Creative Writing Courses in France

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Hotel Victor Hugo,
St Cere
"An ancient village, laced with vines,
With cobbles, towers and weirs,
Played host, one Spring, thro' Jan and Pete
To writers and their fears.
At Victor Hugo's they lay down
Where Jean-Luc is a star;
No seasoned traveller could find
A pub to beat Tom's bar.
They fed on salads, crepes and fish,
On meat carved from the bone,
They gobbled gateaux, flans and cream,
(Merde! - just put on two stone...!)."
Dixi P, Ireland
 Courses and Dates
 The Structure of the Courses
 Hotel and Location
 Rates for Accommodation and Courses
 Special Offers for Group Bookings
 Courses by E-mail
 Try a FREE E-mail Course
 How to Book
 SPECIAL: Advice from an Agent
 What People Say About The Courses
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"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing."

– Eugene Ionesco

"The course was everything that I hoped it would be, the quality of the food and beauty of the Lot region were an added bonus."
Sean D, England

The Hotel Victor Hugo

Situated beside the river and park
in the market town of St Cere...

...the aptly named Hotel Victor Hugo was built up by Jean-Luc Vern and Irish-Scottish Tom Smyth.

Their partnership began more than 20 years ago when they opened the restaurant.  As their success and reputation for excellent cuisine grew, they developed the building, expanding the restaurant and adding bedrooms to become a hotel.
Sadly Tom died in October 2006 and Jean Luc now carries the business on.

The Victor Hugo has 17 charming bedrooms each with en suite facilities, telephone and television. 

The bedrooms have been individually decorated using themes of the local artist, Jean Lurcat.

Most of the bedrooms now have air-conditioning and there are plans for all the rooms to be fitted with it shortly
- quite unusual for a small hotel in rural France!

All of the guests have access from their rooms to a choice of private terrasses, the largest of which has views over the river.

In their fine restaurant Jean-Luc, as chef de cuisine combines the region's specialities in his starter of foie gras and figs, served with his own freshly baked walnut bread.

His main courses are equally delicious and imaginative, followed by a wonderful selection of local cheeses, but as an accomplished pastry chef, dessert is where he truly excels, so you would be well advised to save a space for that fourth course.
The restaurant has a comfortable, welcoming ambience where writers will soon feel relaxed and at home.
In winter, a log fire crackles in a stove in the huge stone fireplace.

In the warmer months, when the writing courses are normally held, the restaurant extends into the gardens, where meals are eaten under the dappled shade of the albizia trees.
The courses' workshops are held on an outdoor terrasse in fine weather, and the one-to-one sessions are taken in one of the lounge areas.
The hotel has several comfortable areas for writers to tuck themselves away to write, think or read in privacy.
When taking a break from writing you can enjoy coffee looking out over the broad tree-lined square, lean over one of the bridges and gaze at the shoals of trout which twist and turn in the clear water of the Bave, or visit the local vineyard and sample its award-winning wines.

"...six days of hilarity – enhanced by Jean-Luc’s irresistable cuisine and Tom’s devoted attendence behind the bar..."
Alison C. J. UK&Denmark
"..a week spent in beautiful surroundings among people with common interests, and (the only down side) seven extra pounds due to the fantastic cheese, meals, and wine served at the Victor Hugo..."
Leeann M, Canada

"I hope to finish my play one day - with a little help from friends in St Cere - Tom and Jean-Luc talking care of body and soul and Janice and Peter taking great care of the mind."
Eileen Ramsay Scotland

photographs marked *-* by Domi Photographe, St Cere.


- Rates include full dinner, bed and breakfast for 7 days.
- Drinks at the bar, or with meals, are not included and must be paid for separately.
- If both occupants of a twin or double room wish to attend the Writing Course, each must pay the Writing Course Participant rate.
- Rates do not include travel costs. Travel arrangements are the responsibility of the participants.

Click here for
Rates for Accommodation and Courses

"Fantastic value for money, it offered something for every writer, published or unpublished. I learned a lot. I hope to finish my play one day - with a little help from friends in St Cere - Tom and Jean-Luc talking care of body and soul and Janice and Peter taking great care of the mind."
Eileen Ramsay


 Located in the Department of the Lot, renowned for its duck and walnuts.



 The area around this vibrant market town is rich in vineyards and fruit trees,

 The surrounding hills and valleys are scattered with beautiful medieval stone villages, castles and chateaux,



 and the River Lot winds its way through some of the most spectacular and beautiful countryside in France.

 A short drive away is the extraordinary village of Rocamadour...



...with its chateau and church carved into and out of a massive stone gorge.


Close by, and also well worth visiting, the caves and underground lake at Padirac.

How to get to St Cere

Arriving by Air
Fly to Paris, then take train to Brive, see below.
Fly to Toulouse, about two hours' drive to St Cere,
or shuttle bus to railway station and train to Brive.
Fly and drive from the airports of
Carcassonne (2hr 30m drive),
Limoges or Rodez (1hr 45m drive)
or Bergerac (2hr drive) to St Cere
Car Hire available at each airport.

Arriving by Road
St Cere is off the A20 South of Brive.

Arriving by Rail
Eurostar London to Paris,
then Train from Paris Gare d'Austerlirz to Brive La Gaillarde.
Connect with local train to Bretenoux-Biars (10 mins by taxi to hotel).
Or Car Hire available at Brive.

Click here for more travel information and lots of
Useful Travel Links

|  The Tutors | Courses and Dates | The Structure of the Courses | Hotel and Location | Rates for Accommodation and Courses | Special Offers for Group Bookings | Courses by E-mail | Try a FREE E-mail Course | How to Book | SPECIAL: Advice from an Agent | What People Say About The Courses | Useful Travel Links | Contact Us | Writers' Forum | Back to the Home Page |

© 2008 Peter May & Janice Hally