The Summer Singing School is held in Cratoule, a small village close to Issirac. Singers stay in the lovely setting of three French farmhouses which together provide accommodation for up to 35 people and 5 music rooms, perfect for rehearsing. A couple devoted to music, Nicole Ayrton and her late husband Steve, bought Cratoule in order to offer week-long courses for singers, instrumentalists and choirs throughout the year.
All bedrooms are individually designed with antique and rustic furniture and are very charming. Some rooms have their own bathrooms but generally bathroom and shower facilities are shared. Singers may book single rooms, shared twin rooms or they may camp in an orchard full of apple, plum and fig trees.
The resident chef prepares delicious meals and will accommodate vegetarians, vegans and other dietary needs. All food and wine is included in the price of the course and meals are usually served al fresco in the gardens of Cratoule. The housekeeper makes homemade jams and produces olive oil to take home at reasonable prices.
The orchard provides shade to cool off on hot summer days and there are opportunities for walks from Cratoule through the lavender fields. The Ardèche river – famous for swimming and canoeing – is only a short drive away.