A Culinary Tour de France


Price per person share double or twin rooms 5695€
Single supplement 985€ double room for single use

Extra Info

Price includes

  • Meals as indicated on itinerary
  • Transportation
  • Excursions
  • Air-conditioned coach
  • Accommodation
  • Selected wines with meals
  • Gratuities

Price excludes

  • Meals that are not included as shown on itinerary
  • Laundry
  • Phone calls
  • Beverages personally ordered
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel insurance is highly recommended

Travel insurance is highly recommended


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Day 1

10:30 Meet your hosts, Alison, Sidney and Rebekah at Charles de Gaulle Airport. We will make our way to Normandy where we begin our Culinary Tour de France in the picturesque village of Camembert.

Camembert is a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese, it is a true symbol of France. In just 2 centuries it has become so familiar to us that it is now considered part of our national gastronomic heritage. A local speciality that is also very popular beyond our borders, it is paradoxically the epitome of French refinement. In 1791 during the French revolution and just a short distance from here in Beaumoncel manor, Camembert was born out of an encounter between a cantankerous priest and Marie Harel – a farmer living in the Auge. In the heart of the village of Camembert a late 18th / early 19th century building has been restored to become home to the Maison de Camembert. It offers a showcase for the most emblematic of French cheeses and pays tribute to Marie Harel in the historic place in which this great saga began.

14.00 This afternoon we visit the Maison du Camembert, where you will be able to discover its museum in an authentic 18th Century farmhouse and taste the different types of the Camembert cheese.

16.00 We visit a family domaine of over 30 hecatres where they have been making Normandy’s famous Cider, Pommeau and Calvados for many years. We will enjoy a tasting paired with local cheese, charcuterie and pâtisserie.

We will make our way further up to the coast where we will check into our hotel in the picturesque town of Bayeux.

20.00 Tonight we will enjoy a French dinner in the restaurant of the hotel.

Day 2

9.00 After breakfast we go to visit the Omaha Beach, one of the Normandy landing beaches during the Second World War.

Omaha Beach was the most intensely fought after beach on D-Day on June 6th 1944. Omaha Beach was six miles wide – the largest of all the five beaches. The whole of the beach at Omaha was overlooked by cliffs which made attacking the area very difficult. The Americans were given the task of doing just this. Many of the soldiers were drowned during the approach from ships offshore or were killed by defending fire from German troops placed on heights surrounding the beach. By nightfall, the Americans had gained a hold on the beach and its immediate hinterland. The Americans suffered 2,400 casualties at Omaha – and this is principally why the attack is remembered. It is easy to overlook the fact that despite the casualties, 34,000 troops had been landed by the end of the day on this blooded beach.

We will also visit the The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France located in Colleville-sur-Mer, on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944

This is the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its half mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing, in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial, are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

We will then be spending our afternoon at the renowned Mont Saint Michel where we will also have lunch.

The Mont Saint Michel is one of Europe’s most unforgettable sights. Set in the mesmerising bay where Normandy and Brittany merge, the island draws the eye from great distances. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. It is listed as an World Heritage Site.

20.00 Dinner will be in a 16th Century building in the heart of Bayeux

Day 3

8.00 After an early breakfast we leave for le Calabash, Alison and Sidney’s cooking school set in the Loire Valley, the heart of France’s finest food region. You will enjoy hands-on cooking classes with award-winning chefs in a pleasant and peaceful hamlet.

12.00 We arrive in the Loire Valley by noon and we will enjoy a brasserie type lunch in our local restaurant
This afternoon you will master ‘Pâte à Choux’ which is the basic recipe for several French Classics. Today you will prepare a Gastronomic take on the Eclair and Profiterole and fillings to impress.
• Crème Caramel
• Crème à Citron
• Praliné Noisette

You will also learn how to master one of le Calabash’s renowned Ice creams.
19.30 Tonight you dine with the Bond’s friend, Michelin Starred, Jacky Dallay at the renowned Promenade Restaurant in le Petit Pressigny.

Day 4

Traditional French Breakfast

9.30 This morning Sidney will share with you how to take seasonal fruits of the sea and create a traditional Plateau de Fruits de Mer. A three storey extravaganza accompanied by a variety of sauces and dips that can be enjoyed around the table for dinner tonight.

