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“Not enough superlatives to describe this experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Walnut Grove Cookery School

Walnut Grove Cookery School
La Hunaudiere | Livré la Touche, 53400 Chateau-Gontier, France
003343985002
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Owner description: Two professional gourmet chefs Maynard Harvey & Benedict Haines are waiting to share with you their wealth of experience and to take your cooking to the next level. Classes are fun, informal and inspirational – with no more than four guests to one chef everybody gets the personal attention they require, regardless of their skill level, with extensive hands-on time in the kitchen.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Not enough superlatives to describe this experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

My friend Wendy found this course and we were both enthusiastic to try it and it sounded brilliant. All I can say is that the experience was amazing. Maynard and Benedict our chefs were such a good team, willing to share their knowledge with us. I have been on other courses before where the chefs didn't want to impart their knowledge. These guys were fabulous and I have learned so much and got some great tips. I will never forget how to get a smooth scoop of ice cream or sorbet using the tea towel technique. Also got some good tips and advice for an upcoming dinner party I am planning. The food was gourmet all the way and although we worked hard in preparing everything, it was a truly enjoyable experience sharing all our experiences with our fellow chefs when we ate in the evening. A new one for me was dreaming of recipes and what I had done! Thanks also to Freya for taking us on the trips and all her hard work. There's no doubt I shall be back for the next course. My sincere thanks to you all for such a wonderful and amazing experience.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freya H, Owner at Walnut Grove Cookery School, responded to this review, April 21, 2013
Dear Maria
Thank you very much for your review, it was lovely to meet you & Wendy and we are so glad you enjoyed the course. We look forward to seeing you again some time!
Best regards
Freya
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35 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic hands-on cooking experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We were looking for a hands-on cooking course and the Walnut Grove lived up to, and exceeded, our expectations. The program was very well organised with Freya meeting and greeting us at the station and taking us on tours to places you would never experience as individual tourists.Maynard and Benedict are wonderful chefs who shared their wealth of knowledge including great tips on how to make life easier in the kitchen. They expected the best from their students and this in turn made us better 'chefs'. The course caters for both the novice (me) and experienced cook (my husband). The 5-course meal every night was a delight, a time to talk about the day and enjoy the fruits of our labour as we prepared most of the dishes during the day. We will definitely be back to learn more and enjoy another wonderful experience.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freya H, Owner at Walnut Grove Cookery School, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Dear Gamil & Barbara
Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us, we really appreciate it. It was so nice to meet you when you were here, I do hope we meet again. I have ordered the books you suggested, but haven't yet had time to read them! Do keep in touch and thank you again.
Best regards
Freya
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Sydney, Australia
1 review
“The learning and the experience were second to none!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Wow... I booked in for 1 week and stayed for 2. That is how good my experience was with Walnut Grove Cookery School. I've lived in France and been there many times since but on my last trip to France I decided do some cookery class. Living in Australia you don't want want travel all the way to France not to have a hands on experience and thankfully my research paid off.

Freya was a gem, Maynard and Benedict brought the best out of you.... even if you didn't have experience...hence why I stayed on and did the advance course, forgoing my 1 week of paid accommodation in Paris.... yes that is how good it is. More than happy for you to contact me for more information and recommendations..... will potentially be going back there this year to do it all again.

Congratulations Freya, Maynard and Benedict for making Walnut Grove Cookery what it is... don't change a thing.

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freya H, Owner at Walnut Grove Cookery School, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Hi Monique
Thank you for your review, it was great to have you and your friends on the course, and then of course you stayed on for the advanced course! Hope you are enjoying all your cooking back in Australia, and we look forward to seeing you again some time when you are back in France.
Best regards
Freya
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Norwich, United Kingdom
1 review
“Amazing learning experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Everything at Walnut Grove was a 5 star experience. I have been keen on learning to cook for a long time this was the perfect experience and location to learn. The lessons were always intresting, enlightning and highly enjoyable due to Maynard and Benedict. The highlight of each day was sitting down in the evening to eat what you prepared. The atmosphere from the moment you arrived was friendly and inviting, Freya couldnt have been a better host! The accomodation was beautifully laid out in a beautiful, countryside setting. Everyday we learnt more and more from knife skills to butchery; my particular favourite was the pattisserie! The local trips to a dairy farm and mill were the perfect compliment to our trip, i cannot recommend Walnut Grove enough!

Visited March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freya H, Owner at Walnut Grove Cookery School, responded to this review, February 7, 2013
Hi Scarlett
So nice to hear from you! I have been in touch with Janet a couple of times, she was still hoping to come back with you & even Ruby too (?!) some time for the advanced course. Thank you very much for your review, it is much appreciated. Perhaps we'll see you again sometime!
Best regards
Freya
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Brisbane, Australia
1 review
“Highlight of a year long holiday!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Absolutely fabulous cooking adventure in the middle of rural France; does anything more need to be said? My wife and I had a brilliant time cooking up an amazing array of dishes which even a foodie novice like myself could feel proud of! (I didn't lose a single finger all week despite the razor sharp knives).

The accommodation was immaculate. Chefs Benedict and Maynard and chefette and organiser extraordinaire Freya, are a brilliant team who go out of their way for you to have a great week - always willing to sit down at the end of the day for a champagne, wine, or even the occasional beer.

The food is spectacular. My only complaint is that as hard as I tried I couldn't eat 5 course meals every night for 4 nights straight! (Though I really wish I had!)

Five stars! Thanks very much, and my wife and I will be back in the future to try the advanced course (hopefully bringing legions of our australian friends!)

Rob and Lene!

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freya H, Owner at Walnut Grove Cookery School, responded to this review, February 7, 2013
Hi Rob

Thank you so much for your review - it was your recommendation that we finally got around to being added to TripAdvisor! I hope the rest of your travels went well, hopefully we'll meet again sometime!
best regards
Freya
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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