We travelled from Australia to spend a 3 week intensive french language course with Claire in Cucugnan - and were not disappointed. Claire has a wealth of experience knowledge and more importantly an infectious passion about language Our classes were interesting, diverse in delivery techniques and structured so that by the end we had a solid grounding to take with us Her patience and wit ensured we felt comfortable right from the start and in short we look forward to returning to continue the french journey
Our accommodation was on the top floor of her house, 3 rooms with french windows leading out from the lounge area The apartment was immaculate and thoughtful furnished with ample storage areas On arrival the fridge contained some essentials which was appreciated ( especially the fresh loaf of bread from the famous Cucugnan bakery ) Claire was a thoughtful friendly host that respected our personal space and ensured everything was to our liking There is ample information in the apartment on local attractions and the history of the area and Clare is full of helpful information about the area that would be diffficult to access otherwise
Cucugnan is well located in a beautiful area It is a small friendly village perched on a hill surrounded by vineyards There are a few interesting shops in the town apart from the grocery shops - sculpture,pottery and a soap maker Local honey and wine can also be sourced here along with an abundance of fresh apricots :) if in season. We encountered nothing but friendliness and helpfulness in our time here and it has undoubtably been the highlight of our trip We will return !
Having just moved to France this year, I needed a proper kick-start to improve my minimal French. I read about Claire in Connexions and we agreed a week in September. As I didn't want to drive such a long way, Claire kindly picked me up from Narbonne Station (1.5 hours away from Cucugnan!) After sharing supper, we dived straight in and did 1.5 hours the first evening. Claire has a very organised and systematic way of teaching French, which I found very helpful in understanding the structure of the language. However, she quickly tuned into my learning style and was also very flexible and willing to answer questions as to 'How do I say this or that?' This meant I came away with quite a range of sentences for everyday use. Apart from being a very good and patient teacher, Claire was very interesting and we enjoyed several good conversations. I firmly feel that this level of intensity near the start of my learning journey has helped enormously, and I thoroughly recommend spending time with Claire. Re accommodation, I stayed in the upstairs flat which was well stocked and cosy, and ideal for afternoon revision. Cucugnan is small but has a reasonable local shop, cafe and several hotel restaurants. It even has an artisan bakers. If you are planning to cook during your stay, I suggest you bring the bulk of your provisions with you.
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Claire helped both my wife and myself with our different standards of French knowledge in a caring and individualistic way with the aid of verbal and written questions and answers. After 5 days of study including "homework," our heads were reeling just a little but the attention given by Claire was superb.
We stayed in the top floor accommodation which consisted of a bedroom (double bed), small bathroom with shower and toilet, main room with table and chairs, sofa and kitchen with fridge freezer.
Just for information, there is no TV, radio nor microwave but there is an electric hob and (we believe as we never used it) a separate small electric oven.
Recommend that you consider taking a computer with you to play any homework disks or equally for other DVDs.
Plenty of hot water but a good idea that you bring items such as washing up liquid and materials etc to wash dishes etc (which we did on arrival) as well as bringing some food and perhaps milk. Small shop and post office in village but no major main shops are nearby.
Excellent local bread (shut Mondays) in shop beneath the windmill.
In November, the village was fairly shut down (but plenty of tourists still walking through the village) although one restaurant was still open.
We thoroughly recommend any course that you attend with Claire based on our experiences.
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I have recently completed a two week intensive French course with Claire. The experience was wonderful. As a beginner of the language, I found Claire to be a patient and thoughtful teacher who made the five hours of French each day fly by. I have come away with confidence and useful ideas on how to continue learning French.
I stayed in Claire's self contained flat in her home which was very comfortable, with a view of Queribus castle from the kitchen window.
Claire made me feel very welcome and ensured I saw some of the fabulous surrounding scenery on a visit to Carcassone, Lagrasse and the Galamus gorge.
Thank you Claire, c'etait inoubliable!
This was a visit of two parts, 1) of high intellectual endeavours
2) Total relaxation with a little eating and drinking.
Unlike the "Curates Egg” both parts were very different but very enjoyable!
The part 1) was an” intensive French langue course” lasting 5 days for my wife , which you may read all about by going to the website of the course.
Tripadviser does not allow me to give the link!!
The part 2) On the other hand was a do nothing holiday for me, which achieved all of the goals which were set.
We rented the flat from Sunday to Saturday.
Upon arrival, one was a little apprehensive in that the property was in a very narrow street (all the streets are narrow in the village) and was of course of an age!
On been shown to the 2nd floor flat, all apprehensions vanished.
The flat had been total renovated and updated to a very high standard.
It had all one could want by way of fixtures, fittings and equipment.
Including air-condition in the bedroom, yes it was used, the weather was fantastic.
Also Included was a very nice and unusual touch, a number of essentials, such as tea, coffee, milk, butter and a loaf of local baked bread. Well done!
One small exception being, no TV ( some say good) there is a good broadband Wi-Fi at a typical 2MB French connection.
More than fast enough for my morning fix of Radio 4 on BBC “radio iplayer”
We were given welcome drinks of the local aperitif with an explanation of their content. ( thank you much enjoyed)
The village has 3 fairly good restaurants, one excellent, the Auberge du Vigneron, a note of caution do not be in a rush, service is slow but the food is well worth the wait.
Both the terrace and interior are very attractive.
If you are not in the mood to make your own lunch a very reasonable “snack bar” is just across the road from the” Marie” opens about 11.00 to 17.00.
The small local shop has a very limited range of Veg/ drinks, note no fresh milk.
(if you want fresh milk plan a drive of 20 minutes)
Do visit the local wine makers, what they produce is of a very good quality at a very reasonable price, a good idea is to order only very local wines, if you visit any of the restaurants , typically restaurant prices are 19/23€ for a good bottle.
We had a very pleasant week in Cucugnan, mine from a relaxed point of view and achieving my goal of good food and wine and my wife’s goal of advancement in French.
Yes, the flat and the facilities are to recommended , good value for both course and accommodation.