Explore the best of French culture in the magnificent surroundings of your own private château

The Delicious Retreat is a unique adults’-only cultural holiday combining talks, concerts, feasting and wine tasting – all in your own private château in the French countryside.

You will have the opportunity to revel in the best of French culture, with talks on French history, politics, music and art; listen to exquisite music with private musical recitals; and tickle your tastebuds with a visit to vineyards in the village that is the sine qua non of Bordeaux wines, St Emilion. (With the best wine in the world only half an hour away it would be rude not to raise a glass...) Join expert tutors, artists and chefs for a luxurious, indulgent summer holiday experience.

You can enjoy this delicious cultural feast for the senses, and culinary feasts for the tastebuds, in the magnificent surroundings of Château de Clérac, which will be your own French country home near Bordeaux. Explore over twenty acres of private woodlands, relax by the pool or, as the night draws in, curl up with a book by the huge open fireplace.

This Active Retreat is an unique experience for intelligent adults this summer: the perfect blend of learning and leisure.

At a glance

Dates: 21-26 July 2016

Location: Château de Clérac, near Bordeaux, France

Course fee: £1200 (£900 for Form Seven members)

Programme highlights: history and art history, music, fine dining, wine tasting.

What's included: tuition, en-suite accommodation, food, alcoholic and soft drinks,  


Proposed itinerary

Dinner in the long hall at Château de Clérac

Dinner in the long hall at Château de Clérac

Thursday
Arrive at Château de Clérac. Buffet lunch. After settling in, enjoy an atmospheric talk on the French revolution.

Friday
Morning: discussions about French history, art and literature. Afternoon: enjoy walking or relaxing in the pool. You may wish to explore Clérac village or we can arrange horse riding at a local stables. Evening: private recital of French song after dinner.

Saturday
Morning: focus on the two great satirical voices of 18th century France: Molière and Voltaire. Afternoon: dedicated to your own creative endeavours – acting, sketching, photography. Evening: enjoy a drink by the pool after dinner or simply relax with friends.

Sunday
All day: wine tasting visit to St Emilion. (It being the sabbath, we shall worship at the altar of Bacchus.) Evening: illustrated lecture on French opera followed by wine matching dinner.

The exquisite wine making village of St Emilion

The exquisite wine making village of St Emilion

Monday
Morning: further discussions about French history, art and literature. Late afternoon: exhibition of your creative projects, should you wish to share your work with your new friends. Evening: chefs from London supper club Lowa Malla Manger will prepare a dinner inspired by the 18th century on both sides of the channel. Expect several courses and, naturally, delicious Bordeaux wines. Vive la révolution!

Tuesday
Breakfast for the valiant souls up after the previous night’s excesses. Transfers to Bordeaux Airport.

This planned itinerary is subject to change. Numbers on each Active Retreat are capped at 20 to preserve an intimate, private atmosphere at the château. This also allows the tutors to personalise the programme around your wants each day, rather than being locked in to a rigid timetable.


Château de Clérac: your private country home in France

Château de Clérac is a stunning Napoleonic house deep in the countryside north of Bordeaux.

En-suite accommodation

You will stay in recently restored en-suite bedrooms. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to read, listen to music or simply relax with a drink all around the château.

Delicious dining

Dining is central to the Delicious Retreat. Lunch will be an informal affair – a buffet, served in the garden if you prefer. Dinner, naturally, will be altogether grander: the table will be in the long hall, with delicious food and wines. Your choice of breakfast will be available the following morning for those mercifully unaffected by the previous night's excesses. We can accommodate any dietary requirements, provided that we know when you place your booking.

The château is your home to enjoy during the course: feel free to bring extra drinks or snacks (although there will be no shortage of food). There is most definitely no corkage charge.

Beautiful private grounds

Your can roam over 20 acres of private gardens and woodlands, including a refreshing swimming pool overlooking the hills. Clérac village is about five minutes' walk from the front gates, where you can find a bar, shop and local heritage attractions.