A Teacher's Perspective of the Château du Baffy
I have had the pleasure of taking my students (Y8 boys) to the Chateau du Baffy for the past 5 years. Within days of returning from each visit, I book again for the following year. I do this because the chateau's staff are so welcoming, helpful and take the stress out of what has the potential to be a very stressful few days!
When we arrived at the chateau for the first time on our inaugural trip to Normandy, we walked up the drive, through the beautiful grounds and looked at the building in front of us and I thought the bus driver had made a mistake! Surely this wasn't our school accommodation!? Having taught for a number of years, I was used to staying in some pretty grotty hotels, but this place looked too good to be true!
We found the accommodation be to excellent and with the recent refurbishments, this year it was beyond expectations. The rooms are well equipped and clean. Each room has a bathroom and looks out onto the beautiful grounds. The teachers' rooms also have the extra touch of tea and coffee facilities which is much appreciated. As well as fantastic accommodation, the chateau is also within easy driving distance of many tourist destinations in Normandy, making it the perfect base.
I could spout lyrical on the food! Three course meals of restaurant quality on a school trip is unheard of! The students are always so impressed and the staff take extra care to pay attention to any allergies. As well as that, if a student has a birthday, the cake the chef bakes for them is absolutely delicious and a lovely touch.
The students help themselves to the breakfast buffet, make their own lunch (perfect for the fussy eaters) and then dinner is waiter service. The staff coordinate all meal times so the teachers can have a moment to relax.
The staff make the place, and are one of the main reasons we keep going back. They have an excellent rapport with the students and are very supportive and helpful to teachers. This year I was particularly impressed by their warmth and kindness: it was my first trip away after having my daughter and on the last evening, on returning to my room after our day out, I found a little note and two teddy bears they had bought for Daisy.
It's little touches like this which make the Chateau du Baffy an amazing destination: the teachers are comfortable and supported and the kids just love it! Furthermore, the support you receive from the reps at Select before you even get to the chateau is second to nine. I have experience working with a number of school travel companies and Select are certainly top of the list.
I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the chateau to any teachers considering it for a future trip.
by Holly Bedford
Head of Languages
You can view the Château du Baffy website here with links to all the possible excursions, a video and virtual tour!