Facilities & Frequently Asked Questions
Although Chateau Dumas has 13th Century foundations, the building you see today dates from the late 18th Century. It has many original features including thick walls which help to keep it warm in the cold winter and cool in the hot summer. We have a limited number of air conditioned bedrooms but both the studios are air conditioned. It is possible to regulate the temperature inside your bedroom by closing the shutters and windows during the day to keep out the heat. You can open the shutters and windows at night after sundown.
You can access wi-fi throughout the Chateau, although if lots of people are using it simultaneously it can be a bit slow.
There is a 12m x 6m, 1.5m deep, unheated saltwater swimming pool for your use. The pool towels are in a basket in the Entrée (main hall). Please do not take the white towels from the bathroom to the pool. Please do not take alcohol or glasses down to the pool. The pool should not be used after 9pm at night.
Our beds are very comfortable (so we are told!) and are equipped with down and feather pillows and duvets and Egyptian cotton sheets. If you would like a synthetic duvet and pillow please let us know. Every bedroom is equipped with a hairdryer, a dressing gown and Graine de Pastel soap made from extract of woad. We don’t provide either shampoo, conditioner or body lotion.
We have a daily maid service. Your towels are changed on Wednesday.
It isn’t possible to change currency in a French bank in small villages. We recommend that you change your cash to Euros at the currency exchange centres at Toulouse airport on arrival.
If you can’t fit everything into your suitcase at the end of your stay you can buy a Post Office “Collissimo” box from us and ship your items home. The box holds 7kg (15.5 lbs), takes approx 5 days to arrive bu trackable service and costs 65E per 7kg box. Please don’t put alcohol, food or plant materials into the box as otherwise it will be returned.
It is a very relaxed atmosphere at Chateau Dumas and there is no need to dress up for dinner, but you may if you wish. We recommend that you bring comfortable shoes and if you are coming in the summer months (July, August and early September) you will need cool clothes. It can be hot during the day, but usually cools off at night. The autumn temperatures (mid-September onwards) are much milder although we are usually still able to sit outside until quite late in the evening.
Chateau Dumas has a reputation for the quality and inventiveness of its cuisine. We buy our ingredients locally from farmers’ markets and specialist suppliers and all our meals are freshly prepared by our private chefs. We have a team of high calibre chefs who take it in turns to cater to our guests throughout the season. We are able to cater to coeliac, vegetarian and gluten-free dietary requirements - please include specifics on your registration page on our site. Breakfast comprises freshly-baked, all-butter croissants and a selection of fresh bread with butter and jams, cereals, fruit juice, fruit and yoghurt, a selection of teas and coffee. Boiled, scrambled or poached eggs are available on request. Gluten-free cereals are also available. Lunch is a light two-course buffet-style meal with plenty of salads. Baskets of bread and jugs of water are also served. Aperitifs are entirely optional and served from 7pm on the terrace. We offer wine (red, white and rosé), water or fruit juice. Dinner - the gong will be sounded around 7.30pm when we gather to eat. Most meals are 3-course, some are waitress-served, and some are self-service. Red, white, rosé, wine and water are served during the meal. You can stay up as late as you like to chat and socialise but as our waiting staff leave at 10.30pm we would really appreciate it if you could bring your empty glasses into the kitchen before going to bed and lock the terrace door.
The tap water at Chateau Dumas is drinkable.
We have a washing machine and iron for guest’s use. The washing machine can be found behind the curtain in the downstairs bathroom. The iron and ironing board are also located in the small hallway just outside the downstairs bathroom. There is no clothes dryer at the Chateau – the outdoor drying lines can be found in the walled area to the far right of the Coach House building.
GAMES AND ENTERTAINMENT
We have table tennis, table football, badminton nets and football goals by the pool. In the Entrée (main hall) of the Chateau, there is a set of boules. You can play boules on the gravel in front of the Chateau or use the village boulodrome. To find it, walk through the Coach House arch and straight on through the gap in the hedge. Take the grassy path leading off to the left and it will bring you to the boulodrome in Auty. There is a wide selection of board games in the cupboard in the doorway to the library, as well as a large-screen television and Sky TV and a wide selection of DVDs and books.
