Cooking Tours: France – Provence

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Discover Provence and its regional products : olive oil, cheese, truffles, nougat, chocolate and of course local wines, including the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

You will have “hands on” cooking classes with some of the best French Chefs in the region, as well as visits to markets, herb gardens, vineyards, local restaurants and cultural sites.

 

Itinerary of the Cooking Tour to Provence - Day 1: Welcome Reception

day1_img-provence-cooking-tableWe will pick you up at the Avignon TGV train station. Upon your arrival at our guesthouse, you will have time to settle in and explore the village. In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a gourmet dinner.

Day 2: Olive Oil and Truffle Hunt in Gordes

day2_img-provence-gordesMorning: From Olive Tree to Oil

A local producer of olive oil will take us on a walk through his olive fields and share with us his knowledge and passion for olives.

After the walk, he will show us the olive mill and the visit will finish with a tasting of his olive oil and tapenade (a purée of black or green olives). The history and the production of olives will have no secret for you after this enjoyable visit. You will have a chance to buy all olive products like tapenade, oil, olives but also bowls and items made out of olive wood.

day2_img-cooking-france-dogLunch: Hilltop Village of Gordes

The amazing village of Gordes, listed as “one of the most beautiful villages in France”, sits on a rock with an incredible view on vineyards and hills.

Afternoon: Truffle Hunting and Tasting

Haven’t you always dreamed of going truffle hunting? Now you have the opportunity to do so!

Discover the secret of this mysterious mushroom. The truffle is a specialty of Provence. In April, you may be able to find either the Winter black truffle or already the Spring white truffle. We will be accompanied by a Master and his dog who will teach us how to find the truffles under the oaks. Meeting a local farmer will be an unique experience.

Back at his farm, we will have time to savor some truffle on toasts served with wine from Luberon.

Day 3: Learning from 'One Star Michelin Guide' Chef

day3_img-provence-cooking3Today we will go to the food market accompanied with a Professional Chef. He will share with you his tips and tricks: How to choose the fresh vegetables? Is the smell a big help? How to recognize fresh fish?

Back at the chef’s workshop with your fresh products, you will learn how to prepare a three course Provencal meal: hors d’oeuvres, main dish and dessert.

day3_img-provence-cooking-marketYou will savor your meal with the chef. It will be served with special wines selected by the sommelier.

Back home mid afternoon, you will have the choice between relaxing by the pool at our hotel or exploring St Remy de Provence.

Day 4: Ratatouille and Chateau Neuf du Pape Wine

day4_img-farmMorning: Cooking session in a farm

Located near Mont Ventoux, the Pedagogic Farm will open its doors to us so that we can discover their biologic agriculture world: grapes, olives, lavender, cherries, herbs, forgotten vegetables and, of course, their animals. We will help the farmer pick the herbs and veggies needed for our meals and together we will prepare the typical provencal meal: ratatouille.

You will also have time to visit with all the animals in the farm.

day4_img-wineAfternoon: Wine Tasting in Chateau Neuf du Pape

Chateau Neuf du Pape village is dedicated to its world famous wine “Châteauneuf-du-Pape” which is also part of the famous Côtes du Rhône.

We will have a guided visit in a well known winery, to learn everything about this famous wine, including a session on how to taste wine. The visit will end with the tasting of three exquisite Chateau Neuf du Pape wines.

Day 5: Provencal Market and Van Gogh in St Remy de Provence

day5_img-market-spicesMorning: Provencal Outdoor Market

Stroll and shop in the incredible and colorful market. It is an accessible and rewarding way to immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the area.

Fresh food and its artful display speaks for itself. But there is much more than food: colorful array of Provencal fabric, tablecloths, silk scarves, natural soaps with dozens of scents and of course lavender products.

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day5_img-mausole-lavenderAfternoon: In Van Gogh’s Footsteps in St Remy

We will visit the beautiful old monastery of St Paul Mausole in St Remy de Provence. This is where Van Gogh spent the last year of his life and painted 150 of his famous paintings. This is now a nursing home that has a permanent exhibition of paintings by the patients.

It is very emotional and fascinating to stroll through the bedroom where Van Gogh stayed during his very troubled time in 1889-90.

You will also find beautiful reproductions of some of Van Gogh’s paintings.

Day 6: Cooking in St Remy de Provence and Medieval Village of les Baux de Provence

day6_img-cooking-appleMorning: Cook Your Gourmet Lunch

You will have a chance to cook a gourmet lunch with a chef from St. Remy, using ingredients you would have chosen on the market with him in the morning.

This will be a three course meal with hors d’oeuvres, entree and dessert. We will share this lunch together, accompanied with wine.

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Afternoon: Medieval Village of les Baux de Provence

After our gourmet lunch, you will have the choice to relax back at the hotel or to come with us to the beautiful village of les Baux de Provence.

Discover this amazing medieval village dominating the valley and its Château. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the site provides a unique view over the vineyards and olive fields of Provence towards the sea.

