French Art de Vivre Workshops in the French Countryside
Come join Marie-Paule and Elizabeth in the charming village of Courances south of Paris for an unforgettable day in the French countryside focused on the French ‘art de vivre,’ or “art of living.” Over the centuries, France has perfected that wonderful coming together of lovely table settings, gorgeous flowers, culinary delights, historic atmosphere, natural beauty and engaging conversation. Our one-day workshops will bring all these aspects of French style together for an authentic and one-of-a-kind cultural and travel experience in France!
Our day will begin with your arrival at our workshop venue – the exquisite Château de Courances, a 17th century French castle set in one of the most gorgeous parks and gardens in all of France. We’ll begin with a welcome tea and coffee as we get to know one another at the marvelous Foulerie, the former hemp mill on the property which has been beautifully restored. Then we’ll immerse ourselves in the French art of living with our creative hands-on workshop in English where you’ll learn to set tables the French way using a variety of tableware and decorative items –we’ll even make some of these ourselves! – both new and vintage, incorporate flowers and natural materials effortlessly into table decor, create and present inviting buffet meal settings, prepare mouthwatering recipes for a French picnic lunch, and celebrate entertaining in the French spirit. Once you’ve had a chance to take photos of your table and floral creations, we’ll sit down in the fabulous gardens to enjoy our French lavish picnic-style lunch with wine and discuss French manners and entertaining etiquette.
Following lunch, we’ll enjoy a guided historical walking tour of the Château of Courances park and gardens and also the village of Courances with its lovely 12th century church, the unusual historic double ‘lavoir’ or village wash house, and the ‘Jardins de Courances’ organic farm store. Our workshop grand finale will be a pop-up ‘brocante’ where you can shop for antique and vintage French table and culinary items especially selected by Marie-Paule and Elizabeth for our Art de Vivre workshop participants. After our rich day together, you will have acquired that French sense of entertaining style, spent a day in the magnificent French countryside at Courances, and made a host of new France-loving friends. Marie-Paule and Elizabeth will also have a unique French parting gift for you as a ‘party favor’ from our wonderful day together. This special Art of French Living workshop in the French countryside will be a French cultural experience you won’t want to miss!