Home / Destinations / France / Cooking in Chateaux Country

Cooking in Chateaux Country


Your cooking school is set in the heart of France and Loire Valley – the home to European Renaissance which brought a rich and diverse culinary history. Experience a week of cuisine or pastry adventure with our award-winning chefs in an informal and picturesque environment surrounded by quaint villages and castles. The only qualifications needed are a love for food and the desire to learn about cooking.

Recommended for:

Travellers who like to join a small group of like-minded companions to share the experience with.   If you are looking for daily cooking classes and excursions, and don’t want to worry about logistics. We will take care of everything!


  • Cook with our highly qualified chefs who won international awards and have cooked for heads of State, Celebrities and her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
  • Learn both, traditional and innovative recipes in our farmhouse kitchen and savour your creations in our old stables
  • Visit Tours’ outdoor market, one of the finest in France; enjoy people watching in the quaint pavement cafes, stroll the narrow streets and step back into the historic medieval city
  • Perfect the Macaron and other quintessential French pastries with our patisserie chef
  • Marvel at Château de Chenonceau, one of the oldest and most beautiful castles in the France before savouring lunch at the Orangerie in the gardens
  • Explore the area at leisure – cycle country lanes, hike through national parks or relax at the world renown spas in town
  • Taste artisanal goats cheese and chocolate, paired with extraordinary wines
  • Stay in a charming 18th Century Coach Inn or luxurious spa boutique hotel
  • Leave Loire Valley with a new-found confidence and enthusiasm, impatient to return to your own kitchen to experiment with your skills


Our cooking school is located on the river Creuse in the heart of The Indre et Loire region, set in a small French hamlet on the edge of the local forest. The region is home to the finest goat’s cheese producers and winemaking has been deeply rooted here for centuries. This area is simply known as France’s ‘Bread Basket’.

Cooking classes & Chefs

The classes are limited to a small grooup, which allow us to give personal attention to all guests.

Our two chefs are award-winning chefs with many years of international experience. After meeting at The Royal Swazi Sun Resort and Spa in Swaziland, they married and have enjoyed a colourful culinary career. They have cooked for several heads of state which have included Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Richard Attenbourgh, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Cher, Sylvester Stallone, U2, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. They have won recognition by major food guides and have won medals at international level. Our chef was Captain of The British Craft Guild Team for 2000/2001 when they achieved a record medal total.

The philosophy of this husband and wife team is ‘Balade Gormande sans Frontière’, Cooking without boundaries, or as our chef would like to say, lets take a walk on the wild side, and he would, as he was born and raised on the plains of Zululand. They take traditional French cooking and introduce exotic flavours and traditions from around the world to create an exciting ‘culinary adventure’.

You will leave our cooking school with a newfound confidence and enthusiasm, impatient to return to your own kitchen to experiment with your skills.

Choose between:

+ A French Culinary Adventure

+ French Dessert & Pastry


Your home for the week is a choice of either staying on-site at the cooking school or a boutique hotel in the nearby spa town with excellent service and attention to detail. All transport between hotel and cooking school is provided by us at no extra cost.

At the cooking school 

Accommodation at our cooking school is in one of our exquisite 4 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, private terrace and sweeping views over the country side.   The rooms are a new addition and have been built to the most modern standards of comfort whilst retaining French country charm.   We truly believe it is the best accommodation available in a radius of 50km!

The cooking school is just steps away across the garden and you can relax here on your own private balcony with a glass of Loire Valley wines at the end of the day.

Les Loges du Parc ****

Les Loges du Parc is a charming hotel situated in the centre of the pretty spa town of La Roche Posay. The hotel with its imposing ‘Belle Epoque’ façade, surrounded by its rose garden and pivoineraie, thermal pool and a large terrace with linden trees creates a unique and exceptional place in the village.

Completely renovated in a chic country spirit, it offers tasteful large hotel rooms and suites where each room has its own identity; wood, amaranth, coriander, green countryside.

The exterior has kept its Art Nouveau charm with its architectural frieze. The hotel offers a relaxing pool and bathing area where guests can soak up the French Sunshine. Inside there is an atmosphere of peace and authenticity with the solid wood floors and fireplace in the lobby. It is comfortable with character and charm.

Les Loges du Parc is part of the prestigious Châteaux & Hôtels Collection (Alain Ducasse Group).

