FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Q. Do you offer half-day or one-day classes or market tours in Paris or Provence?
Unfortunately, Patricia’s busy schedule does not allow time for her to do half-day or one-day classes or market tours in Paris or Provence.
Patricia's classes in Paris are daytime classes that run from Monday to Friday, classic classes in Provence run from Sunday dinner to Friday after lunch, and the Truffle class runs from Monday dinner to Friday to after lunch.
Q: Do you offer any discounts?
No, sorry. There are no discounts on our prices.
Q. How do I add my name to a class waiting list?
To be placed on the waiting list email us here. Be sure to specify the dates of the class(es) you want to attend.
Q. What is the best way to get to Provence?
From Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (Terminal 2) you can take the TGV (fast train) directly to Avignon-TGV; from there, you can rent a car and drive to Vaison-la-Romaine.
From Paris (center), take the TGV from Gare de Lyon to Avignon-TGV and rent a car.
Car rentals are easiest at Avignon's new TGV station because all the major European rental companies have offices there. Alternatively, you can arrange with a driver to meet you and bring you to Vaison.
Taxi Clerand is the taxi company we work with in Vaison and they are extremely reliable, although note that few of their drivers speak English.
There are taxi stands at all the stations.
Uber drivers are available in Avignon and Paris.
Click here for additional information on airports and trains in Provence.
Q. Will I have to have a car in Provence?
You will need to provide transportation for yourself to and from the classes. Either you can rent a car, make arrangements with Taxi Clerand for daily transportation, or share with another student. (For reasons of security and confidentiality we do not put students in touch with each other before the class.)
Q. Can't I walk to your house in Provence?
The distance from Vaison's center to Chanteduc, Patricia and Walter's farmhouse, where the classes are held, is about a mile but it is a very steep climb. Some students make the climb once or twice during their stay, but few make it daily.
Q. What should I wear?
Paris: While dress in class is informal, the class does include lunch in one of Paris's best restaurants. You'll want to feel comfortable (i.e. dressed for fine dining in Paris) while there.
Provence: Casual and comfortable, with appropriate dress for the restaurant meals. Be sure to bring a sweater or shawl for cool evenings outdoors.
Q. What will the weather be like when I am there?
Provence: Most days are sunny but even in summer the nights are refreshingly cool. We have many meals outside whenever the weather allows, so please bring a sweater or light jacket. It does rain, of course, and we move all activities inside then. For the truffle class, we count on being favored with sunny days, but that's never a certainty. Even in Provence the winter weather can be cold and the wind biting.
Paris: A friend likes to say that the bad weather is Paris's best-kept secret. While it's rarely very hot or very cold, it's often cloudy and rainy so you should plan to bring a raincoat and an umbrella.
For more information about the weather here are several internet sites:
Provence Weather (Yahoo includes a five-day forecast for Orange, which is close to Vaison )
France's national weather service (in French)
Q. Can you offer any advice on dialing long distance to France?
Country Calling Codes is a useful site for information about time differences and calling codes.
Q. Is there anything about using cell phones that I should know?
Best check with your cellphone service provider about an international plan.
Q. Is there a minimum age requirement for students?
Patricia's classes are intended for adults.
Q. What level of cooking expertise is required?
The programs and menus are suitable for both beginners and experienced cooking enthusiasts.
Q. How much cooking is involved and what is the daily schedule?
In both Paris and Provence, the meals that we prepare together include some casual and easy dishes and others that are more elaborate and ambitious. Each class description includes some of the activities selected from previous weeks.
Q. If I add my name to the waiting list, what are the chances I will get in?
Cancellations happen but are completely unpredictable. The length of the waiting list is no indicator of your chances of actually getting into a class. Flexibility to travel on short notice is more important.
Q. What activities are available for my spouse/partner who is not participating in the classes?
The answer depends on the partner's interests. Some go biking or golfing, some go fishing and others explore the Côtes-du-Rhône vineyards in the region. Others tour historical sites in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, the Pont-du-Gard ... And others read, sit in the Vaison cafés, or stay by the pool at their hotel and (or so we're told) talk on their cell phones.
Q. Can my (non-participating) spouse or companion come to meals with the group?
Please see the specific information on the companion program for each individual class.
Q. What does lodging cost?
Provence: Recommended B+B's and hotels in the area are quite reasonably priced, about €100-150 / night at current rates. Please check each hotel or B+B website for prices as they do change. Also please note if the B+B you select accepts credit cards or payment only in cash. If in cash, that will mean euros, not dollars. See our list of recommended accommodation near Vaison.
