Trafford College students immerse themselves in French Culture and Cuisine
Trafford College tutors injected some ooh la la into their students’ work experience programme recently when they arranged a visit to the Lycée Hotelier de Tain Hermitage in France.
The Lycée is a specialist live-in hotel school, situated in the Rhone Valley, with 350 learners. With a traditional approach to Hospitality, the hotel boasts partnerships with a variety of key suppliers, especially in the wine industry. The Lycée is also a specialist wine college and produces some of the world’s most talented sommeliers and bar tenders each year as well as waiting staff and chefs.
The Lycée has been bringing students to Manchester for almost five years and recently began working alongside the College in organising mutual exchange visits for students. French students and their tutors took part in a Manchester exchange in 2016 where they were invited to the College’s Aspire Restaurant for an evening with local hotel managers and their hosts, and discussions were held regarding the first exchange trip.
Recently it was the turn of Trafford College students and tutors to visit their French counterparts, and tutors John Pitt and Lola Docherty worked closely with the Lycée in securing placements in some of the newest hotels in the city.
Students were collected from Lyon airport and were able to see vineyards almost immediately during their drive to the hotel’s accommodation block where they would stay with the French students.
The Lycée had prepared a full itinerary for the lucky students which included a coach trip to the famous Chartreuse distillery in Voiron to kick start their trip. Here they discovered a liqueur made by Carthusian Monks to a secret recipe since 1605. Learners were also able to visit the cellars where two million litres of Chartreuse are produced each year before being treated to a beautiful four course luncheon prepared by the Lycée. This was followed by a cocktail competition judged by local bar owners and tutor, John Pitt. Trafford College students jumped at the chance to mingle with the contestants and judges.
The following day, students joined classes in the Lycée followed by lunch service in one of the Lycée commercial restaurants, where they worked alongside the French students to serve lunch to 55 guests.
Students were also thrilled to be interviewed alongside the French students by a local radio station. Everyone enjoyed the experience and after clever editing it was diffused on Friday evening to local listeners.
To round off their trip, Lycee Principal Yves and Vice Principal Phillipe hosted a fantastic luncheon of local produce in the second Lycée Restaurant for the appreciative learners. Students gave their feedback and spoke of how well they had all got on, swapping details and promising to keep in touch. Before heading to the airport, students were treated to one final visit to the Valrhona chocolate company, where they were presented with generous goody bags of local chocolate products as a reminder of their visit to Tain L’Hermitage. Students are already looking forward to the prospect of a return trip next year!