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Cooking Vacation in France

If you’ve dreamt of learning to cook Haute French cuisine, this course is designed for you. Like every course Walnut Grove Cookery School hosts, this program will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to take your cooking to the next level. What makes this course different, however, is that you will additionally shop the markets like a chef; explore a working dairy farm to learn about sustainable sheep’s milk cheeses and yogurts; and did we say menu planning? Yes, you will gain the necessary skills to plan and execute a proper gourmet menu — perfect for when your friends and family want to taste what you learned in France!

Meet the instructors

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  • Champagne & Canape Reception
  • A six-course gourmet dinner, prepared by Chef Duvin
  • Remaining night: Gourmet dinners prepared by the students with chef's assistance
  • A visit to the market in Laval (round-trip transfers Included)
  • A visit to a sustainable sheep farm (round-trip transfers included)
  • 5 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:


  • Lounge
  • Multilingual staff
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

The lessons are why you come. The terroir is what you'll taste.

For centuries the land upon which Walnut Grove Cookery School is situated has provided for its inhabitants. The ancestors learned how to cultivate these rich soils and how to forage what was already abundant in the field. Today, we cherish this understanding and continue to preserve these traditional land use practices.

Since its inception, Walnut Grove Cookery School has become a natural haven for cooking holidays in France. With fruits and vegetables from its gardens and foraged goods from its surroundings, Chef Duvin has the “raw materials” to provide an array of culinary creations and will teach you his life-changing skills every step of the way. 

While you are with Walnut Grove Cookery School, they encourage you to take part in their organic farm activities. Clip from the herb gardens feed the resident chickens and goats, learn what Walnut Grove Cookery School plants and how the hives thrive.  As was the ways of the ancestors, Walnut Grove Cookery School uses what the local environment has to offer. They grow, harvest, and eat according to the seasons. Where stock permits, small batch selections of the homegrown Copper Pot Kitchen jams and honey are available for on-site purchase. 

Transforming local bounty into lifelong learning. 

Guest accommodations

Whether you select the intimate charm of the exquisitely renovated farmhouse or the curated selection of elite bed & breakfasts, each Walnut Grove student will enjoy an oasis of carefree comfort.


Ascend one flight of stairs and into your personal sanctuary. La chambre "Cancale" is one of two luxuriously appointed en-suite bedrooms conveniently located within Walnut Grove Cookery’s renovated farmhouse. Measuring just over 22 square meters, Cancale is equipped with two high-quality large twin beds comprised of both a box spring and an upholstered mattress—perfect for chefs returning to their private rooms after a fulfilling day in the kitchen. Situated on the first floor of the farmhouse, Cancale comfortably accommodates two persons.


Imagine yourself kneading buttery croissants in a sun-drenched kitchen, overlooking the rolling hills of Pays de Loire. At The Walnut Grove Cookery, nestled in a charming 200-year-old farmhouse just an hour from Paris, you'll awaken your inner chef under the guidance of Chef Eric Duvin.

With over 30 years wielding his whisk and traveling around the globe, Chef Duvin isn't just a culinary artist, he's a passionate alchemist of experience. From Michelin-starred kitchens to intimate royal dinners, he's woven his magic for diplomats, celebrities, and families alike. Now, at his Walnut Grove Cookery School in France, his expertise flows effortlessly as he guides eager students through the intricate alchemy of classic French dishes. He doesn't just teach recipes; he instills a reverence for the land, the seasons, and the bounty that nature provides.

The intimate classes, capped at six students, ensure personalized attention as you master classic French dishes and unlock the secrets of Michelin-starred techniques. Forget language barriers – Chef Eric and the recipes speak English fluently.

Beyond the kitchen, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of French culture with optional excursions to captivating villages, dramatic cliffs, or majestic chateaux.

From gourmet meals savored in the warmth of the farmhouse to exploring hidden gems alongside fellow food enthusiasts, your Walnut Grove experience is an all-inclusive immersion into the very soul of French cuisine and culture. Join Walnut Grove Cookery School and embark on a transformative culinary adventure where luxury meets learning, and memories simmer for a lifetime.


