Our home for this retreat is the Villa Theodora right on the banks of the Loire river and the bike path “Loire a Vélo”.
Though we are centrally located, we will enjoy the peace and quiet in our walled garden.
In this home and garden, you will not only learn the French language but will also be immersed in the French culture.
Surrounded by castles and vineyards, you will soon discover why the Loire Valley has been called the "Garden of France” or “Valley of the kings”.
Just as restaurants compete for stars, towns in the area compete for flowers. The flowers give their standing on the gardens and use of flowers throughout the streets, roundabouts…
During this retreat, I will introduce you to many of my favorite spots in the Loire.
I will even be introducing you to our favorite vineyard and winemaker. He will be opening his cellars to us for a private tour and tasting.
The classroom training each day includes activities which cover speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, naturally including grammar and vocabulary.
The meals and additional activities allow us to place emphasis on practical communication to build up your vocabulary and help to develop fluency and confidence.
As with every retreat, the entire day is spent together. Thanks to this continuous interaction, you will considerably speed up your command of the language and get permanent and measurable results after this week of immersion.
About this class
Number of participants 5 (spouse can join for an additional fee)
Duration 6 days
Date June 9-14, 2019
Set up a time to chat. This will give us the chance to answer any questions and also ask a few of our own. Nothing personal, just your current level and goals.
If you don’t see a time that fits email email@example.com
More pictures of the location
WHAT’S ON THE ITINERARY?
DAY 1 | THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
Once you arrive at your home for the week you will have some time to get settled and relax a bit.
We will have a welcome dinner, get to know the amazing people that will be on this journey with you and explore the neighbourhood for those who aren't jet-lagged.
DAY 2 | BLOIS CASTLE BY DAY AND BY NIGHT
Each day of the retreat starts with breakfast and some classroom time.
As soon as the classroom time is done we are going to start the trip off by visiting one of the most intriguing Chateaus in the area.
The Chateau de Blois was built over 4 centuries and it is reflected in the different architectural styles.
After our visit of the Chateau we will stroll through town practicing our french every step of the way.
We will then return to the house for a traditional french apéritif and dinner at home.
Once we are well fed, we will be returning to the Chateau for the light and sound show. A full history of the castle explaining the loves, dramas, betrayals and secrets flutter on the four facades, alternately sublimated or simultaneously revealed in a unique show 360 degrees.
DAY 3 - WHEN IN FRANCE, VISIT THE VINEYARDS!
After our classroom time, we will be visiting a past neighbour of ours whose wine we appreciated on many occasions and shared with all of our out of town company, friends and now you!
Here we will enjoy a private guided visit through the cellars which are troglodyte (cave in the side of the hills) as well as through the vineyards. When we are done we will enjoy some of their fantastic wine along with a buffet in the tasting room which is also troglodyte.
DAY 4 - LEONARDO DA VINCI
In 1516, Leonardo left his studio in the Belvedere of the Vatican Palace in Rome to join the court of Francois I in Amboise.
We will visit the Chateau of Amboise, his grave and then work our way to his home Le Clos Lucé where we will have access to the house, an exhibition space that features the inventions of Leonardo, and the gardens. We will also see copies of the Mona Lisa and St. John the Baptist hanging on the walls, which are said to be the only 2 paintings he brought with him to France as well as replicas of his inventions of everything from war machines to nautical innovations.
DAY 5 CHATEAU CHENONCEAU
The Chateau of Chenonceau is first mentioned in writing in the 11th century.
This castle has been through many ownerships such as the Marques Family and King Francis I. The best known story however is when Diane de Poitiers who was the unquestioned mistress of King Henry II inherited the castle, much to the displeasure of Catherine de Medici.
FOOD - French food is not just a meal but art, a way of living, expression of one’s self and a true social event.
During this trip you are going to discover exactly what that means.
From a traditional apéritif to dinner in a troglodyte restaurant and of course no trip to France would be complete without giving your palete the treat of eating in a Micheline starred restaurant.