Guest review: Debbie travels solo but not alone on her jewellery making holiday in France

Debbie fully admits that she has never been the most creative person and on this holiday she found herself with no one to travel with.

Fuelled by a desire to learn something new while enjoying her holiday, Debbie chose our jewellery making and wellbeing holiday in Gascony with hosts Caroline and Adam.

To her surprise, she was joined by three other women that week. Cue lots of wine, new e-biking experiences and impromptu after-dinner dancing.

We couldn’t wait to find out more…

Why did you choose this holiday?

I had no one to travel with, so decided to do something I liked.

I’ve never been the creative type so thought I would try something new (jewellery making) along with something I enjoy (wellbeing and yoga).

Who else was on the holiday?

It was a small group of four women, with myself, two sisters from the UK and an American woman who currently lives in Vienna. All of us looking for a nice escape to the countryside.

swimming pool and converted art studio in France

The art studio with pool view in Gascony

What was your typical day like?

What was incredibly clever was that all of us were doing different activities. The American was there to enhance her cooking, which she did with Adam. The sisters were there for jewellery only, while I had a combo of jewellery and wellbeing.

They use a lovely artist studio, which the ground floor is used to work on jewellery and the first floor has a massage table and its own space for reflexology and yoga.

Our days were laid back, easy-going and ultimately left up to us. I did a jewellery workshop each day with the others, then had a wellbeing session in the afternoon, while they continued with their creations. Meanwhile, the other guest was enjoying the pool or learning to cook in the kitchen with Adam.

It should be noted that if you want to go to have a real spa day, that is entirely up to you. It is just that I opted for a massage and limitless wine at the pool (the weather was unbelievable) instead.

Read more: Meet Caroline – our jewellery maker in France

How did you spend your evenings?

Dinners were an all-night affair. Three-course meals with all the wine you could want, coffee, and good conversation, all outside which I loved.

On two evenings, we had Adam bring out the stereo equipment to get some tunes going. As I teach dance, we had some impromptu dance classes into the night.

One of my favourite evenings was when Adam took us to the night market. He released us all with €20 to buy some local treats of our choice and arranged a table for us to meet up at. There we were treated to wine while we enjoyed the atmosphere and live music playing, along with people watching and conversation.

Cook Adam in the kitchen in France

Adam preparing the dinner

How did your jewellery making improve during your stay?

I have never been a creative person but I liked the idea of trying something new and creating something for myself. I am very pleased to say that I made not 1 but 3 pairs of earrings.

The only hard part for me was the pool view when it was gorgeous out – I lost some focus there! When I found some details tricky, Caroline helped and made sure every bit came out perfect, no matter how technical.

Caroline is a perfectionist and it truly shows in her work. She is full of advice and tips too.

Related: What you can expect on this jewellery making holiday

What are some examples of your favourite meals during your stay?

Meals start basic and by the end of the evening, your mind (and belt) will be blown.

Breakfast is pretty basic, followed by lunch which is light but always impressive. There’s always fresh bread and wine. Always by the pool, and always lovely.

With dinner, you find out why the other meals are lighter! Always three courses and rich. Think huge steaks cooked to perfection, rich fish stews, risotto with chicken and parma ham, fish terrine, finished with elegant desserts (with things like chocolate ganache).

The food does not disappoint and the wine never stops flowing.

What did you think of your hosts, Caroline and Adam?

Caroline and Adam the jeweelery making holiday hosts

Caroline & Adam

Caroline and Adam can’t do enough for their guests and truly run a holiday home. They’re generous, flexible, encourage you to try new things but respect your limits.

One day, they had a lovely day out planned on e-bikes, which none of us had ever used. We set off with trepidation, Caroline in the front, Adam at the back and managed to do 25 kilometres! We were all genuinely impressed with ourselves, especially when we arrived at our destination – a lovely restaurant.

After dinner, we were all bushed, and couldn’t think of eating, drinking and biking 25 kilometres back! Not to worry, Caroline left us with our wine and bikes, went home and then we were all collected along with bikes, to be brought home.

They honestly couldn’t do enough for everyone, genuinely listen and are in tune to their guests’ needs.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing this holiday?

This was my first ever solo holiday. I am very pleased with it and would definitely not hesitate to do one again.
Part of what makes this holiday is lovely is how rural it is but that doesn’t mean it is easy to get to. I paid for a private transfer from the airport to the venue and it was €170 one way, which isn’t cheap! I did this because it is just not something I had done on my own before.

Having had such a great week, I decided to get the train back to the airport. Although Caroline and Adam include transfers to and from Agen station, it was not without mishaps. There were train changes, construction at the station, etc but I found the French so very helpful and when they saw I was alone, they always did their best to help me.

However, once completed, money was saved, I had a little adventure, and felt accomplished and ready to do it again in the future. I also realised that after 30 years I still knew some French! Go and treat it as an adventure!

*Please note that the images used are not Debbie’s personal images but are true images of Caroline and Adam’s holiday*

You can find out more about Debbie’s jewellery and wellness holiday here.

Or feel free to view our full range of jewellery making holidays and other creative breaks on our creative holidays page.