oil

 Bloody Mary Sorbet

Tenderloin of pork with

braised pork belly (your dish, your design)


Mini croquembouche

Tea and coffee

Day 6 - Thursday

9.00 Breakfast

Departure before midday

Prices - cooking course regular itinerary

– Euros € 1995.00 per person, shared ensuite bedroom with twin beds or double bed.

– Euros € 1095.00 non-cooking friend or partner 

– Euros € 395.00 single room supplement 

What's included

 – Champagne on arrival
 – 5 nights ensuite accommodation
 – All food including 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
 – Soft drinks all day
 – All tuition with a professional French chef
 – All equipment needed
 – Excursion to sustainable sheep farm, 
 – Excursion to Vitré, medieval town, chateau, shopping
 – Transport from Laval train station at scheduled times
 – Molton Brown toiletries
 – Menu and recipe folder to take home
 – Course certificate
 – Free Wifi

What's not included

 – Travel

– Entrance fee to Vitré’s Chateau museum (€6 Euros)

 – Laundry (€25 Euros)

 – Wine and alcoholic beverages

Wine and other alcoholic beverages can be purchased from our bar

Options to Add to your "5 day" itinerary.

 Extend your stay with Friday  afternoon arrival.

Relax after your day of travelling to Saint Hilaire du Maine, settle into your room  and enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by myself.

Saturday morning is Market Day in France.  We will spend the morning like the locals, exploring all the fresh seasonal specialties the market has to offer.  Immerse yourself in full French culture with a Market Tour. 

Returning to The Walnut Grove we will break for lunch and feast on our treasures.

Saturday afternoon will begin the course and our journey in the kitchen with hands on experience and demonstrations preparing for dinner. 
Extend your stay with Friday Morning departure. 
Visit some  amazing places in Western  France where I will be your guide. 
To choose from:
Enclosed by its ramparts, Saint-Malo conceals a thousand treasures. You’ll discover them as you stroll at your own pace through its irresistibly charming alleys. First step: go through its doors.
Cancale; This pretty port is a delight both for the eyes and the taste buds. Voted a remarkable site of taste, Cancale has long been famous for its oysters and shellfish. These seafood delights are even better when enjoyed while admiring the wonderful Mont Saint-Michel in the middle of the bay.
Dinan; Enclosed by nearly three kilometres of ramparts, the town of Dinan and its 14th-century castle proudly overlook the Rance river. Below, the small marina is the starting point for some lovely walks along the estuary, while above, corbelled houses complete the tour of this town with medieval charm. 
Positioned on the border between Normandy and Brittany, Mont-Saint-Michel was both a place of passage and a fortress for the Duchy of Normandy.
From the 14th century onwards, the successive conflicts of the Hundred Years War between France and England required new, powerful fortifications to be erected. The Mount, defended by a few knights loyal to the King of France and protected by a wall flanked by several defensive towers, managed to resist attacks by the English army for nearly 30 years.
One thousand three hundred years of history. 
Villedieu-les-Poêles; Capital of copper, 

In the heart of the copper city, The Copper Workshop, is one of the oldest workshops still in activity. We are perpetuating the great tradition of French copperware and gastronomy, which is why great leaders come to see us.

(that’s where I get my copper pots retinned)