Day 1

  • Arrival at 17:00
  • *17:00 Introductory talk with complimentary champagne and canapés, discussing aims and course structure
  • 18:00 Dinner: 6-course gourmet dinner


  • Celeriac velouté scented with truffle
  • Seared scallops, cauliflower purée with a pistachio dressing
  • Sorbet
  • Duck leg confit, cider and apple sauce, Duchess potato
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate and passion fruit bavarois
  • Tea and coffee

Day 2

  • 08:45 Breakfast; to include fresh croissants, breads and preserves, orange juice, local apple juice, yogurts, tea, and coffee.
  • 09:15 Off to Laval’s market for shopping and sightseeing
  • 12:00 Returning to The Walnut Grove, you will break for lunch and feast on your treasures and fresh soup (seasoning techniques: how to bring the best out of your ingredients)
  • 14:00 Kitchen - You will begin the course and your journey in the kitchen with hands-on experience and demonstrations preparing for dinner. Welcome, explore kitchen/equipment, etc. Basic knife skills: care of knives, safety, sharpening, chopping and slicing onion, brunoise of carrot, julienne of leek. Demonstration/hands-on: Soufflé mise en place, ratatouille. Crêpes mix, orange sauce. Salmon gravadlax. Beurre blanc.
  • 16:30 Finish
  • 17:00 Aperitifs and nibbles
  • 17:30 Back in the kitchen to finish prep
  • 18:00 Dinner


  • Goat cheese soufflé
  • Sorbet
  • Seared salmon filet, ratatouille and a traditional beurre blanc
  • Cheese
  • Crêpes suzette flambées
  • Tea and coffee

Day 3

  • 08:45 Breakfast
  • 09:15 Menu explanation, demonstration / hands-on: bread / brioche making, Crème brulée, ice cream, chicken butchery: marinated filet, stuffed chicken ballotine confit drumstick, and crispy skin. Boeuf bourguignon, chicken stock (white & brown), veal glace, fish stock
  • 13:00 Lunch: Charcuterie, fresh bread and salad, followed by cheese
  • 14:00 Demonstration / hands-on: Onion soup, scallop in shell lutée, béarnaise mise en place, fondant potato, caramelised carrot, smoked pumpkin purée. Brandy snap basket, caramel cages.
  • 16:30 Finish
  • 17:00 Aperitifs and nibbles
  • 17:30 Back in the kitchen to finish prep
  • 18:00 Dinner


  • French onion soup
  • Scallop in her shell lutée, leek julienne
  • Sorbet
  • Chicken medley, smoked pumpkin purée and a béarnaise sauce
  • Cheese
  • Lemon verbena crème brulée, chilli and coconut ice cream
  • Tea and coffee

Day 4

  • 08:45 Breakfast
  • 09:15 Menu explanation, demonstration / hands-on: Pasta dough, Foie gras tortelli. Boeuf bourguignon to finish, potato gratin. Cheesecake in a chocolate teardrop, Chocolate, and Earl Grey tea ice cream. Sweet pastry, Apricot sorbet.
  • 13:00 Lunch: Tagliatelle with bacon, tomato, and onion sauce, followed by cheese and homemade bread
  • 14:00 Excursion – Visit a local sustainable sheep farm that produces cheeses and yogurt
  • 17:00 Aperitifs and nibbles
  • 17:30 Back in the kitchen to finish prep
  • 18:00 Dinner


  • Foie gras tortelli, pea purée and truffle foam
  • Sorbet
  • Boeuf Bourguignon, gratin dauphinois
  • Cheese
  • Coffee and baileys cheesecake in a chocolate teardrop,
  • Chocolate and Earl Grey tea ice cream
  • Tea and coffee

Day 5

  • 08:45 Breakfast
  • 09:15 Menu explanation, menu planning for a dinner party. YOU ARE THE CHEF! As a team, you will prepare dinner, from designing your plate to presenting dinner. Hands-on: CHALLENGE of the DAY: Béchamel sauce and croque monsieur, Snail Bonbon, garlic purée. Salmon gravadlax, Almond cream, and pear tart.
  • 13:00 Lunch: Croque monsieur/ madame with green lettuce
  • 14:00 Excursion and shopping in Vitré, medieval town and chateau
  • 17:00 Aperitifs and nibbles
  • 17:30 Back in the kitchen to finish prep
  • 18:00 Dinner


  • Salmon gravadlax scented with beetroot
  • Smoked snail bonbon, garlic purée, arugula oil
  • Sorbet
  • Challenge of the day, YOUR DISH, YOUR DESIGN (teamwork)
  • Cheese
  • Pear and almond tart, apricot & rosemary sorbet
  • Tea and coffee

Day 6

  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • Departure after breakfast

Celebrating special moments

Life's milestones deserve more than cake. They deserve a culinary whirlwind in the heart of France! Whether it's a surprise birthday weekend or a romantic honeymoon retreat, let The Walnut Grove Cookery School craft your unforgettable celebration.

