Chateau de Canisy in Normandy offers cooking classes

Chateau de Canisy now offers personal cooking classes with Count Denis de Kergorlay's personal chef. Photo: Regional specialitie at Canisy's cooking school (Photo: Bob Taylor)

NORMANDYDecember 12, 2013 – Among the favorite activities at Normandy’s Château de Canisy are the castle’s elegant, four-course dinners.

Served family-style in the banquet hall, Canisy’s dinners are a unique blend of traditional local cuisine, fine wines and delightful conversation amid ten centuries of history dating back to the days of William the Conqueror.

Dinners include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the salon before adjourning to the dining room for appetizers, an entrée, salad and cheese and dessert. Following dinner, guests return to the salon for coffee and aperitifs.

So popular have these nightly culinary adventures become that regular visitors to the château began requesting the opportunity to prepare similar gourmet pleasures themselves.

Voilà! Ask and you shall receive. Canisy’s Chef Christian Small now offers a three-day French cooking school holiday for 2 to a maximum of 6 guests at a time.

Canisy’s “Cook with our Chef” invites visitors into the kitchen of the 1000 year old château where you will discover the cuisine of Normandy through local market visits, an afternoon tasting the gastronomic specialties of the region and several hands on cooking classes.

The three day program is all inclusive from €990 per person.

Since inheriting the prodigious Château de Canisy with it setting on 740 acres of lush, green farmland in the 1970s, Count Denis de Kergorlay has continuously renovated his property to adapt the aristocratic lifestyles of the past for the 21st century.

Bathroom at Canisy (Photo: Canisy)

Canisy is unique for many reasons, among which is its unbroken bloodline of ancestral heritage which dates to the 10th century. De Kergorlay opens his residence to the public, allowing visitors to experience château life for themselves. But he is quick to emphasize that his home is not a hotel. Don’t expect a front desk, bellmen, room service or elevators.  Rather Château de Canisy is a rare travel discovery that allows guests to enjoy French ambience combined with the history of Normandy.

As Count de Kergorlay always says, “Come and enjoy the real ‘vie de château.’”

While Château de Canisy traces its origins to the Middle Ages, it underwent major changes in the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries. The transformations and renovations have continued in the 21st century with the addition of a second pond, a newly landscaped park and a small petting zoo.

Located in Normandy at the southern edge of the Cotentin Peninsula, Canisy is rarely, if ever, found on maps of the region, deferring to its larger neighbor St. Lo which is five miles away. 

Less than a five-minute walk from the castle is the tiny village of Canisy consisting of a parish church, a couple of boulangeries, several shops and a bank that line four streets radiating like spokes from a small roundabout.

Canisy’s swans (Photo: Taylor)

When he is personally in residence at Canisy, Kergorlay loves to treat visitors to the intriguing history of his castle.  Everyone is welcomed with gracious hospitality, and all are treated as if they are lifelong friends or acquaintances.  From the moment guests walk through the door, be they first-timers or long-time “friends of the chateau” they feel completely at home.

The count knows he has succeeded in his pursuit when “château life” comes alive for his visitors within mere minutes of their arrival.

Today, Count de Kergorlay’s passion for restoration drives him to continue making his chateau at Canisy a unique “living” museum. Each bedroom is individually appointed from a different period of French history.

In addition, Canisy’s history combined with the count’s ancestral links that bring the pages of history alive through the likes of figures such as Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, Alexis de Tocqueville and General Omar Bradley and more.

Canisy’s myriad of stories combined with the ghosts of its past immerse you in a vibrant tapestry of the last millennium in France. And now there is the added opportunity to join “Cook with  Chef, Christian Small” as an on-going aspect of de Kergorlay’s “vie de château.”

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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

 His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

Read more of Travels with Peabod and Bob Taylor at The Washington Times Communities

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This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


Contact Bob Taylor


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