Day 7: Pastry Cooking at la Mirande in Avignon

day7_img_prov-palais-des-papesMorning: Free Time in Avignon

This morning you will have leisure time in Avignon. There is so much to do.

Visit the Palace of the Popes (the size of four normal French cathedrals). This amazing and expansive structure is the highlight of Avignon.

You can also stroll in the old streets in search of antique dealers and art galleries, visit the daily covered market, or shop for Provencal materials, ceramics, pottery and other specialties of the region.

You will also have a huge choice of museums (10 in the old Avignon) including one with paintings from Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas, Modigliani,…

day7_img-macaronsAfternoon: Pastry Workshop

The venue for our cooking session will take place in one of the oldest and most prestigious properties in Avignon: the 4-star hotel, La Mirande. The classroom is an impressive kitchen from the 19th century with its ancient cast-iron stove.

Le Marmiton, which is the cooking school, offers cooking classes with many of the most reknowned chefs of Provence. Under the eyes of an expert chef, you will the most delicious dessert.

Day 8: Departure

day8_img-cooking-busAfter our last breakfast, we’ll say good-bye and drive you to Avignon train station, your heart-warming memories of a glorious week in the heart of Provence, still fresh for your journey home or wherever your travels may take you.

Accommodation for our Cooking Tour in Provence: An elegant 18th Century Villa

accommodation_img-provence-cooking-hotelWe have chosen an elegantly restored villa-hotel dating from the XVIIIth century located in the heart of Provence (25 minutes east of Avignon).

The luxury hotel offers 16 bedrooms with private full bathrooms all with high comfort, tranquility and relaxation, with its 2 heated swimming pool set in over 2 acres of private grounds.

The refined cuisine of the Chef, based on fresh seasonal local products, is an innovative blend of Provencal and contemporary gastronomy.

Each bedroom has: a flat screen TV set, telephone, heating and AC, a minibar, a safe, WiFi and a en-suite bathroom.

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Testimonial from one of our guests on the Cooking Tour to Provence

testimonial_img-cooking-provence-sherri2“If I’d traveled to Provence on my own, there’s no way I would have experienced the most memorable moments of our trip such as our time with Cathy on the farm, truffle hunting with Robert, or learning all about French olive oil.

And of course there was our time with the chefs. I didn’t only learn more about food, including selecting produce and unique preparation methods, and I didn’t only get to try *amazing* dishes, but I also learned more about French culture and values through our time in the kitchen. To me, that’s the most precious and priceless part of our trip.

You and French Escapade provided me with the most memorable vacation of my life. Thank you Jackie! I can’t wait to take my next adventure with French Escapade!!”

Dates for the Cooking Tour in Provence

October 9-16, 2017
Women-only Tour

Rates

US $3490

+ US $550 (single room)

Includes

  • Avignon train station pick up (3:30pm) and drop off (10am)
  • A welcome reception
  • All nights at our boutique hotel
  • All cooking sessions (4)
  • All breakfasts
  • Seven gourmet meals (4 dinners and 3 lunches) including wine
  • Cold soft drinks, bottled water during day trips
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
  • Transportation in a comfortable van with A/C
  • A personal bilingual chauffeur/guide throughout the week
  • A free Paris planner for a self guided visit in Paris: suggestions of hotels, restaurants and places to visit

Excludes

  • Flights to and from France
  • Train to Avignon (from either Paris or Marseilles)
  • 4 lunches and 2 dinners (we will still go with you for the non-included meals)
  • Optional activities (those not described in the itinerary)
  • Personal expenses and tipping
How to book

To Make Your Reservation for a French Escapade Tour please follow the steps below and review our Cancellation Policy:

 

1
Check Availability

Send us an e-mail to check availability. Include the dates you are interested in and the number of people you will be reserving a spot for.


2
Submit Registration Form and Send $600 Deposit

After receiving confirmation of availability, complete and submit the Reservation Form and send your $600 deposit check to:

French Escapade LLC
2389 Blackpool Place
San Leandro, CA 94577

If you live in the US:

  • pay by check, payable to French Escapade (if you live in Canada, it needs to be a money order)
  • or by wire transfer (let us know and we will provide you with our account number)
If you live outside the US please contact us for other payment options.

3
Receive Confirmation

We will send you a written confirmation of your reservation along with an information package for your trip (info about pick up and drop off, recommended insurance, name of a travel agent, what to bring, etc…).


4
Submit Remaining Balance

Your remaining balance is due 90 days prior to departure.


Cancellation Policy

Days Prior to Tour StartCancellation Fee per Person
More than 90 Days$600
(deposit forfeited, but transferable to another trip with a $50 admin fee)
61-90 Days50% of total cost
31-60 Days75% of total cost
0-30 Days100% of total cost

Thank you for traveling with us!

French Escapade LLC | 2389 Blackpool Place | San Leandro, CA 94577 | 510-483-5713 | contact@frenchescapade.com
CST #: 2091909-40