Mike Batt, Composer

Gastro Academy, Creative Writing, Songwriting - 2024 Lineup!
Top chefs, tutors and songwriting legend Mike Batt!

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‘Beautiful countryside, lovely people, amazing food and, above all, a really gifted tutor, all combine to release that inner author. I flew home imagining how long the queue would be at my first Waterstone’s signing.’

– Maria McGeoghan, Manchester Evening News

‘Debbie’s meals were staggeringly delicious and easily as good as a celebrated haute cuisine chef. She even managed to coax my son into trying new foods. And the whole ritual of the evenings – Carl giving a little talk about the aperitif – Debbie introducing each dish – proved a wonderful denouement to our busy days’.

– Louise Rodden, The Times

‘Revisiting art after decades of only consuming it in galleries and books was scary but exhilarating, challenging and fantastically satisfying. Would I go again? Absolutely. Tomorrow.’

– Sheena Hastings, Yorkshire Post

‘…five sumptious days drinking red wine, eating food from local farmers’ markets and studying a list of books that only an eccentric British literature major and an actor could come up with…the weather is near-perfect …the fields of sunflowers remind you of a one-eared artist we won’t bother to name…and for those who want to write their own books rather than read them, creative writing.’

– Pam Grout, The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life (National Geographic Society Books)

‘…group members are edging their way towards familiarity with complete strangers through unfamiliar discussion… Neither they nor anyone else here has ever set foot on even the amateur stage, but …concentration doesn’t waiver, even though it’s lovely outside. Chris has the knack of making teaching seem like entertaining mutual discovery…and something surprising happens. There are moments of real frisson. Here and there, proper emotions are brushed. The sun-lit room goes quiet and pleasingly tense…Nothing too heavy, of course. These people are British, so emotions are rapidly buried under badinage. But emotions have been present – more strongly than is usual on a continental minibreak …it all seems to help people to get along.’

– Anthony Peregrine, Daily Telegraph

‘What a treat it was to open the shutters in the morning and let in the sunshine, gaze at the open countryside – here the church-steeple, there a turret capped with red tiles…and the Montagne Noire rising in the distance …the Pyrenees, appeared, reaching for the sky above the hills of Malepere. In no time at all, creativity took over and lunch had to be delayed – I was so engrossed, I dipped the brush in my coffee…We relaxed, had fun, gained confidence in our creativity.’

– Solange Hando, France Magazine

‘We were sad when we had to say au revoir to the French House Party…Instructive but fun classes, gorgeous setting, great company, superb food and wine – what more could anyone ask?’

– Gilly Pickup, Yours magazine