Paris: As you know, in Paris the sky is the limit for hotels. But there are moderately priced hotels (again, in the €150-200 range) and close to the Rue du Bac apartment. See our list of recommended hotels and apartments in Paris.
Q. How can I determine the exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro?
Current market rates are available at www.xe.com. Over-the-counter rates of money changers are less advantageous.
Q. Will I be able to change my dollars or travelers checks into euros?
Don’t count on it. Travelers checks are just not welcome. No bank in Vaison will exchange dollars for euros now – the proliferation of counterfeit US bills around the world, as well as the unstable value of the dollar, means that practically no bank or post office in small towns and villages will exchange money. The cash-only B+B's in Vaison will accept only euros; they will not accept dollars or any other currency.
In Paris, there are still plenty of money changers in the tourist districts.
Plan to use your bank card to get cash in euros. Before coming, be sure that you have a four-digit pin code for your card. Using your card assures you of the best exchange rate.
To repeat, no bank in Vaison offers an exchange service.
Q. When does the class begin?
Paris: Monday at 10:30 a.m. at the Rue du Bac atelier.
Provence: Sunday at 7 p.m. at Chanteduc for Champagne and dinner.
Truffles: Monday at 7 p.m. at Chanteduc for Champagne and dinner.
Q. When does the class end?
Paris: after lunch on Friday.
Provence: after lunch on Friday.
Truffles: after lunch on Friday.
("After lunch" is imprecise, but the lunches tend to be long, generally ending around 2:30 P.M.)
Q. What is the smoking policy?
Smoking is not permitted in either the Paris or the Provence classes.
Q. Are there Internet Cafes in Vaison-la-Romaine?
Yes. Wifi Internet access is available at several of the cafés in the center of town using your own computer or telephone. Ask the waiter for the password (mot de passe.)
Patricia Wells is committed to protecting your privacy. You can visit most pages on this site without giving us any information about yourself. But sometimes we do need information to provide the services that you request.
Patricia Wells does not sell or rent your personal information. Such information is kept secure and used only to communicate Patricia's special announcements to you. You can unsubscribe from that distribution list at any time. If you ever feel that you receive unwanted information because of a transfer of information by Patricia Wells please let us know urgently.
Credit Card Information:
In order to ensure your security and privacy we do not record or store your credit card number. While we recognize that this may cause a minor inconvenience to you on a re-order, we feel that your personal security takes precedence.
Q. What are the payment options?
Most of Patricia’s students prefer to use our secure online payment by credit or debit card. You can also pay by check or wire transfer. Please contact us for necessary information regarding checks or wire transfers.
Q. What is your student class transfer policy?
Terms and Conditions: – Transfer Policy. We understand that Patricia's classes are frequently scheduled more than a year in advance and circumstances may change, making it necessary for students to request a transfer to a future class. We will accommodate one class transfer to any available class with an opening. All transfers are subject to a $250 service charge per student.
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
Terms and Conditions: – Refund Policy. The class deposit is a commitment by Patricia Wells to hold your place in the class, and a commitment by you to participate. The deposit should be considered nonrefundable. If you present good and valid reasons we will consider a refund of the deposit if you cancel more than 120 days before the class begins and we are able to find another student to fill your place. All refunds are subject to a $150 service charge per student to cover bank fees and processing costs.
All refunds for cancellations that occur within 120 days of the class start date, both the deposit and the final payment, will be handled by your personal travel insurance. Travel insurance can be obtained by speaking with a local travel agent or by visiting one of the many travel insurance sites on the web. Websites that have been used for trip insurance information are Travel insurance Review and Insure My Trip.
We make this information available for your convenience. We have no financial interest in the web sites or the services they offer, and any contract you make is your right and responsibility.
In the event that “At Home with Patricia Wells” should cancel for any reason, other than "an act of God," or "force majeur," all fees, including deposits, will be fully refunded. The costs of any travel or housing arrangements you may have made will not be reimbursed by Patricia Wells.
Q. Can I bring my dog to class or to meals? How about my young children?
Dog lovers are welcome, but not your dogs. Kindly make arrangements to leave them at your hotel or apartment. The presence of children is discouraged because of the impact on the class. In an emergency, discuss with Walter or Patricia.
Still have questions? Email us here.