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Beyond Paris Baguettes: Two Foodies Conquer French Cuisine at a French Cooking School 80 Minutes from Paris

Forget Eiffel Tower selfies and croissant clichés, ladies! At 52, this American foodie craved a slice of real France. Years of Paris trips left me yearning for something off the tourist trail, where cobbled streets whispered stories and kitchens hummed with authentic flavors.

Enter my partner-in-delicious-crime, my bestie. Two weeks, two passports, and a shared dream: to unleash our inner Julie Child in a French countryside haven, devour chateau-studded landscapes, and uncork hidden gems in Normandy and Brittany (Bretagne, as the locals say).

This was the Girls Trip of our dreams in France! This blog chronicles our adventure of learning to cook Gourmet French Cuisine outside of Paris.  So, buckle up for tales of culinary triumphs and epicurean discoveries from two middle-aged food enthusiasts who refused to let age (or travel anxiety) stand in the way of a French fantasy.

First stop: The Walnut Grove Cookery School in St-Hilaire du Maine, a charming escape just 80 minutes by TGV from Paris. Picture rolling hills, organic vegetables, and a farmhouse kitchen where we traded spreadsheets for spatulas, swapping boardroom battles for battles with béchamel sauce. Six glorious days later, we emerged as ultra-skilled French chefs, armed with baguettes of confidence and enough soufflé secrets to impress any dinner party.

This is just a preview, a cinematic appetizer (think buttery pommes frites with aioli) of the feast to come. I'll be digging deeper into The Walnut Grove (including that amazing copper cookware!), sharing hidden foodie havens, and revealing tips for navigating rural France like a pro.

Trust me, ladies, the French countryside holds untold stories and flavors waiting to be savored. Come along as we prove that 50 is the new fabulous - and the perfect time to conquer your culinary bucket list!

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