Katherine 2018



I have been taking intensive French courses in the U.S. and France for many years – at the Alliance Française in NYC, Institut de Français in Villefranche-Sur-Mer and as an undergraduate at Harvard University – just to name a few. But surpassing them all was my sojourn with Michel on Belle-Île!! The idyllic setting, Michel’s patience and sense of humor, the custom-made lessons, his lovely garden and fabulous cooking… if, like me, becoming completely immersed in French language and culture for a (much too brief) moment is your idea of a good time then look no further. Just do it!

Don & Amanda 2018



Our week on Belle Ile En Mer was a complete success.  It’s a beautiful island, peaceful and tranquil.  It’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen.  At night the stars overhead were magnificent, and during the day, the hiking along the cliffs was extraordinary.  But that wasn’t the best part. The best part was Michel.  He was relaxed, funny, welcoming, flexible and charming.  He greeted us in his home and garden like old friends.  We laughed our way through our daily lessons and surprised ourselves by learning more than we ever would have hoped.  He not only taught us concepts and words we needed to know, he gave us enough speaking confidence that we passed the rest of the trip to Paris and then home insisting on speaking only French — even to the flight attendants on the long trip home, something we would have been way too shy and insecure to have done before.  PS He’s also a great cook, serving simple and delicious food every night.  We can’t recommend Michel highly enough.

Miriam 2018


My experience with Michel Denance on Belle-Isle was everything others have written about, and more.  The island, with its gardens, rocky cliffs and beaches, was wonderful, and the weather was superb during my stay. After lessons in the morning, I was able to do as much or as little study as I wanted in the afternoons, and the beach only 1.5 km away by bicycle was quite the temptation. I enjoyed hiking part of the sentier côtier and seeing the beautiful views from above, and of course spending time in the lovely garden just in front of “my” little house.

Borchudan is tiny, charming, and exceedingly peaceful, and the stars at night are fantastic.  Michel is a patient and talented instructor who really knows how to teach and adapt to one’s individual interests, with a great sense of humor. I enjoyed meeting some of Michel’s friends and getting a tour of the island, and the dinner out in Port Andro one evening was interesting and fun. Even just journeying to the island from Paris by train was an adventure. This is a true French immersion experience, and very helpful for improving one’s French language ability in all ways!

Maire 2018



I had an absolutely wonderful time studying French with Michel on Belle-Île. He is a an incredibly talented teacher – intelligent, funny, kind and perceptive – I couldn’t have asked for a better or more fulfilling experience. Improving the accuracy of my spoken and written French, which I feel I did quite considerably over the course of the week, was far more fun than it should have been! I laughed a lot.

Michel has a wonderful way of drawing people out and building confidence. He asked me lots of questions, helped me to communicate my answers when I got stuck and gently corrected my horrendous grammar, all the while making me feel like I was having a normal conversation in French with a good friend. I learned so much during all of our interactions, not just our lessons in the morning.

The location of the lessons, Belle-Île, was really superb and I was lucky to enjoy magnificent weather during my stay on the island. Michel’s passion for flowers and for the history and landscape of the island was contagious. We visited beautiful beaches, saw majestic cliff faces, and I learned about the history of two very romantic stones! I feel really privileged to have had the opportunity to tour several stunningly beautiful gardens (not least of which was Michel’s own beautiful garden in Borchudan) and be guided around them by their expert creators.

One of the loveliest things about my stay chez Michel was the way that I felt woven into normal life in Belle-Île. We went for coffee, we shopped in the supermarket, chatted with neighbours and friends and spent an evening with his close friend and her grandchild which ended with a sing song. We ate wonderful food and drank French wine. I adored my stay chez Michel. I’d love to be starting it all over again.

Mark 2018



My stay with Michel was both a relaxing vacation in a beautiful setting and an effective method of improving my French.

I was at a B2 level before arriving, but had not spent any significant amount of time in France, and so much of what I knew felt rather abstract.   After only a week in Belle Isle, I felt so much more confident and at home living with the language.  The morning lessons were very worthwhile because Michel is adept at pinpointing specific grammar and pronunciation problems and finding exercises to improve in those areas.  We also read and discussed poetry and short stories by well known French authors, which was very enjoyable.

But what I enjoyed most was simply accompanying Michel on little sightseeing trips around the island or errands into the village and sharing dinner in the evenings.  I essentially got to listen to him live his life out loud in French while interacting with other French speakers, which helps immensely in picking up on the nuances of how the language works in everyday life.