13.00 We enjoy a seasonal French buffet for lunch in our Orchard
14.00 We depart for Villandry where you will have the morning to explore the Château and its outstanding gardens
The Château of Villandry is the last of the great Châteaux of the Loire built during the Renaissance in the Loire Valley. The sober elegance of its architecture combined with the charm of its outstanding gardens make this one of the jewels of world heritage.
The lands where an ancient fortress once stood were known as Colombier until the 17th century. Acquired in the early 16th century by Jean Le Breton, France’s Controller-General for War under King Francis I, a new château was constructed around the original 14th-century keep where King Philip II of France once met Richard I of England to discuss peace. It is also known for its beautiful gardens.
During the French Revolution the property was confiscated and in the early 19th century, Emperor Napoleon acquired it for his brother Jérôme Bonaparte. Its famous Renaissance gardens include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. The gardens are laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges. In 1934, Château de Villandry was designated a Monument historique. Like all the other Châteaux of the Loire Valley, it is a World Heritage Site.
17.00 Wine Tasting in Chinon
20.00 Tonight we will have chocolate and wine pairing followed by dinner

Day 5

Early Morning Coffee at le Calabash before we depart for Tours Market, one of the finest in France.

We visit Tours best bakery to choose our breakfast pastries which we will enjoy in a little market coffee shop.

This morning we explore both the indoor ‘Les Halles Food Market’ and the twice weekly outdoor market.
We visit the old town which clusters around place Plumereau; its old houses restored to their former glory. Today this is the place for pavement cafes and people watching in the summer but stroll the smaller, narrow streets like rue Briconnet and you step back into the historic medieval city. To the south you’ll find a Romanesque basilica, the Cloitre de St-Martin and the new Basilique de St-Martin. You’re in the place which was once on the great pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. St-Martin was a soldier who became bishop of Tours in the 4th century and helped spread Christianity through France. His remains, rediscovered in 1860, are now in the crypt of the new Basilique.
The other old part, the cathedral quarter, on the other side of the main Rue Nationale, is dominated by the Cathédrale St-Gatien, a flamboyant Gothic building with 12th-century decorated stonework covering the outside. Inside the highlights are the 16th-century tomb of Charles VIII and Anne de Bretagne’s two children, and the stained glass.
Lunch Today we enjoy a traditional French lunch at le Calabash, prepared by Alison.
14.00 Alison will share with you her passion for creating and preparing one of the world’s most sought after classics, the Macaron, on which she has put her own stamp.
• Millionaires Chocolate Macaron
• Seasonal Macaron Creation
• Taking the Macaron on a Contemporary journey into the future.
We finish off in the afternoon to allow you to rest or take a last walk down to the river and prepare for our last evening in the Loire Valley together.
19.30 Tonight we have a glass of our local Vouvray sparkling wine and certificate presentation followed by Sidney’s lamb dish in our summer Orchard around the fire.

Day 6

Traditional French Breakfast

8.30 We depart after breakfast and drive to Saint Emilion

13.00 Lunch in St Emilion at one of it’s oldest restaurants dating back to 1848.

This afternoon we take a stroll through the streets of Saint-Emilion’s World Heritage town

Saint-Émilion’s history goes back to prehistoric times and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets. The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. In the 4th century, the Latin poet Ausonius lauded the fruit of the bountiful vine. The town was named after the monk Émilion, a travelling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. It was the monks who followed him that started up the commercial wine production in the area.

This afternoon we visit Les Cordeliers, a preserved 14th Century cloister, based in the heart of this picturesque World Heritage Site. This spectacular site also includes gardens and a network of underground cellars and passages where superior sparkling wines have been produced since 1892. A guided tour of all the underground cellars and passages is the perfect way to learn all about the history of Les Cordeliers and get to know about the traditional wine making techniques. This trip to the heart of St Emilion will be followed by a wine tasting on the patio or in the leafy garden.

We head into the city of Bordeaux to check-in into our hotel.

19:30 Tonight we dine at a Michelin star restaurant

Day 7

9.00 After breakfast we make our way to Dune du Pilat which is 117 m at its highest point, this is the tallest sand dune in Europe. At the top, a gorgeous panorama over the bay, the ocean and endless pine forests, will reward you for your efforts.

Lunch on site over-looking the beach

We drive to to Lège-Cap Ferret to sample fresh oysters at a local oyster farm, for which this area is famous. Meet the oyster producer and learn more about the traditional methods of oyster cultivation while enjoying a complimentary tasting fresh Arcachon oysters accompanied by a glass of local white wine.

We head back to our hotel where you will be free to make your own plans for the evening. Of course we will be on hand to help you with your restaurant choices. Dinner is for your own account tonight.