Whether it’s a spontaneous celebration or a long-awaited anniversary, Walnut Grove Cookery School can help make your experience unforgettable. When you book a five-night or longer experience with Walnut Grove Cookery School, they will make sure that you and your loved ones are suitably spoilt.

With the compliments, your experience will include complimentary welcome amenities, chef's choice, and guaranteed late check-out.

To take advantage of this special offer, please indicate which celebration you or your guests are marking when you request availability. Walnut Grove Cookery School will take it from there!


Eric Duvin


Easy to get to, hard to leave

Located just 80 minutes west of Paris, by train, you'll come to Walnut Grove for the cookery lessons, and leave with a taste of the terroir.  

From the celebrated coasts of Normandie and Bretagne, to wine tasting in The Loire Valley, Walnut Grove Cookery School invites you to make this experience a part of the perfect gastronomic holiday in France. 

Here, renting a car is not required. Every course includes complimentary transfers to and from Gare Laval / Laval Station. Every cultural excursion the school creates also includes roundtrip transportation.  

Rest assured, your journey to The Walnut Grove will be easy to get to....and hard to leave.


  • Nantes Atlantique Airport, 105 miles - 2 hours by car
  • Orly Airport, 185 miles - 2 hours 35 minutes by car
  • Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, 235 miles - 4 hours by car


Organic. Authentically French.

Located just 80 minutes west of Paris, by train, is the tranquil heart of France’s farmland, Mayenne. Neighboring the Loire Valley, Bretagne, and Normandie, The Walnut Grove Cookery School provides effortless access to the best ingredients.

Farm-raised vegetables; eggs from our free range hens; scallops from the sea…when you learn at Walnut Grove Cookery School, you will quite literally learn from the land itself. You will source the ingredients you need at the markets or in the gardens. You will learn to compost remnants and serve show-stoppers. At Walnut Grove Cookery School, the school attempts, wherever possible, a 360 approach to ingredients.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Organic
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Cultural excursions

While mastering French culinary techniques remains integral, Walnut Grove Cookery School now invites you to delve deeper. Within a convenient radius of the scenic haven, a kaleidoscope of cultural treasures awaits.

Arrive a bit early or linger a bit longer, now your holiday can become an intersection of cuisine and culture - for Walnut Grove Cookery School, it's the only way to understand France.

  • Visit Le Mont Saint-Michel (+1 day to your course)
  • Visit Cancale & Saint-Malo (+1 day to your course)
  • Visit Dinan (+1 day to your course)
  • Visit Villeudieu les Poeles (+1 day to your course)
  • Visit The Loire Valley (+2 or 3 days to your course, custom itinerary)

What's included

  • 5 nights luxurious guest accommodations
  • All course instruction & equipment
  • All meals, including a welcome Champagne and Canape Reception; a six-course gourmet dinner prepared by Chef Duvin; remaining nights: gourmet dinners prepared by the students with chef's assistance
  • Roundtrip transfers from Gare Laval AKA Laval Station (if you are taking a train)
  • On-site parking if you are driving to/from The Walnut Grove Cookery School
  • Wi-Fi

What's not included

  • Any alcohol or gifts that you purchase on-site
  • Any laundry services (clothing) that you request during your stay
  • Your airfare
  • Ground transfers to/from Gare Laval Train Station

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport (Roissy Airport) (CDG). Airport transfer is not provided. If you are arriving at CDG Airport, you have two options for arriving at The Walnut Grove Cookery School. One can rent a car or take a train.

If you choose to rent a car directly from CDG Airport, the drive to Saint Hilaire du Maine is a pleasant one. It should take approximately 3.5 hours. Walnut Grove Cookery School offers complimentary parking on-site and will warmly welcome you upon arrival. Please be reminded check-in is at 5 p.m.

Arrival by train

The Walnut Grove Cookery School is located just 80 minutes west of Paris by train. They recommend booking a train that departs from the airport and arrives at Laval Station. Depending on the website you use to book your train ticket, it may be listed as Gare Laval. Rest assured, that is the correct station. The Walnut Grove Cookery School provides roundtrip transfers to/from Laval Station to ensure your journey here is easy to plan and enjoy. Please be reminded check-in is at 5 p.m.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Quality of activity
6 days / 5 nights
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Solo travelers

This vacation can accommodate solo travelers.

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