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  • What language is spoken at the château?
    All classes and workshops are held in English. Your host Murphy speaks fluent French too and is happy to help with translating if she is with you outside the château.
  • How much of my work will the tutor look at?
    Different tutors will look at different amounts of work. If it is writing, it is unlikely they will have time to read more than a few pages but that is generally enough to give them a sense of your writing style and how to advise you.
  • Do I have to attend each of the workshops and classes?
    The workshops are not compulsory but we would encourage you to go to all of them. Often tutors plan for each workshop to follow the next so missing one may disrupt the flow of the course for you and students tend to find that the more they put into the course the more they will get out of it. The yoga classes are also optional.
  • Is there free Wifi access?
    Yes we have free WiFi in the bedrooms.
  • Can I attend if I have an injury?
    As long as your doctor approves, then yes. However it is important that you inform us as soon as possible of any health issues that may affect your stay so that as and where appropriate and possible we can make any adjustments necessary. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us.
  • Are couples welcome?
    Yes, we are very happy to welcome couples at our retreats
  • Do you charge single supplements?
    No, never.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    Please note that as we incur non-recoverable up front costs for the retreat 50% of the payment is strictly non-refundable with no exceptions. Please make sure you have travel insurance arranged before you book. If you cancel a booking, the remaining 50% only is refundable up to six weeks before the retreat start date. After this date we cannot issue any refunds. Holiday Insurance: It is a condition of accepting your booking that you have personal travel insurance, including cancellation insurance for medical reasons, redundancy, jury service etc. for all members of your party. Please note that the use of Chateau de Sacy, its facilities, grounds, and bicycles are entirely at the user’s risk.
  • Who can book a private retreat?
    You can book a private group retreat with us if you are a group of friends, a family or a business that would like to experience a more simple and rural way of life. We are happy to work with you to make your stay fun, healthy, rewarding and highly memorable. If you are by yourself or in a pair, we may be able to accommodate you depending on your dates. Please contact us below.
  • Are airport or station transfers included?
    We will arrange for transfers from and to Pont Sainte-Maxence station as soon as you let us know your arrival and departure times. If you are flying into Paris or Beauvais, you will have to make your own way to us or to the station. Ubers are available there, but we can arrange a taxi if you like. For more info, see our How to Join Us page, which has an interactive Google Map.
  • Will I have to share my accommodation?
    Absolutely not. If you are travelling solo then you may enjoy sole occupancy of your own room. If you are travelling with a partner, friend or relative and you wish to share a room we offer the option of booking various rooms as a group of up to four. On some retreats, we may offer rooms as shared, but we will always consult you if someone applies for the same room.
  • What's included in the price?
    Your retreat cost includes almost everything you’ll need during your stay with us. - All yoga classes (and tutoring if offered) - All house meals are included (and some wine/beer). - Fruit, pastries, coffee, tea, and soft drinks at any time of day or night. - Use of our bicycles - If you are travelling by public transport, we can collect you from the local station, at no additional charge, and drop you back - All towels, bedding and essential toiletries. - Free membership of the Artists association for a year
  • What will my accommodation be like?
    Our rooms vary in size and level of comfort. It is an ancient building whose beauty lies in its being largely unmodernised and retaining its original features. The first floor bedrooms are delicate and light. The freshly decorated Toile de Jouy room is the only bedroom with en suite. The attic rooms are less light and more basic, and bathroom facilities are down a flight of stairs. Click here to get an idea of the rooms.
  • Is it possible to go swimming on the retreat?
    Yes. There is a spectacular lake ten minutes' drive away, which one of us will be happy to take you to in your free time, unless you'd like to cycle.
  • What food will be provided at the retreat?
    We aim to provide a deliciously healthy menu, beginning with our welcome dinner on arrival day and finishing with breakfast on departure day. On full retreat days, breakfast will consist of fresh bread, pastries, home-made jams, yoghurt and fruit. Lunch will be a light selection of salads, cheeses and charcuterie. (One day we'll go out and eat at a nearby bistro.) Dinner will be our main meal and may include a local speciality. Two or three meals will be made by teams of two participants provided with ingredients and recipe (with us standing by to help of course). We may have a barbecue on one evening. There will always be fruit and pastries and drinks available in the guest kitchen.
  • How long is each retreat?
    All retreats last 6 nights, and five full days. We can also run private retreats with a minimum stay of two nights, and total duration is flexible. Please contact us if you are interested in this.
  • What is not included in the package?
    - Travel fare and insurance - A bistro meal on our local outing. - Extra wine/beers at dinner. - Additional nights and meals at the château if available. - Train fare to Paris (12 euros) and costs while there if you go
  • May I stay longer than a week?
    On some dates throughout the year we offer consecutive retreats with a rest day in between. We may be able to offer additional nights to accommodate our guests' travel plans or simply for additional days of rest and relaxation. Additional nights are offered on an accommodation only basis, please check with us for the appropriate nightly rate.
  • Are non-participating partners welcome?
    Yes if sharing the participating partner's room. Charges will apply to cover accommodation, station transfers, bicycle use, meals etc as required. Please check costs with us before the retreat, as it is not acceptable to arrive with a partner without prior agreement.
  • Will drinks be provided at the retreat?
    Yes, upon arrival you will be given tea, and a cocktail later on. We will serve half a bottle of wine per person with dinner. If you would like more, it can be purchased in house. If you would like beer or spirits, please bring them with you. Your rooms will be provided with water, which will be replenished through out your stay. In the guest kitchen, you may help yourself to organic herbal teas, coffee and tap water, which is safe to drink.
  • Can beginners attend a retreat?
    Beginners are more than welcome. Our tutors and instructors cater for different levels in all classes and activities so that you will be challenged and encouraged to learn and improve your abilities and skills.
  • Will the retreat be suitable if I'm travelling solo?
    The majority of retreat participants travel solo, so you will be in good company. This is why we do not charge single supplements and we never ask our guests to share their accommodation with strangers.
  • Can you cater for dietary requirements?
    Yes, just let us know what they are when prompted on the registration form.
  • Can this course help me to start a career in photography?
    Whether you’re considering a career as a professional photographer, or you enjoy photography as a hobby and just want to take better photos, we guarantee your photos will improve 100% or more by the time you finish the course.
  • Can I use my smartphone to take pictures?
    Yes, as long as it has a decent resolution.
  • Do I need any photography experience or qualifications to take this course?
    No prior knowledge, experience or qualifications are needed. This course has been designed for absolute beginners and keen amateurs. The step-by-step training you’ll receive is highly-effective, easy-to-follow with no complicated jargon, allowing you to develop your skills in just a few hours.
  • How can I prepare for my writing course?
    To get the most out of your course, we strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with some of the tutor’s work – it will make the world of difference. If, during the week, you would like your tutor to read some work that you have already written, please bring two printed copies. Be aware that it is unlikely they will have the time to read more than a few pages, but that is generally enough to give them a sense of your writing style and how to advise you.
  • How many hours a day will we spend writing?
    Workshops generally run for two hours each morning, Sometimes you will be asked to write within them, and then the afternoons are free for your own individual writing time. You can use this time in whatever way you choose. Please see the schedule of the week for more details of how the weeks are structured.
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