Thursday, May 12, 2022

Chocolate Retreat in Provence


I forgot on Monday to mention I’d be running off next day (6:00 am /TGV) to Villeneuve les AvignonIn fact I overslept (a first) and woke up at 5:01! Oh la la la la

Somehow I made it to the train, just.🤸‍♂️Villeneuve is a stunning, small, medieval Provencal village you never heard of, just 10 minutes from Avignon .

I am here for a 5-day chocolate 

And jam retreat. And yes, it is a religious experience. I lost count of the times I died and went to heaven this week.

Darling  Shannon and Wlady Grochowski of La Châtelaine Chocolat Co. of Montana and Burgundy are our celestial guides. “So kind of you to let me come”,😊 Shannon and Wlady(who is 100% Parisian btw).

We are staying at heavenly l’Atelier de hotel.My room is much bigger than my Paris chambre de bonne.

My atelier in the Hotel de l’Atelier. 
I am trying hard to remember what croissants look like. Practice makes perfect🥐🥐🥐
Across the street at #2, Shannon explains about les herbes de Provence and the famous Provençal garrigue
We will infuse our tempered chocolate with thyme, menthe and jasmin Shannon has hand-picked herself. 
Look at the pretty place settings Shannon set out for each of us! 
We attack the chocolate. “Ever onward into the breach”.
We try desperately not to give in to over-dipping into the Valrhona melted chocolate 🍫 with our fingers. Some of us succumb. Oscar Wilde said, “ The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it”.
After much blood, sweat and tears over the melting chocolate(not) 
We go back to the hotel’s out door garden for an l’apero and grignote/snacks)
Then a strawberry tarte (4 different kinds of berries) Shannon just threw together. Oh la di da
Meet Gemma on the team. I am allowed to walk her as much as I want, though she flirts with everyone equally and not as discriminating as she could be😳 imho
More croissant etudes from day2, jam-making day!🤸‍♂️ And more to come shortly dear PBers. Please share with your friends and visit my Etsy shop for lovely Real Paris mail 💌 in your mailbox 📮 


Anonymous said...

This is a delightful post and I did so enjoy the trip through your words. Fabulous!!

Anonymous said...

Fun, fun, fun. And all we got to do is make wine.

Ga From Dekalb said...

This village looks idyllic! I am certain you are having another “time of your life”!!! Years ago I had a short visit to Avignon visiting the Popes Palace and wandering around the old city streets.
Did you get to keep that neat red string bag that was used as a place mat? I hope so.
Have fun!🗼❤️🇫🇷

La Table De Nana said...

Green with envy.Green..Cascade green.☺️☺️☺️

Anonymous said...

Can I kidnap Gemma? Sigh … Enjoy the chocolate, sounds heavenly. Thank you!

Parisbreakfasts said...

All of the above is true and more so.
We need more jam & chocolate retreats in this world.
A very happy experience in an exquisite site.

Every one is falling hard for Gemma. She goes with the person with the most tidbits. I have hardly eaten a thing here.
A great new kind of diet/regime.
At her most insistant she puts her full body weight on one of your toes!
One can not say no to Gemma.

Suzanne said...

Looks like a beautiful place. Found myself singing “sur le pont d’Avignon, l’on y Danes, l’on y danse…”

Dora said...

Holy cow…heaven…def stay on! 🍓❤️

Wlady Grochowski said...

Thank you Carol, yes we are indeed having lots of fun, having you around with our other guest is a pleasure, and Gemma gets spoiled by everyone and especially you ahahah. She will go running with me next week to get back in shape.

Anonymous said...

Oh how lovely! An exquisite place in which to learn and taste and experience such joy😍 Enjoy, dear Carol😊

Bonnie L said...

I can’t think of a better vacation…chocolate making…and jam? Yes, please! Everything looks absolutely delightful. The food looks irresistible and the hotel looks lovely. Enjoy your stay, Carol. ❤️

Kathy T said...

I am lucky to call Shannon and Wlady as my friends. Kind souls and adorable together! I think I stayed in the room just below yours facing garden. What a treasure L’Hotel de L’Atelier. Lovely photos and sweet watercolors (literally!) Enjoy! Bonne dégustation!

Desiree said...

Lucky you!

Cynthia said...

Fabulous post!!!!!! Just lovely!!!!!

Anne said...

Loving your chocolate & jam retreat. I feel I have joined you in my favorite Provençal town.

Dora said...

just a quick note to say how much I liked your post. I went to Shannon & Wlady’s interesting! I would love to do their workshop in Burgundy. We’ve been to Auxerre before. Close to Chablis. That area is foodie heaven!

Suzy said...

looks like a great place. I'd live there in a heartbeat. I love the city and I did love Paris, but I don't want to live in the city--I love the countrysides better. Never thought I'd be that way, but it turns out I'm more content living there.

Charley said...

Beautiful! I just spent way too much time on Hotel de l’Atelier’s website. Great choice, Carol. It will be difficult to leave the hotel…or to go home!

C+Y said...

All my favorite things in one post - chocolate, berries, France, croissants, cute chien and you, dear Carol! Thank you for sharing your experience.

Gavin James said...

Looks dreamy! I keep adding more and more ideas to my Paris/France travel notes from your wonderful stories. Thanks for inspiring us!