Tag Archives: Culinary Holidays in France

French Cookery Courses, Culinary Holidays, France – Press Articles

Some press articles about La Vie du Chateau’s Cookery Courses & Culinary Holidays

Article on Living France magazine

Article on "Living France" about LVDC's Culinary holidays

Living France Article on LVDC's Culinary Holidays

Article on LVDC's Culinary Holidays

 Article on LVDC's Culinary Holidays in France Article on LVDC's Culinary Vacations in France 

Article about LVDC's Culinary Holidays - The Good Life in France

…Read the full article on The Good Life France

Press article on LVDC's French Cookery Courses

French Culinary Holidays with Excursions

Excursions are such a fun part of our culinary holidays and cookery courses!

We love to jump in the car for an adventure to discover the many wonderful historical and culinary delights of our Anjou region.

Why men are great cookery students

I don’t know why, when we think about cookery courses, it’s often a woman that comes to mind.

I can honestly say that of the numerous men I’ve been so happy to have in our French culinary holidays, they’re some of the best cooks!


They tend to have a little different attitude in the kitchen, more inquisitive and adventurous (they dare to challenge my traditional methods!) and we enjoy trying different ways of doing things, sometimes with great results.
This for me, is what makes cooking so fun and what it is all about.
So once you’ve got some sound cooking basics, creativity and invention are
the key to having a good time in the kitchen.


Culinary Vacations in France – The Open Market

Our weekly Wednesday market is a foodies dream come true! The 2nd largest in our region, with 180 vendors displaying products from near and afar.

Most notable is the abundance of local products, from fruits and vegetables grown right next door to displays of cheeses, charcuteries and the freshest seafood you can get. They arrive straight from the seaside early in the morning and the fish are all clear eyed with bright red gills. Piles of fresh perrywinkles, whelks, muscles and venus clams are all lined up next to the live (still jumping) shrimps.

Christine comes straight from Guérande with her beautiful selection of rock salt, fine salt, fleur de sel and other spices including fresh vanilla pods and salicorne.

You can also find beautiful baskets, kitchen utensils, live chickens and ducks, antique knick knacks, and all sorts of other goods.

The longest line is at the horse meat vendor, but I never go there. Not that I don’t have time to wait but although I am very open minded and sometimes I could eat a cow, I will never eat a horse!

Of course, I have selected my favorite vendors and have become pretty efficient in finding and choosing what I need for the days-weeks cooking.  I usually go with menus sketched out in my head, but with a very open mind and let my inspiration go with all the exciting food to be found.

And then there’s the Sunday market, smaller and in a pretty little square in front of the town theater. The main attraction is the fresh oysters and clams but there is always the usual abundance of produce, poultry, dairy products and flowers… all local!

It’s so fun when I get back to my kitchen and spread out all the ingredients on the table and start preparing delicious dishes, old and new!

Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived!

All throughout France people wait impatiently for the third Thursday of November.

This is the day the vinification process is finished and they are allowed to sell this light and fruity young wine.
And it’s presented with much celebration…bistros, wine shops and cheese mongers make festive stands in the side walks and offer free samples of their favorites, along with snacks of cheese and charcuterie.
Some even start at midnight on Wednesday night!
The French call it a “vin d’amitié”, friendship wine, because it’s light and easy to drink as an aperitif with a platter of charcuteries and a baguette. 

And a great reason to have some friends over and decide which one we like best!

Quince Jelly Recipe

Quince Jelly Recipe

Quince Jelly Recipe

Quince is our last jelly-jam of the year before the winter cold arrives. While we are enjoying the most glorious autumn, the morning freezes are arriving and I figured this is the last chance to get those remaining quinces and make some nice jelly to enjoy this winter. This strange and inedible fruit makes a sublime red jelly that goes so well with foie gras or served with game.


1 and 1/2 kilos of quince

800 grams of sugar


  1. Peel the quinces and cut in 4ths. Then cut out the cores and tie them up, with the peels in a cheese cloth. Put this and the quince into a pot and just cover with water, about 1.5 - 2 liters.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover and let cook about 45 mn on a medium fire, until the quinces are very tender.
  3. Then drain all of this (peels and cores too) in a large sieve, pressing at the end to obtain more juice.
  4. If your sieve has large holes, put a cheese cloth inside to prevent the pulp from passing as this would make your jelly a bit murky.
  5. Measure the juice you’ve obtained and count 800 grams of sugar for 1 kilo of juice.
  6. Put this into a pan, on the fire and add sugar, the juice of 1 lemon and a vanilla pod (optional).
  7. Bring to a boil and let cook until it reaches 104° - 105°Celcius.
  8. This takes from 20 - 30 minutes.
  9. As soon as it has reached this temperature, the jelly is done.
  10. Pour while hot into sterilised pots and let cool.