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Get a taste of the delightful cuisine and wines in Bordeaux, France, where you will become enchanted from the first day until the very last. Your holiday experience will not only be enjoyable and fun, but knowledgeable as well once you have gone through your cooking class with the ever wonderful Chef Myriam. If you are up for a variety of gastronomy, then this vacation is definitely something that you should take part in!
Your headquarters is Mandel guesthouse, a charming four-keys guesthouse, located downtown nearby Saint-Seurin Basilica. It takes no more than ten minutes by walking to get to the Garonne banks, the public garden, the opera house, the alive Sainte-Catherine, and Saint-Pierre quarters, famous for restaurants and shopping.
Mandel guesthouse is a privately-owned nineteenth-century renovated villa set on three levels. It offers four beautifully decorated rooms with en-suite bathrooms (bath or shower, hairdryer, and bathrobes), all furnished with stylish antiques and king-size or two single beds. Modern amenities include coffee and tea facilities, TV with international cable chains, and free Wi-Fi access.
The rooms are air-conditioned. Daily continental breakfasts are served in the family dining room or on the terrace facing a small garden with a pool. Please note that the owners have two cats.
Lifestyle Vacations has chosen Bordeaux as a starting point for your wine tour in consideration of the location of the city at the center of the Medoc, Saint-Emilion, Sauternes, and Graves prestigious vineyards.
The cooking class is in celebration of the delicious south west cuisine. You will be under Chef Myriam's care during the cooking class. She was born and raised in a family of chefs and naturally gained her passion for cooking by her grand-mother.
Your cooking class celebrates the local cuisine with simple recipes. This is a hands-on class taught in English. You will learn how to prepare and to cook a three-course menu from scratch. The menu includes a starter, a main course, and a dessert, all prepared with fresh seasonal produce from the market.
Sample menus can include oeuf en meurette (eggs baked in red wine sauce), foie gras creme brulee, rack of lamb in a crust of herbs, “Parmentier" duck confit, chicken supreme cooked in Sauternes wine, Grand Marnier souffle, strawberries in a spicy red wine sauce, and etc.
Your cooking class is scheduled in the morning, starting at 10:45 a.m. for about two and a half hours. You will then have a tasting lunch accompanied by wine. Recipes will be emailed after the class.
Bordeaux is the biggest region of wine production in the world, made up of five main vineyards: Medoc, Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Graves, and Sauternes. Medoc and Saint-Emilion red wines are made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon often blended with Cabernet Franc. The color tends to be a garnet or ruby shade. The flavor is typically a light one, with blackberry, black fruits, wood, and other notes.
You will learn about the 1855 classification relied to Paris Universal Exhibition. Napoleon III asked a panel to break the region's wines down by price (therefore, hopefully, quality as well). The 1855 classification was never meant to be an official quality roster, however it's still unchanged today.
This "Taste of Bordeaux" program includes two expert-led tours to the Medoc (Saint Julien, Pauillac, and Margaux) and to Saint-Emilion, with three prestigious Chateaux “Grands Crus" visits followed by wine tastings.
In the morning, you will be picked up at Bordeaux St-Jean train station. Early in the afternoon, you will check-in at the guesthouse. There will be a one-hour guided tour of Bordeaux in an open-air coach starting at 3:45 p.m. The meeting point will be at the visitors bureau. After that, you will have free time, followed by welcome food and wine pairing dinner at Mandel.
The day starts with a continental breakfast. Your cooking class will be celebrating the south west cuisine. After the class, there will a tasting of the three-course lunch accompanied by a glass of wine.
You will then transfer to Saint-Emilion through Pomerol by a private minibus. You will have an expert-led one-hour visit to a Grand Cru winery, followed by wine tasting starting at 3:00 p.m. There will also be a walking tour to Saint-Emilion medieval village which is listed at the Unesco. Your transfer to Bordeaux is at 5:30 p.m., followed by some relaxing time. There will be a five-course dinner at restaurant Miles (wine is at extra cost) in Bordeaux.
The day starts with a continental breakfast. You will then transfer to the Medoc through Margaux by a private minibus. You will have an expert-led one-hour visit to a Grand Cru winery such as Chateau Lascombes or Pichon-Longueville, a Second Growth of Margaux, or Pauillac.
Your traditional lunch will be at Le Savoie in Margaux or at Chez Mémé in Saint-Julien-Beychevelle (wine is at extra cost). An afternoon visit to Chateau Léoville-Poyferré, a Second Growth of Saint-Julien, or similar. Your transfer to Bordeaux is at 5:30 p.m., followed by some relaxing time. Dinner will be on your own.
You will have your final breakfast at the guesthouse. Check-out is no later than 11 a.m. and you will be dropped off at Bordeaux St-Jean train station.
Chef Myriam belongs to the generation of cooks who learnt cooking and baking through parents and grands parents.
The retreat will take place in Bordeaux, France. Bordeaux, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage, is the capital of the Aquitaine region, and the fifth largest city in France. You will enjoy its alive shopping streets, historic quarters, food markets, cafes, wine bars, and intimate traditional and gourmet restaurants.
The city gave its name to the vineyard and its legendary chateaux of Saint-Empire, Margaux, Pauillac, and more. Ideally located at the Gironde river estuary, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Atlantic coast, the city of Bordeaux was the largest port in France before the 1789 Revolution.
The wine business and the triangular trade contributed to make merchants fortunate and to create an eighteenth century outstanding architectural heritage with private mansions, theaters and museums, tree-shaded thoroughfares, large avenues that invite to walks, and beautifully designed river banks facing classified buildings such as Hotel de la Bourse, Grand Pavilion, and fountains.
The price of the package includes daily breakfast, one lunch, and two dinners as mentioned in the itinerary.
Please book your train to arrive at Bordeaux Saint-Jean train station. Transfer from and to the train station is included. Lifestyle Vacations will pick you up from the train station.
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