Dates 2024

French culinary adventure:

17 – 23 March
21 – 27 April
5 – 11 May
15 – 25 May – fully booked
26 May – 1 June
23 – 29 June
7 – 13 July
21 – 27 July
25 – 31 August
1 – 7 Sept
15 – 21 Sept – fully booked
22 – 27 Sept – fully booked
27 Oct – 2 Nov

Pastry culinary adventure:

14 – 20 April
10 – 16  Nov

Fire and Spice Culinary Adventure:

9 – 15 June


additional weeks for private groups on request

Prices 2024

Per person in Euro

Week-long Culinary and Pastry Adventure

Residential – Euro 2,850
Non-Participating guest – Euro 1,295
Single Supplement – Euro 495

Women’s Only Culinary Adventure

Residential – Euro 3,490
Single Supplement – Euro 950


      • Accommodation for six nights
      • Entrance into Château Chenonceau
      • Meals: daily breakfast, and meals as per itinerary, including three glasses of selected wine with meals.
      • Transport for all activities in the itinerary.
      • Personalised apron and recipe folder.
      • Free Wi-Fi


Travel to France and cooking school, optional meals, drinks, spa treatments and excursions not listed

Getting There


Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports are all within an hour and a half by train to Chatellerault, Tours and Poitiers Stations. From here we can arrange transfer for you to our cooking school (small transfer fee applies)

Ryanair fly from London Stanstead to airports at Poitiers and Tours. Ryanair also offers flights from Dublin, Barcelona, Marrakesh, Nice, Porto and Manchester to Tours and Poitiers.



Eurostar then the highly reliable TGV. There are two ways to get here.

The TGV runs three trains a day directly from Terminal 2 at Charles de Gaulle Airport to ‘le Calabash’ which is a 1 ½ journey.

Eurostar from the UK and change platforms at Lille for the TGV to Tours (note station name ‘Saint-Pierre des corps’) or Poitiers. We are approximately an hour from either city or Eurostar to Paris, Gare du Nord, and then a bit of sightseeing perhaps before catching the TGV from Paris Montparnasse to Chatellerault, a short 20min drive from the cooking school.

Please go to raileurope.co.uk for bookings.

All transport between cooking school and nearby hotels are provided at no extra cost thus no car is needed throughout the week.



Day 1 - Sunday

Arrival and check into hotel – welcome champagne and dinner

Day 2 – Monday

Morning cuisine class with award-winning recipes from our cookbook – lunch incl artisanal cheeses – afternoon patisserie class – dinner with cooking demonstration

Day 3 – Tuesday

Morning visit to the stunning Chateau Chenonceau – traditional lunch in Chenonceau – afternoon decadent ice cream & mousse au chocolate class – dinner with seasonal menu

Day 4 – Wednesday

Morning visit to historical Tours and its fine food market – Traditional French lunch – learn the secrets of perfecting the Macaron – gourmet dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant

Day 5 – Thursday

All about Fish – learn how to identify the freshest fish and techniques of preparing your fish – afternoon at leisure to explore the area, cycle, hike, relax at the world renown spas in town – evening tasting of Loire Valley wines and French chocolates

Day 6 – Friday

Visit our local Goats Cheese farm – class to learn the art of Soufflé – Lunch in the Orchard – afternoon patisserie class and prepare for tonight’s Zulu BBQ – learn some of the most exotic dishes from the African continent – Champagne & Certificate presentation – farewell dinner

Day 7 – Saturday

Traditional French Breakfast – departure before noon


Day 1 - Sunday

Arrival and check into hotel – welcome champagne and dinner

Day 2 – Monday

Master Choux Pastry and Pâté à Sable Breton – traditional French lunch with artisanal cheeses – afternoon create some classic, but impressive desserts with a contemporary twist – dinner around the fire

Day 3 – Tuesday

Learn the art of sorbet & ice creams – Lunch in a traditional bistro – afternoon croissant & brioche making – Wine and Chocolate Pairing – evening cuisine demonstration followed by dinner

Day 4 – Wednesday

Visit to historical Tours – breakfast on selection of best pastries in town – explore both the indoor ‘Les Halles Food Market’ and outdoor markets – traditional French lunch –   afternoon chocolate work and couvertures – time at leisure before dinner

Day 5 – Thursday

Learn classic French, Swiss and Italian desserts – Lunch a classic Bistro styled menu – Class on the Art of the Macaron – Zulu BBQ with exotic dishes from the African continent

Day 6 – Friday

Morning class on Tuille work and sugar craft – Seasonal lunch – Afternoon class on Soufflé and Dessert Presentation – Certificates & champagne at the cooking school – farewell dinner at renown Michelin starred restaurant

Day 7 – Saturday

French traditional breakfast and departure

Happy guests…


“Thank you so much for organising a fantastic cooking adventure!”

Sam Rodgers, US




What happy guests said about this tour…

  • "Thank you so much for an amazing and personal cookery course. We learnt so much and it is an experience we will always remember whenever we are in our kitchen and practising what we learnt...."

    Debora and Martin K.
  • "Simply the best Culinary Vacation I have been on, second to none, I speak from experience. Being taught and inspired by two accomplished chefs was so much more than I have experienced before and was a wonderful experience. The Loire Valley and this cooking school is a marriage made in heaven for any food enthusiast."