La Salle Painting/Cooking Retreat



We offer Painting and Cooking holidays on set dates throughout the year, tutored by visiting artists and tutors. Sometimes our holidays have a seasonal theme or include a visit to a local event such as one of the beautiful flower markets or the spectacular Tango Festival. Excursions to local events and places provide excellent painting material and an authentic French experience and for painting holiday guests include a visit to the breathtaking water gardens of Latour Marliac which is where Monet obtained the Water Lilies for his gardens at Giverny, the inspiration for so many of his paintings. For the chefs among us, we include a visit to a lovely local garlic farm for a picnic lunch or the Chocolaterie which inspired author Joanne Harris's 'Chocolat'.

 We offer optional activities during your stay, such as Pilates with a qualified instructor. This can be the perfect compliment to a day in the Studio. Other activities offered include a trip to the local Thermal Spa, a canoe trip down the River Baise, a Chateau tour and wine tasting or a visit to a 'Vide Grenier'. These activites are timed to fit in around painting or cooking sessions and may be of particular interest to non painters.


Holidays are held at La Salle, our beautifully restored limestone country house in this quiet corner of South West France. Albert Camus, the famous French writer called the area 'Le petit Toscane' or 'little Tuscany'. Tiny hilltop villages perch above rolling fields of Sunflowers and vineyards and there is little traffic on the winding country roads. 

Situated in the Tenareze, the area is famous for it's Armagnac, wine and hearty cuisine and menus feature dishes such as 'Confit de canard' and 'Daube de Boeuf aux Pruneaux'.

   D'Artagnan the character imortalised by Alexandre Dumas in the novel 'The three musketeers' was based on Charles de Batz D'Artagnan who lived in nearby Chateau Castelmore. There are many references to his memory in the form of sculptures, street names and often on restaurant menus. 

   La Salle is in a peaceful country setting, but only a 10 minute walk to the picturesque bastide village of St Puy where you can wander up to the delightful Cafe/ Restaurant, 'Chez Vous' and watch the world go by and get a real feel for french country life.   

St Puy has it's own 'Boulangerie' where we shop daily for baguettes and croissantes, a charming Pizzeria and Chateau Monluc, which makes the fabulous aperitif 'Pousse Rapiere' which will certainly feature in the local menus and at La Salle.

The area is renowned both for its beauty and history. There are 5 of the officially listed 'most beautiful villages in France', the UNESCO world heritage site at La Romieu and the Roman villa of Seviac with it's amazing mosaics only 20 minutes away.

La Salle is set in terraced gardens with a sunny south facing seating and dining area where pots of geraniums, olive and lemon trees surround you.




The area is often referred to as

'The Tuscany of France'






Artists at work in the Studio.


                                                  Summer on the lane to La Salle    





The suntrap by the pool where you can cool off after a day in the Studio.



An hour or two in a canoe on the river Baise in the shade of the trees where Kingfishers, Coypu and Dragonflies linger in the sunshine, quite magical.


Far reaching views over fields of Sunflowers, Wheat and vineyards surround us.

Lots of inspiration all around us in the gardens of La Salle or in the ancient narrow streets of nearby St Puy. Magnificent Plumbago decorates the doorway to this village house.



The south facing terrace in the garden. Lots of quiet places to sit where you may paint or while away your time with a good book and a glass of Monluc.