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“Highlight of a year long holiday!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Walnut Grove Cookery School

Walnut Grove Cookery School
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
1 review
“Highlight of a year long holiday!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank RobinAPark
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 6, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 reviews from our community

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English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 review
“Family trip of a lifetime!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2013

My husband and I had promised our daughter a trip to France for her 40th birthday, and, as a surprise, took her to the cooking school at Walnut Grove.

We arrived to beautiful accommodations in the French Countryside and the warm welcome of Freya, Chef Maynard and Chef Benedict. We had five days of amazing meals and fabulous side trips to a rural mill and dairy farm. Extensive lessons from knife skills to plating were far beyond what we expected but were relaxed and appropriate to all skill levels. Maynard and Benedict made all seem easy as we chopped, seasoned, laughed, smoked, kneaded, rolled, plated and served. Everything was fresh, beautiful, and delicious. The three of us have since incorporated our extensive lessons into how we view food from taste to presentation. My husband has become the family bread maker and our daughter the lemon tart queen! The trip was our best family vacation ever!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Susie-ABQ
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, January 7, 2013
Dear SusieABQ

Thank you for your review , it was a pleasure having you all here and I am so glad it fulfilled your expectations. We'll definitely keep in touch, and perhaps see you in Albuquerque one day!!
best regards
Freya
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port-Vendres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
1 review
“Fantastic gourmet cookery course experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2012

An absolutely fantastic four and a bit days of cooking, eating and making wonderful new friends. WIth a passionate interest in great food, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Walnut Grove as an ideallic destination for a fun-filled short break away either by yourself or with friends/family. However, I was actually attending the cookery course for reasons relating to my profession. I work in the superyacht industry but, with no formal culinary training, needed a certificate for my CV. I was looking for a high-end cookery course with a strong emphasis on food presentation. I duely came away with my certificate but a lot more beside... a load of new enthusiasm and confidence, an abundance of helpful hints and tips and an awe-inspiring menu plan (with my own photos) that I can proudly prepare and serve on any multi-million dollar yacht! I hope that I have the opportunity to return for the advanced course next year to create even more magical memories - my thanks and best wishes to Maynard, Benedict and Freya.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Nic T
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, January 7, 2013
Hi Nic
Happy New Year! It was great to meet you, thank you for your review and I am glad to hear you learned the things you wanted to help you with your career. Hopefully we may see you some time this year if you get time to come back!
best regards
Freya
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Four days of great food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2012

I booked this for my husbands birthday, ended up going as well and taking another couple with us. We arrived to a fantastic six course meal and very friendly chefs- Maynard and Benedict. Awoke next day to lovely breakfast and off we went- twenty paces across the yard to the barn kitchen. The four days were a journey of culinary learning, eating,drinking,and lots of laughter and finally loosing at croquet!! Also had visits to an ancient flour mill and farm for cheeses- delightful.
We are going to return for the advanced course sometime - need to get better at croquet first!! Would thoroughly recommend it to anybody who is interested in food- we all learnt so much not only with preparing dishes but also the presentation.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Jill K
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, December 4, 2012
Hi Jill
Thank you very much for your comments, it was great to meet you all when you came, I am glad you enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing you again some time on the advanced course!
best regards
Freya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denton, Texas
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Most life-changing vacation ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

My wife has a great knack for planning "surprise" trips for our anniversary. Well in 2005, she planned the trip of all trips, and changed our lives forever! We left Dallas headed for Paris (which is when I found out we were going to France). Spent one night there, and the next morning, boarded a train for the Loire-Mayenne. A couple of hours riding through the beautiful French countryside, and suddenly we were being picked up by Freya from the Walnut Grove. After my wife explained that we were spending a week in a cookery school, I was beyond excited! The lodging, the teaching, the visiting, and the hands-on cooking far exceeded any expectations I could have imagined. Since taking the Walnut Grove course, we have been able to not only enrich our personal cooking, but have made a huge impact on our local community by donating dinners for several charity auctions. Our dinners for 8-12 have sold at charity auctions for THOUSANDS of dollars, and are always a main attaction for bidders. Maynard and Benedict, the chefs, continue to be an inspiration to us in our daily cooking and entertaining activities!

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Walter E
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, December 3, 2012
Dear Walter
Thank you for your review, I still remember the amazement when I picked you & Kim up from the train that she had managed to keep the course a secret all that time (I could never manage that!). It has been so rewarding hearing about your charity auction dinners - well done! We look forward to seeing you both again some time.
best regards
Freya
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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