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“Searching for a Hands-on, Fun, Unforgettable learning experience? Look no further!” 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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Type: Classes/Workshops, Classes
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Attraction details
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.
Shanghai, China
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Searching for a Hands-on, Fun, Unforgettable learning experience? Look no further!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

The biggest challenge for most people going to a cooking school is you end up forgetting what you've learnt or the teachers don't have the patience or interest to make sure you get the most out of your experience. This is NOT the case in Walnut Grove. The description "hands-on" is true in every sense. Maynard and Benedict were patient and encouraging. Like all good teachers, they took an active interest to help their students achieve their objectives for enrolling in the course. The structure of the course was carefully and cleverly thought out - from menu planning to cooking and presentation...right down to when we have coffee breaks! The lovely Freya took us on an interesting daily escapade to a local landmark nearby which continued the culinary theme - think French dairy farm. The course was organized such that slowly but surely one gained confidence in every facet of the food prep process. I am now much more comfortable with hosting dinner parties and I've acquired a whole new perspective on how to present my food creations!

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, November 9, 2013
Hi Bernice
Thank you for taking the time to write a review, it was fantastic to meet you, and is great keeping in touch. We love your blog, and look forward to reading more of your travel experiences!
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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27 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“An amazing learning experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

My week with Benedict and Maynard has changed my view of cooking. I have long been a devoted fan of traditional French cuisine but I now realise that a 'lighter' touch, still with robust flavours is so much better.
Unlike many cookery courses, this is a 'hands-on' learning experience, not merely a series of demonstrations - you get to practise the techniques and then eat the amazing results with your fellow cooks.
I have learnt so much and have already booked on the Advanced Course later this year - I can't wait!

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, October 4, 2013
Hi Chris
Thank you for your review, it was great to meet you and we are looking forward to seeing you back here in just over a month!!! Looking forward to seeing your perfected knife skills!
best regards
Freya
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Perth, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great food, great hosts, lots of learning.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013 via mobile

Have just finished a 5 day course at Walnut Grove and quite amazed at what I learnt and accomplished. The course is a great mix of learning, socialising and relaxing. Maynard and Benedict have the art of passing on knowledge like it is the first time for them and they rarely get frustrated or annoyed (except when Maynard is putting on his scowl but realised earlier on that its a bit of a fake scowl).

The whole experience was so well organised and everything flowed so well. Thoroughly recommend this!!!

Visited September 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, September 20, 2013
Hi Kay
Thank you for taking time to write a review, it was great to meet you. Enjoy your time in Paris, and do keep in touch!
kind regards
Freya
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Redmond, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“You absolutely can't go wrong with this cooking course.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

The course is everything the website advertises and just as good as the reviews say.
Benedict and Maynard are talented and serious chefs. The course is designed to take you from an intro to basic knife skills to designing and plating a dish. The variety in the menus was excellent and the parts of the meals that students help to prepare really lend themselves to teaching and learning. And Freya's work -- looking after us from arrival to departure and the excursions in between -- was invaluable.
The accommodations were also wonderful. The rooms are lovely and there is internet access, for those of us who need that fix.
One of the things that made this trip especially good was that it was comfortable being there on my own. This probably isn't a issue for a lot of travelers, but I've been traveling that way for years, and sometimes it's a little awkward. The group size of 8 was perfect and on my trip, there were four "singles." I really enjoyed getting acquainted with everyone.
My cooking these days is definitely improved. You absolutely can't go wrong with this cooking course.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, August 16, 2013
Dear Pat
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review for us, it was lovely to meet you in June and I am so glad you enjoyed the course. We've been enjoying the summer, and now it is only a couple of weeks before the first course of the season! Do keep in touch and best wishes from us all here at the Walnut Grove
Kind regards
Freya
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Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Excellent 5 day cooking course”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

On a whim I found this course online and decided to sign up. Thankfully there was one spot remaining when I registered. I learned so much from the chefs' instruction, and there was a lot of camaraderie between the students and the chefs. The location was very quiet when I was there in late June/early July, but I imagine it's always like that. A good getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern, connected lifestyles (although they do have a good wifi connection!). We enjoyed gourmet 5 and 6 course meals every night and delicious breakfasts and lunches (including warm croissants for breakfast and a variety of salads, meats, and desserts for lunch). This course reinvigorated my love of cooking and gave me so many ideas for my home cooking and entertaining that I plan to use regularly. Highly recommended!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, July 22, 2013
Hi
Thank you for your review, we do really appreciate it. I am so glad you enjoyed the course, I hope the rest of your time in France was what you hoped for. It was lovely to meet you and hear about your fascinating work.
Best wishes and do keep in touch
Freya
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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