8 Days Wine, Truffle, and Cooking Women Vacations in France

  • Provence, France

Women Cooking Holiday and Wine Tasting France

This exceptional Gallic tour is designed to introduce you to the French gourmet cuisine as well as to the French wide culture. Discover Provence and its regional products, and learn how to cook delicious meals with them: olive oil, cheese, truffles, nougat, chocolate, and of course local wines; including the famous Chteau Neuf du Pape wine. You will have hands on cooking classes with some of the best chefs in the region, as well as visits to local markets, herb gardens, beautiful vineyards, local restaurants and fascinating cultural sites.

Highlights

  • Cooking sessions
  • Provencal outdoor market visit
  • Olive oil, truffle and wine tasting
  • Visit to monastery of St. Paul Mausole
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Gourmet tasty meals
  • Train transfers
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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French Escapade has chosen an elegantly restored villa-hotel dating from the eighteenth century located in the heart of Provence. The luxury hotel offers sixteen bedrooms with private full bathrooms; all with high comfort, tranquility and relaxation, with two heated swimming pool set in over two 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, Wi-Fi, and an ensuite bathroom.

Day 1 - Welcome reception

French Escapade will pick you up at the Avignon TGV train station. Upon your arrival at the 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

Morning - From olive tree to oil

A local producer of olive oil will take you on a walk through his olive fields and share with you his knowledge and passion for olives. After the walk, he will show you the olive mill. The visit will finish with a tasting of his olive oil and tapenade (a pure 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.

Lunch in the 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. You will be accompanied by a master and his dog who will teach you how to find the truffles under the oaks. Meeting a local farmer will be a unique experience. Back at his farm, you will have time to savor some truffle on toasts served with wine from Luberon.

Day 3 - Learning from one star Michelin guide chef

This day you will go to the food market accompanied with a professional chef. He will share with you his tips and tricks: how to choose 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.

You will savor your meal with the chef. It will be served with special wines selected by the sommelier. Back home midafternoon, you will have the choice between relaxing by the pool at the hotel and exploring St. Remy de Provence.

Day 4 - Ratatouille and Chateau Neuf du Pape wine

Morning - Cooking session in a farm

Located near Mont Ventoux, a pedagogic farm will open its doors so that you can discover their biologic agriculture world: grapes, olives, lavender, cherries, herbs, forgotten vegetables and, of course, their animals. You will help the farmer to pick the herbs and veggies needed for your meals and together you will prepare the typical Provencal meal: ratatouille.

Afternoon - Wine tasting in Chateau Neuf du Pape

Chateau Neuf du Pape village is dedicated to its world famous wine "Chteau Neuf du Pape", which is also part of the famous Ctes du Rhne. You 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

Morning - 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. 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.

Afternoon - In Van Gogh's footsteps in St. Remy

You 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

Morning - 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, entre, and dessert. You will share this lunch, accompanied with wine.

Afternoon - Medieval village of les Baux de Provence

After your gourmet lunch, you will have the choice to relax back at the hotel or to go to the beautiful village of les Baux de Provence. Discover this amazing medieval village dominating the valley and its chteau. 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

Morning - Free time in Avignon

This morning you will have leisure time in Avignon.

Afternoon - Cooking workshop at the four-star hotel La Mirande

The venue for your cooking session will take place in one of the oldest and most prestigious properties in Avignon, the four-star hotel, La Mirande. The classroom is an impressive kitchen from the nineteenth century with its ancient cast iron stove. Le Marmiton, which is the cooking school, offers cooking classes with many of the most renowned chefs of Provence. Under the eyes of an expert chef, you will spend three hours preparing the most delicious meals or desserts (depending of the chef's specialties that week).

Day 8 - Departure

After your last breakfast, you will say goodbye and French Escapade 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.

Cooking and touring in Avignon

Cooking in St. Remy de Provence

Local food market

Medieval village of les Baux de Provence

Olive oil and truffle hunt in Gordes

Pedagogic farm near Mont Ventoux

Provencal outdoor market

St. Paul Mausole monastery in St. Remy de Provence

Wine tasting in Chateau Neuf du Pape village

This gourmet tour will take place in Provence, France.

Nearby places

  • Avignon - 25 minutes
Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Shopping nearby
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • In-room safe
  • Kitchen
Services
  • Convenience / grocery store nearby
  • Free bottled water
  • Local market
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet

During this culinary vacation you will savor daily delicious breakfasts, also four gourmet dinners and three gourmet lunches, all of this delectable meals include finesse wine. Cold soft drinks and bottled water are also included during the day trips.

Exclusions

  • Four lunches and two dinners.

Explore Avignon on day 7. 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 (ten in the old Avignon) including one with paintings from Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas and Modigliani

Visit to Paris

  • 3 gourmet lunches with wine
  • 4 cooking sessions
  • 4 gourmet dinners with wine
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • A free Paris planner for a self guided visit in Paris: suggestions of hotels, restaurants and places to visit
  • A personal bilingual chauffeur/guide throughout the week
  • Cold soft drinks, and bottled water during day trips
  • Daily tasty breakfasts
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
  • Train transfers
  • Transportation in a comfortable van with AC
  • Welcome reception
  • 2 dinners
  • 4 lunches
  • Additional transfers
  • Airfares to and from France
  • Extra activities
  • Personal expenses and tipping
  • Train fares to Avignon

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or at the Marseille Provence Airport (MRS).

Arrival by train

Upon arrival to the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or at the Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) please take the TGV train to get to the Avignon TGV train station. French Escapade will pick you up from the train station. The pick-up is included in the price.

Testimonials

  • Review by Rose M. from Belgium

    "I found the owners, Jackie and Valerie, two of the finest people I have met, especially as tour group owners. They are great to talk to, travel with, and just to be friends with. You as a traveler will be treated with great respect and as a family member. This is how I felt on the first day at the airport.Jackie is a great host, and driver. Her knowledge of each town, city, or country is almost unmatched. She makes sure her tours are exactly what she represents in each and every area. A great lady.All, and I do repeat, all of the people on my tour had already been on other tours with French Escapade. The friendships with each other and myself was as if we had all come here together, knowing one another, as old friends. Each of us ate and drank with enthusiasm, laughing, playing around, joking, and just having a great time as if in a large family."

    French Escapade website, edited

  • Review by Bonnie C. from United States

    "From the moment we connected at the airport, I felt myself relax. Jackie and Valerie attended to every detail of making the trip safe, educational, entertaining, and country-French authentic. Yet they did it with a kind of grace and that felt like each person's needs and tastes were important and respected.It was so refreshing to just surrender to the beauty of the place and to their special charms. We all wanted to live there forever, or, lacking that, take them both home with us. Dream on, dream on."

    French Escapade website, edited

  • Review by Susan W. from United States

    "We arrived back in Oakland late Tuesday night, and have been re-living every special and wonderful moment of our time in Provence. It was a magnificent experience, and it was because of the care and concern you poured into every detail of the trip.It was like a sumptuous meal with one very delicious dish after another. Thank you for being who you are and doing what you do. Neither of us will ever forget how we spent our 25th anniversary! I hope you are doing well, I know how hard you are working."

    French Escapade website, edited

California, United States

French Escapade provides authentic and unique vacations by offering an off-the-beaten path experience that includes history, nature, local art, folklore, and of course, gourmet cuisine.

from --

8 days / 7 nights

Availability

Arrival: Monday October 9, 2017
Departure: Monday October 16, 2017

Special discount

French Escapade offers a “Host a video presentation” discount and a “Refer your friends to French Escapade” special discount of 100 USD per referral.

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