French Experience Trip: Exploring Château du Broutel

Posted: 23rd May 2024

30 children from Preps 3-6, four teachers (and lots of parents) gathered in the middle of the night to embark on Edenhurst’s first Château visit to France in over seven years! The Château trip used to be the stuff of legend at school but it foundered during Covid and has taken its time to get going again. But we are so glad it has come back to life, what an incredible trip we had! 

The group travelled by coach and then ferry to the Somme region of Northern France and eventually to the small town of Rue where Chateau du Broutel is located. The Chateau is set in a stunning environment of gravelled driveways, landscaped gardens and a lake, with the Chateau itself flanked by two converted barns for eating and sleeping. 

We were warmly greeted by the Châteaumanager, Hans and his team of instructors led by Giuseppe, who took the children off for an orientation. A delicious dinner and a much-needed early night quickly followed. 

Our first full day arrived and after a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit, croissants and cereals, we were refreshed and raring to go. We headed to a boulangerie in a rural village, which supplies local Carrefour supermarkets with artisan breads. We were shown how they make the bread and we were drilled on the ingredients for croissants by the fearsome (but fun) owner Bruno! Treats were bought in the shop afterwards and we took five minutes rest to devour croissants as big as our heads.

In the afternoon we visited Antoine at Les Escargots du Bocage, a small artisan snail farm. He gave us a thorough presentation all about snails and their diet and life cycle, followed by the opportunity to go into the field to hold the snails, both adults and miniscule baby snails. At the end of the visit, Antoine cooked us escargots in garlic butter which all children (and staff) bravely tried and it was largely thumbs up all round.


Wednesday saw us travel to another artisan establishment, La Chevrerie, the goat farm where we spent lots of time feeding and cuddling the baby goats and we even had the chance to milk one of the Nanny goats. Once again, we were treated to some delicious samples of their produce, a superb creamy goat cheese. Straight from the farm, we travelled to Naours to explore the subterranean cave village which has been used as a sanctuary during war time for centuries. It was a fascinating insight into a hidden world and the children especially enjoyed the gift shop. 

On our final full day, we travelled to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, an upmarket coastal town used as a summer destination for many Parisians. Unfortunately, although the weather was beautiful, it also coincided with a bank holiday in France so the lovely market was busier than expected. The children had Euros burning holes in their pockets so we were able to grab a few souvenirs before heading to the beach for a stunning afternoon of dune-jumping, sandcastles and hole digging. Sometimes the simple things in life are best. 

On Friday, we packed our bags, enjoyed one more breakfast of pains au chocolat and set off on our final excursion to La Chocolaterie Beussent where the owner Simon demonstrated the different processes for making filled chocolate truffles. Again, we were able to sample the beautiful produce made in the artisan workshop and also buy some for friends and family. 

The week was jam-packed and incredibly enriching for the children. There was a lovely mix of French culture in the local area and child-based activities back at the Château. I really hope we will be back there again very soon!

Madame Priest

Categories: School Blogs

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Why Edenhurst?