Writing, Wine & Wellness in Southwest France

  • August 30 – September 05, 2021
  • France
  • France
  • August 30 – September 05, 2021
  • 7 Days/6 Nights
  • 6-12 Guests

Overview

Jumpstart your inspiration and writing skills with a Writing Workshop in the Southwest of France coupled with a relaxing vacation. This unique retreat features three different writing instructors each with their own specialty. But it’s not all finding your inner Flaubert; wind down each day by experiencing some extreme beauty: sipping spectacular wine next to where its produced and resting your head in a gorgeous Chateau.

Highlights:

  • Staying in a proper French Chateau
  • Relishing several wine tastings at top Bordeaux vineyards
  • Getting over 18 hours of writing instructors from 3 different instructors
  • Exploring the medieval UNESCO world heritage site of St. Emilion, famous for its wine and its monolithic church
  • Visiting the Chateau of the creator of the modern essay
  • Picnic lunches amongst the ripening vines
  • Market visits and private chef-made meals
  • Roman Ruins and glorious gardens
  • Exploring beautiful Bordeaux city, 2015’s European destination of the year

Your Writing Instructors:

Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 19 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which are set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to inter-national culture. She regularly teaches writing students.

Lindsey Tramuta is a Paris-based journalist and author who moved to Paris from Philadelphia 12 years ago. Her publications include: The New York Times, The New York Times T Style Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, the Wall Street Journal, Afar Magazine, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, the Financial Times Weekend Magazine, Fortune, Martha Steward Weddings, and Travel & Leisure. Her bestselling book “The New Paris” looks at key changes in Paris over the last decade and was released on April 18, 2017.

Sylvia Sabes is a copywriter for advertising clients such as Cartier, Dior, Lan-come and Hermes. She also is the Luxe City guide Paris resident editor, AFAR’s resident editor in Paris, she writes for the BBC and is currently writing Fodor’s France guide. She has penned numerous blog posts as well for a myriad of travel orient-ed online magazines and websites including Girls’ Guide to Paris.

Itinerary

Day 1 – August 30th, Monday

Arrive at your Chateau by 3pm and check-in to Chateau la Caussade or Chateau Carbonneau and receive your personal journals.

Tea-time at the Chateau. Each instructor will tell their own writing story and attendees will introduce themselves stating their goal for the week. Following our introductions, we’ll start off with a quick 1/2 hour creative writing challenge to get the creative juices flowing.

Drinks by the pool at la Caussaude

Dine at La Terrasse Rouge and try some of their own superb wines. This avant-guard restaurant is located at the Chateau La Dominique  just outside of the medieval village of St Emilion.

 Day 2 – August 31st, Tuesday

Morning instruction at Le Priolet, Doni’s place outside by the Dordogne river (weather permitting).

Lunch will be at Le Priolet alongside the Dordogne River, allowing time afterwards to digest in the hammock or lounge by the pool.

This afternoon enjoy an optional bike ride around the area or kayak down the river or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll for inspiration.

*Anyone who prefers, can go back to the Chateau during this open time.

As the sun lowers we’ll enjoy a Wine tasting at Chateau Carbonneau then we’ll head back to your own Chateau for rest, relaxation and journaling.

Tonight, we’ll enjoy our aperitifs at your Chateau allowing some time to share your own writing which we’ll follow with a catered French meal at the Chateau.

Day 3- September 1st, Wednesday

Morning Writing instruction at our Chateau.

Lunch today will be at a hyper-local spot, frequented by truck drivers and tradesmen who know where to go for excellent food that won’t break the bank. This is an ideal place for some character study; it’s filled with your typical French characters who look as if they’ve stepped right out of Peter Mayle novel.

This afternoon we’ll visit the humanist writer Michel de Montaigne’s Chateau. Here we’ll discover the life of this important French Renaissance philosopher known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre.

Afternoon Writing modules with instruction available from all three teachers.

Dinner at our founders favorite restaurant in the area, Caffe Cuisine located in the charming riverside village of Branne.

Day 4 – September 2nd, Thursday

For those who desire – rise early and head off to the market with our own French chef, Marc.

Then writing instruction @ the Chateau. If the weather agrees, we’ll move our writing class outside.

Lunch in St Emilion at a crêperie followed by a trip of the monolithic (underground) church, one of only two such churches in France.