Day 8

8.00 After breakfast we head to the medieval town of Carcassonne.

Occupied since the Neolithic, Carcassonne is located in the Aude plain between two great axes of circulation linking the Atlantic to the Mediterranean sea and the Massif Central to the Pyrénées. Its strategic importance was quickly recognized by the Romans who occupied its hilltop until the demise of the Western Roman Empire and was later taken over in the fifth century by the Visigoths who founded the city. Also thriving as a trading post due to its location, it saw many rulers who successively built up its fortifications, until its military significance was greatly reduced by the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659.

Lunch on site in a traditional French brasserie

Early afternoon you will have the time to discover this beautiful town, before heading of to Avignon in Provence.

19:30 Dinner in one of Avignon’s best restaurants, we will enjoy a french dinner, with local ingredients

Day 9

9.00 After breakfast, we head to Château le Bois to enjoy a walk through the stunning Lavender fields. You will also be able to purchase home-made products made with Lavender from the fields you will be visiting.

Before lunch we will visit a producer of local Olive Oil where we will enjoy a lunch on the terrace under the provençale sun.

This afternoon we take you back through history in the medieval town of Avignon which is known as a World Heritage Site. We will discover the ‘’Palais de Papes’’ from the 12th Century, the Cathedral of Avignon and the famous ‘’Pont d’Avignon’’.

We leave this historical town and make our way to ‘’Nice la Belle’’, The Beautiful city of Nice.

We check into our hotel and we freshen up before we enjoy the famous Moules et Frites on the outstanding Mediterranean seafront on the Promenade des Anglais

Day 10

9:30 After breakfast we will be taken on an exclusive visit of the Niçoise markets with Michelin Star South African chef, Jan Hendrick, where we will discover fresh local seafood and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Lunch today will be at Jan’s michelin star restaurant

This afternoon you are free to stroll around the city, do some shopping, have a drink on the famous Promenade des Anglais or simply relax and enjoy the beach.

This evening you are free to make your own plans for dinner, we will of course give you any advice you need. Dinner is for your own account tonight.

Day 11

8:00 A fairly early start for breakfast after which we depart for one of France’s major cities for French cuisine, Lyon.

Lunch at a Bouchon. It is a famous type of restaurant where you eat french specialities from only fresh local produce, it is extremely traditional and very famous, this type of restaurant only exists in Lyon. This restaurant serves local dishes such as sausages, duck pâté or roast pork; along with local wines

This afternoon we will visit the famous market « Les Halles » of Lyon, with Sidney who will take you through the market and give you an in-depth description of all the local produce. You may want to take the oppurtunity to buy some of the praliné rouge to take home with you, one of Lyon’s specialities.

The rest of the day you are free to explore. Lyon is a walker’s dream, so take your time and amble through the alleys and streets discovering it’s speciality and gourmet food shops and restaurants. Dinner is for your own account tonight.

Day 12

9:30 After breakfast we depart for le Cité du Chocolat home to the best chocolate in the world, Valrhona. After a guided tour we enjoy a chocolate tasting.

Lunch in a local crêperie

This afternoon we will be visiting the Beaujolais region, famous for its wines, where we will visit a a family-owned domaine who will guide us through their vineyard, wine caves and we will finish with a wine tasting.

19.30 Tonight we dine at Paul Bocuse’s renowned 3 michelin star restaurant. Paul Bocuse is the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings. He is held his three Michelin Stars since 1965 and is known as one of the greatest chefs in the world.

Day 13

8.00 Early departure after breakfast to the City of Lights, Paris.

Lunch on arrival, at a well-known french brasserie that serves regional specialities in a Belle Epoque atmosphere.

We visit Rue Montmartre, home to Paris’s Kitchen and Chef Shops where you can purchase some of the small pastry and kitchen pieces of equipment you may need to prepare your meals back home.

Before checking into our hotel we take part in a cheese and wine tasting workshop in a 17th century cave.

20.00 Tonight we dine on the Bâteaux Croisères on the river Seine, where we will enjoy a glass of champagene whilst discovering Paris’s renowned monuments.

Day 14

10.30 After a leisurely breakfast we meet our guide who will be taking us on an exclusive Food Tour, through Paris’s best pastry, chocolate, charcuterie and cheese shops. At the end of this tour we will enjoy a lunch with all of these specialities whilst being told about the history and stories behind them.

The afternoon is yours to enjoy Paris and it’s many treasures.

20.00 For our last evening we have our farewell dinner at the famous Le Train Bleu where we will reminisce on our Culinary Adventure through France together and make a toast to all those wonderful memories !

Day 15

After breakfast we say farewell.

Additional Information

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July 24th – 7th August 2017


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