Site icon The Walnut Grove Cookery School

FAQ English

Eric’s home-based school is located in Mayenne, county of the Loire Valley, in France, 3 hours drive on the west of Paris, 2 hours from Nantes, one hour from Rennes, 1,5 hour from St Malo.

The easiest way to come to us from Paris, is to take the train from Gare Montparnasse to Laval. (leaving 14h39 arriving at 15h53)

Or there is a direct train from Paris-Charle de Gaulles- Airport to Laval, but only the train leaving at 12h38 (arriving at 15h03) is suitable to be on time for the course.

You can also fly into Rennes. You can then hire a car to drive to us, which is quite straightforward all along and only 1 hour drive. Or you can catch the shuttle bus at the airport that will take you to Rennes station, and jump on a train to Laval. We will collect you from Laval train station at no extra charge. (arriving at 15h54) 

You can also fly into Nantes, it will be 2 hours drive, or fly into Paris, it will be 3 hours drive.

This is some useful links

Travel from Charles de Gaulles to Paris

Train From Paris to laval

Yes, there is lots of space on the property to park.

All levels are welcome on our “regular” course and for group booking the programme can be adapted to cater for your needs.

On our “advanced”course it is advisable to have completed the “regular” course or already have a good knowledge of basic cooking.

Our courses are in English, unless you request a course in French for a party of 4. On our excursions we will meet French producers, but everything will be translated to you, so no worries, you do not need to speak or understand French to enjoy your time with us!

You do not need a car. Depending on what you expect from your holiday, you choose to rent a car or not. I make sure you see as much of the area as possible when we go on our outings.

However, my house is in the heart of the countryside, so after our cooking sessions, you should not expect to be able to walk to town. There is a village 3km down the road with a cornershop/bar/tobacconist, post office.

As far as clothing is concerned, although aprons are provided for the cooking sessions, you should be wearing comfortable clothes that you don’t mind staining (it happens!). 

We strongly recommend you do not wear open shoes such as sandals or flip-flops in the kitchen for your own safety. You will not be needing cocktail dresses and high-heel shoes, nor suit and ties. 

You should also think of being able to tie your hair up during the cooking. In case of rain, your shoes might get muddy if we visit a farm, so choose your footwear accordingly. 

Your linen and towels are provided as well as Molton Brown toiletries. (Shower gel, body lotion, shampoo and conditionner).

You should bring an electrical socket adaptor if you need to charge up your own appliances.

 But most importantly, you should bring your good humour and love of cooking, they will be put to good use!

We now have Super fast internet connection with wifi access throughout the house so you can browse the internet at your leisure!

We do offer a laundry service at the extra cost of EUR 25 per load washed and dried.

Of course, one might want to accompany you on your travels but pass on the cooking, in which case you should refer to the relevant course page on our site to find the respective tarif.

The price you are quoted includes full board, without alcoholic beverages.

The rate for non-cooking participants includes joining the group for meals ( without alcoholic beverages), excursions and excludes all classes.

We make sure the bedrooms are ready from 4.00pm for check-in. We usually have an introductory talk with champagne at 5.00pm, followed by dinner, so an arrival between 4.00pm and 5.00pm is ideal.

If we are picking you up from Laval station, we will inform you as early as possible when the collection will take place so all the course participants can be collected at once.

On departure day, unless we are dropping you off at Laval station for the 10:03am train, check-out should be done before 10.00am so we get a chance to prepare the room for the next guests.

Apart from your bar bill, you only need to worry about your pocket money.

We go to producers and markets, so you might get tempted by a few local delicacies. No purchase is expected from you, I will not take you to tourist traps where you feel you have to buy something, it is all up to you.

Unfortunately pets are not allowed, as I have 1 dog running outside, along with free chickens…

Unfortunately, all the guests bedrooms are on the first floor and are not accessible on a wheelchair.

All bookings are subject to our terms and conditions


A minimum of 30% of total course fees is required at the time of reservation and is not refundable. The balance is due 60 days before arrival. We accept bank transfers, cheques in € Euros, and most major credit cards.

 The school reserves the right to alter its programs.

Full Refund minus the 30% deposit per person applies where written notice of cancellation is received more than 60 days prior to the course. Cancellations received 45 to 60 days prior to arrival will be subject to a cancellation charge of 50%. No refund will be made for cancellations received less than 45 days prior to date of arrival. Once the week has commenced there will be no refunds on unused portions. Cancellations due to medical reasons can be covered by travel insurance (which we recommend all our guests purchase from their provider of choice). 

Due to the fact that we restrict our courses to no more than six participants we strictly adhere to this cancellation policy. We therefore recommend our clients take out CFAR (cancel for any reason) travel insurance to cover any cancellation.

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