After our trip we’ll head to the vineyard Clos Jacobins where we’ll discover their ancient limestone cellars to enjoy a very special wine tasting. (You’ll have a great opportunity to buy some wine to send home here).

Leisurely stroll around town to further discover this medieval UNESCO World Heritage site. We’ll have time to shop as well as write in our journals at a local café.

Tonight, we’ll dine on market fresh ingredients at Doni’s home outside along with river whipped up for us by Marc

.Discussion over drinks and dinner about our writing including a time to ask questions of our instructors who by now have become trusted mentors and friends.

Day 5 – September 3rd, Friday

AM Instruction at the Chateau.

Lunch here on the premise on baguette sandwiches and fresh fruit.

This afternoon we’ll head out to see ancient Roman ruins as well as the Jardins de Sardy water gardens. *Optional trip to the Hotel Grand Barrail Spa.

Teatime and discussion. At this time, we will be invited to share some of our initial writing for constructive analysis.

Relaxation time back at the Chateau

Dine outside on the terrace at the Chateau Carbonneau on homemade Paella.

Day 6 – September 4th, Saturday

Writing Instruction at the Chateau. Picnic lunch today amongst the vines.

Afternoon Depart for the beautiful city of Bordeaux (also a Unesco World heritage site). Visit the contemporary art museum, take a petite historical walking trip with stops to taste Bordeaux’s iconic canelé pastry.

Enjoy an early local seafood dinner in town.

Back to your Chateau for a local dijestif. There will be time tonight to share our work and what we’ve enjoyed most about this inspiring week.

Day 7 – September 5th, Sunday

Breakfast and depart saying thanks to our instructors and packing with us new friends made and manuscripts begun!

Trip Notes:

Writing Instruction Modules

Hours of total instruction: 18 hours (approximately)

  • Tuesday pm 1.5 hours
  • Intro from each writer and then participants have a chance to introduce themselves. Instructors will introduce a prompt to get you writing.
  • Wednesday 2.5 hours
  • Developing a sense of place, finding the angle.
  • Thursday 2.5 hours
  • Show don’t tell – Descriptive writing. Asking the question What IF?
  • Thursday 2 hours PM
  • Permission to find your voice; having an opinion and a point of view. How to personalize your writing by talking about what you are passionate about.
  • Friday 2.5 hrs AM
  • Creating a character, a heroine and a villain. Characters and their importance from fiction and non-fiction POV.
  • Friday during dinner at my house: a time to read some of your work from the week and to ask for help, suggestions and feedback
  • Saturday 2.5 hrs Am:
  • Developing your Story Arc & Outline in both fiction and non-fiction.
  • Saturday pm session: 2 hours
  • About Time, finding the time to write plus Writing in Chronological order vs Non-linear writing. The strengths of each.
  • Sunday 2.5 hours
  • The Business of writing: Getting an agent, Pitching a story, writing a proposal and a query letter.

 

Note: During each 2.5 hour session we will work for 1 hour and 15 minutes then take a 15 min break and then work for another 1 hour. When it’s just 2 hours, we’ll take a shorter break just 10 minutes at the completion of the first hour.

 GG2P always reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!

 NOTE -> Not to worry – Vegetarians will be well fed in all cafés and restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.

Trip Cost

$4,195*

* All our trips are organized and priced based on single occupancy at all the places we stay. If you’re traveling with a friend/relative or would prefer to save some money by sharing a room, we can usually organize double occupancy and a reduction in cost.

Whats Included?

  • Everything stated in itinerary above including all meals plus wine or beer with dinner
  • All instructors and experts
  • Your stay at a truly stupendous Chateau
  • All entry fees
  • All in-country transport including train transfers from Castillon-la-Bataille

Whats Not Included?

  • Roundtrip airfare to France
  • Train travel to Bordeaux/Castillon
  • Any spa treatment desired
  • Any personal souvenirs or purchases
  • Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended) and trip medical coverage (required for travelers over 50 years of age).

I’m interested, so what do I do next?

If you have questions, press the Inquire Now button above, and complete the form. We’ll get back to you ASAP.

If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You will be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.

If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for 25% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 deposit you already paid) and your place is reserved. This is non-refundable; you’re committed to the trip. The balance is due approximately 2 months before the trip.

Our cancellation policy is here.

Submit the details. We will contact you within 24 hours.