French baking course – one of the best experiences I have ever had

6 (2)After many failed attempts at making pain au chocolat, Cristel, born in France but raised in the UK, decided it was time she conquered the much-loved French delicacy once and for all. So she headed on our French pastry and baking holiday near Bordeaux.

There Cristel joined myself (NotInTheGuidBooks.com Marketing Manager Sally), three other lovely ladies, and our favourite French cook Marlene who was ready to whip us into pastry shape (the best kind of shape to be in).

So how did Cristel find the course?
Taking part in Marlene’s patisserie course has been one of the best experiences I have ever had.  I think it is something that should be added to everyone’s life list. You won’t regret it!

In a short space of time I was able to learn so many new skills and have lots of fun in the process.

How did you find it travelling solo?
Marlene’s patisserie course is a great experience to share with someone else but it is just as rewarding for individuals travelling solo like myself. I felt welcomed like I was amongst friends. I also feel that travelling solo allowed me to open up more and interact more freely with the other team members, who were very friendly. I enjoyed getting to know them and I feel that sharing the experience with new acquaintances added to the enjoyment of the course.

How did you find the cooking lessons?7 (1)
Marlene’s style of teaching was very practical, informative and fun. Marlene didn’t just instruct us as to what to do, she explained to us the science behind the cooking and she gave us useful tips that we would never have found in a recipe book. The course boosted my confidence and encouraged me to start experimenting with new patisserie using the key skills I had learned.

What were the highlights?
For me the highlight of the course was learning the art of making Pain au chocolats and croissants. This was something I had tried to master at home and failed at terribly! I had lots of fun beating the butter with my rolling pin and working the pastry. I still can’t believe how much butter we used though! And I was incredibly impressed by the finished product! They looked just like the ones in the French bakery, and they tasted heavenly!

accommodationHow was the accommodation?
The accommodation at Marlene’s and Mark’s farmhouse was exceptional! The en suite rooms had so much character. It was very cosy and I felt at home straight away. And as for the food we were served during the course, well I just don’t have the words to describe it! It was so delicious and there was so much of it that I was having trouble doing up my trousers on the third day!

How was the booking process?
Booking with NotInTheGuideBookswas very simple and straightforward. I was able to complete the whole booking process by online chat and the staff were very helpful.

See Marlene and Marc’s popular cookery week, pastry & baking week, and short cookery break and patisserie break here.