Mike Batt, Composer

Gastro Academy, Creative Writing, Songwriting - 2023 Lineup!
Top chefs, new tutors and songwriting legend Mike Batt!

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Cultivating Creativity


Our exciting Creative Arts courses cover Literature, Drama, Song-writing & Music, Drama & Performance, Film-making and Art & Mixed Media.

Our all-inclusive courses have received high praise over the years from the scores of participants whose imaginative vision has been coaxed and nourished by French House Party’s professional tutors – all outstanding artists in their fields of writing, music and the arts.

Some courses are designed for group bookings – Visual Arts, Books and Digital Movie-making, for example. And if your group wishes to bring its own tutor along, rather than using ours, then that’s fine too – simply contact us to discuss available dates and your requirements.

Other courses are for individuals to join, our most well-established and popular being two Creative Writing courses run by the published poet and much-praised writing coach Sarah Hymas and a summer Song-writing workshop tutored by British songwriting legend Mike Batt.

Due to COVID, we’ve had to reduce our schedule for arts courses. But as we enter 2022, we’re pleased to announce that our praised 6 and 7 day Creative Writing course holidays are back on! Places are going fast, so be sure to book now!


Mike Batt, ComposerOur renowned songwriting course is back from 2022, and then some! Aspiring songwriters will be delighted to learn that Mike Batt is bringing his substantial genius to French House Party Carcassonne for this unique 4-day residential songwriting course.

Mike is one of the UK’s best-known and respected songwriter/producer/artists. His multitude of hits include ‘Bright Eyes’ – No. 1 in six countries for Art Garfunkel, ‘A Winter’s Tale’ – No. 2 for David Essex, ‘Caravan’ for Barbara Dickson, and ‘Nine Million Bicycles’ and ‘The Closest Thing To Crazy’ for Katie Melua, whom he ‘discovered’ and managed for 10 years, selling 11 million records on his own label.

A rare and exclusive opportunity to spend four days at the French House Party learning songwriting, composition and lyrical techniques from a true icon of the industry.

The course also includes a supper concert with Mike in the garden.

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We have two Creative Writing courses lasting six and seven days.

sarahhymas2“Write Like No One’s Watching” (6 day) is a tutored course suitable for both beginners or experienced writers, while “Pen & Think” (7 day) is a tutored Retreat for experienced writers requiring more specific personal mentoring in a relaxing location of tranquil beauty.

Sarah Hymas directs both of the courses, dealing with the admiration and praise heaped upon her annually by appreciative participants with her usual good humour and grace.

She is a co-founder of The Writing Smithy, a UK mentoring and manuscript appraisal service, a writer of poetry, plays, lyrics and short stories and an Arvon Foundation prize-winner.

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Browse the above subsections to find out more about each of our courses and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to know more!