WHAT TO BRING
We suggest you bring your own plug adaptors. Some foreign appliances, such as curling tongs, have been known to knock out all the electrics, so please just bring what you need.
There can be mosquitoes in the summertime. We have a basket of plug-in mosquito repellents which are very effective and that you can use each night to deter insects. We recommend that guests bring anti-mosquito products, such as Autan, which can be applied to exposed skin. Please unplug the device each morning to conserve the liquid repellent.
Our local town, Caussade, which is 4 miles/6 kms from Chateau Dumas, has a post office, several banks, a wine shop and other amenities. We are happy to run you down to the town if there is something that you need or shop for you during one of our regular trips.
Guests often ask us if they may leave a tip so we now put out a collection box on Friday afternoon for those who would like to leave something for our staff.
We ask you to settle with us for your airport transfers, restaurant meal and any extras such as fabric purchases or Colissimo boxes at the end of your stay. We prefer you to settle your bill in cash (Euros) but it is also possible to pay by credit card via our website. We add 3% to the bill to cover the credit card charges.
Our workshops run Saturday to Saturday, the first Saturday being arrival and settling-in day, with a welcome dinner in the evening. We ask incoming guests to arrive any time from 15h30 onwards on arrival Saturday. On Sunday morning we visit the atmospheric farmer’s market in St. Antonin-Noble-Val and, after lunch at the Chateau, we usually get together in the studio for an introduction to the week. On weekdays our workshops run for 7 hours a day, Monday through Friday, from around 9.30am to 5.30pm with morning and afternoon coffee and tea breaks and a two course, buffet style lunch. On departure Saturday, we ask guests to vacate their bedrooms by latest 10am and to plan their onward travel for the morning.
On one evening we visit a local restaurant for dinner. The cost is 43E per head and this includes coach transport each way, a three course dinner and glass of wine and tip. Any extras such as additional wine, aperitifs, coffee and tea are extra. We settle the bill at the end of the evening and we ask you to reimburse us at the end of your stay in cash or by credit card online.
We quite often run two workshops side by side during the summer weeks with a smaller number of participants on each one. Each workshop takes place in a separate studio space but everyone comes together for meals, coffee breaks and group outings.
Our airport transfer from Toulouse Airport to the Chateau is charged at 50E per person, per journey and the transfer from Montauban (Villebourbon) train Station costs 25E per person, per journey. Pick ups from our local railway station, Caussade (T et G), cost 5E per person, per journey. We will be able to confirm the exact time of your transfer on arrival Saturday a couple of weeks before the start of the workshop once everyone’s travel information has been received and we are able to compile the schedule. Please let us know as soon as possible if your flight is delayed so that we can liaise with you about alternative transfer arrangements.
STAYING IN TOULOUSE
Some of our guests stay in Toulouse on the Friday night before the start of the workshop. You can download a copy of hotels in Paris and Toulouse from the Workshop Experience page on our website.
PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION
A deposit is required to secure a place on a workshop. Deposits are not refundable. An instalment of 30% of the total (minus the deposit paid) is payable - please see the individual workshop page for confirmation of the payment date. The outstanding balance is due between 3 and 4 months before the start of the workshop. There are no refunds after the instalment or balance payments have been made. A full refund will be given in the unlikely event that a workshop has to be cancelled.
We strongly advise that you have appropriate travel and cancellation insurance in place so that you are compensated if you find you have to cancel.
AFTER YOUR WORKSHOP
We would love to see your photographs after your week staying at the Chateau, and hear any personal stories during your stay for our social media campaigns. You can find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChateauDumas, at Pinterest on www.pinterest. com/ChateauDumas or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/ChateauDumas.