In addition, Michel introduced me to some of his friends on the island, who were very warm and welcoming, and provided more opportunities to practice speaking in social situations.

Finally, Belle Isle in late spring/early summer is a beautiful, verdant garden perched above the crystal blue waters of the Breton coast, and is worth a trip for that reason alone.

John & Sarah 2018

john and sarah


Nous sommes Australiens et nous parlons le français au niveau B2.

Dans le passé, on a pris deux cours intensifs qui étaient très efficaces et agréables. Mais cette fois-ci, on a choisi FrenchToday pour la beauté de Belle-Ile, pour l’ambiance tranquille du village, pour l’opportunité de l’enseignement et des conversations personnalisées avec Michel. On n’a pas été déçus !

On se trouvait dans un petit hameau, au milieu des prés et tout était tranquille. On prenait des cours le matin et l’après-midi on était libres. On pouvait faire des randonnées à  vélo ou à pied jusqu’à des plages à l’est, ou à la côte sauvage à l’ouest. Là, les falaises sont à couper le souffle.

Michel est un hôte vraiment génial, avec un bon sens de l’humour, et on a beaucoup ri, même pendant les séances de grammaire. Et voilà un “plus” : Michel est bon cuisinier. On mange tout simplement des repas végétariens ou “pescetariens” délicieux.

A la fin d’une semaine, nous parlions le français plus couramment avec plus de confiance et, bien sûr, de plaisir. Merci Michel !

Antonio 2018

Salut Michel,
Encore une fois, un grand merci pour l’excellent séjour chez toi et dans ce petit paradis breton. Eh bien, je pense que je parle français toujours comme une vache espagnole, mais peut-être avec une prononciation un peu meilleure, grâce à toi. Le voyage d’un paradis à l’autre était long, mais bon, sans revers. Et j’espère que l’on se reverra. À la prochaine! Salutations.

Mary and Mark 2018

Marie and Mark

We’ve now studied with Michel 5 times over the years, so obviously we’re fans, and Belle Île has become one of our favorite places in the world.

If you want a quiet, peaceful place to really concentrate on perfecting your French with a funny, kind, and patient teacher, this is it.

When we started this little language adventure, we had no idea where it might lead us. We have now moved to Paris. You never know how much your life can change once you put things in motion!


Sue 2017

I had a week experiencing Michel’s very patient teaching in Belle Isle in July. He lives in an unspoilt hamlet, where the only noise is that of a tractor or the birds.

Without the distractions of other students it is a perfect setting to live and breathe the language.

Learning French in a classroom with a grammar book is one thing, but as I found can not equip you for the “real world” and everyday situations.

I found my listening skills came ahead in leaps and bounds as one is only hearing French spoken at a normal speed.

The opportunity to meet a couple of Michel’s friends who have superb gardens on the Island was a wonderful experience.

If you have a week to enjoy France and love learning the language this in my opinion is the perfect place to go.

Peter and Lyn 2017

A magic place to improve your French


In June 2017, as part of a six week leisurely drive around the heartland of France, my wife and I spent a week on Belle Isle en Mer (France’s largest island – just off the south coast of Brittany) to improve our somewhat basic French language skills.

To cut a long story short – if you have not been to Belle Isle – make sure you get there sometime, even if you don’t want to do a French language course. It is a beautiful place with interesting history, and interesting people. We were fascinated by some of the myths and legends of the island. Jean and Jeanne (two local megaliths) have a particularly interesting story to tell. The place is also a photographers’ and artists’ delight. Claude Monet did about 40 paintings during one of his stays there.

At the outset we had some minor concern about “wasting” the precious time of such a talented man as Michel. However, within a short time, Michel had picked out a few grammar and verb constructs that we were clearly missing – so proceeded calmly and supportively to help us move forward with our French during the week that we stayed in the very nicely renovated 16th century cow shed attached to his house.

You will have the opportunity to hear and learn French from a master of the French language by doing an intensive with Michel. His cooking is not bad either, often including the freshest of produce from his extensive garden. Thanks Michel – for being so patient with, and supportive of, a couple of seniors from Oz!

Logistics: We had rented a car in Zurich so we had that with us on the island. It allowed us to easily get around and see sites of interest. Many other visitors to the island seemed to get around ok either on bikes, by locally rented car, or just walking and using the bus. The very small village where Michel lives has no shops, but we found it to be wonderfully quiet, and with no traffic, as it is at the end of a section of road. The main supermarket for the island is only about 10 minutes away by car.