5 Days Culture and Gourmet Cooking Vacations in Loire Valley, France

5 Days Culture and Gourmet Cooking Vacations in Loire Valley, France

  • Savigny Guesthouse, Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, France

Cooking Vacations in France

Join this fabulous adventure through the history of France, featuring the Loire Valley exquisite cuisine and fine wines. Learn to cook with Corinne, visit historical sites, and Michelin restaurant experience to give you a flavor of French history and tradition. Slow down and let food be the focal point of the day. Every day is a new adventure, with new flavors waiting to be explored!

Highlights

  • 2 hands-on cooking classes
  • Visit to a winery and wine tasting
  • Lunch in Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Transfer from and to the airport or Paris downtown
  • Guided walking tour to Orléans medieval quarter
  • Tours to royal chateaux and historic towns
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 5 days with instruction
  • English
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During this tour, you will be accommodated at luxurious Savigny Guesthouse nearby Chinon, on the chateaux route. This entirely renovated manor is privatized for Gourmet Loire Valley tour. It offers four elegant and spacious bedrooms with its en-suite private bathrooms. You will find hairdryer and toiletry products in each bathroom. You will find hairdryer and toiletries in each bathroom. Modern amenities include complimentary tea or coffee making facilities, mineral water, and free Wi-Fi internet connection.

Gourmet Loire Valley is a Lifestyle Vacations' original tour departing from Paris, and exploring the region from Orléans to Chinon. The route features awesome chateaux, historic towns and villages, and gourmet adventure through cooking classes, visits to producers, and Michelin restaurant experiences. Their cultural program includes visits to six different sites, such as Orleans, Villandry, Chinon, Langeais, Chenonceau, and Chambord.

Join Corinne to experience the traditional French and regional cuisine in the Savigny guesthouse kitchen on Tuesday and Thursday. Cooking classes are hands-on and taught in English. You will learn how to cook, enjoy the food, and have fun!

Each class lasts for about three hours, the perfect time to prepare and to cook a well balanced menu. It includes a starter, a main course, and a dessert. One class will celebrate fish of the Loire (sandre or similar). The second one will focus on free-range organic chicken called "La Géline de Touraine". Aperitif and tasting dinners are accompanied by wine, mineral water, coffee or herbal tea.

Day 1 (Monday) - Paris to Chinon

In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel or airport (to be confirmed). Head to Chinon through Orléans, followed by lunch at a Michelin-star restaurant in Orléans. Get ready for an afternoon guided walking tour to Orléans medieval quarter. Then, you will be transferred to Chinon. Check-in at the guesthouse. At 7:30 p.m., enjoy a welcome aperitif and dinner. Overnight at Savigny guesthouse.

Day 2 (Tuesday) - Langeais

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Langeais. Get ready for a morning visit to the royal chateau, where King Louis XI lived in the 15th century. It gets more popular because of the marriage of King of France, Charles VIII (1470-1498) and the daughter of Duke of Brittany Francis II (1433-1488), Anne of Brittany (1477-1514). Enjoy lunch at a gourmet restaurant in Langeais. Then, you will head back to the guesthouse to rest.

Afternoon cooking class will start at 4:30 p.m. for three hours, followed by food and wine pairing dinner. Overnight at Savigny guesthouse.

Day 3 (Wednesday) - Chenonceaux and Villandry

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Villandry. You will enjoy a morning guided tour to Villandry chateau and magnificent gardens for about two hours.

Before you head to Chenonceaux, you will have lunch at a gourmet restaurant in Savonnières. Get ready for an afternoon visit to the renaissance chateau, where Queen Catherine de Medici, Diane of Poitiers, and King Henri II lived. Head back to the guesthouse for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 4 (Thursday) - Chinon

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Chinon (10 minutes by car). Visit to a winery (including wines tasting), followed by a walking tour and lunch in Chinon. Then, you will have free time for shopping early in the afternoon. Head back to the guesthouse. At 5 p.m., you will take part in a cooking class, followed by food and wine pairing dinner. Overnight at Savigny guesthouse.

Day 5 (Friday) - Chambord to Paris

Get ready to check-out after breakfast. You will be transferred to Chambord. Then, you will stop for lunch in a traditional restaurant nearby. Enjoy an afternoon guided tour to the Chateau of Chambord, which is one of biggest castles in France and in Europe, a pure Renaissance-style architectural jewel! Head back to Paris around 5:00 p.m. This will be the end of your tour.

Gourmet Loire Valley tour is offered upon request and it is scheduled from April to June, September, and October. Tour is confirmed with four people, and it is limited to eight participants. Considering the limited space in the tour and in the property, reservation is necessary in advance, especially in May, June, and September. Please let Lifestyle Vacations know if you need a hotel reservation in Paris, after the Loire Valley tour.

This program includes visits to six different sites, such as Orleans, Villandry, Chinon, Langeais, Chenonceau, and Chambord.

Chenonceau

Chenonceau is a chateau which unique architecture reflects in the water, sits over the Cher River. Also called the “Chateau des Dames", it owes a large part of its charm to women. It was built in 1513 by Katherine Briconnet, then made even more attractive by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici, and saved from the rigors of the French Revolution by Mrs. Dupin. The chateau is surrounded by very pretty formal gardens. To reach the chateau and gardens, you need to walk up a long wooded road.

Villandry

Chateau of Villandry is known for its amazing gardens. Villandry was built in the 16th century, influenced by the Italian and Middle Ages. It prefigures the French classical style, also known as the Henry IV style. Villandry boasts unique renaissance gardens, among the most fascinating gardens (ornamental gardens, water garden, herb garden, and kitchen garden).

Chambord

Chateau of Chambord is considered as the biggest renaissance chateau in France. It is the most visited historic site after Chenonceau. Built in the 16th century for King Francis I, it has only served as a hunting lodge.

  • Corinne Preteur

    Born in Paris and raised in the Loire Valley, Corinne has spent many years in the USA, working first for Hasbro Milton Bradley (Massachusetts and Rhode Island), and partnering with Birmingham Associates in Boston, then. Within her long professional career, Corinne has organized and guided numerous VIP tours and press trips worldwide. She has an extensive knowledge in France history, food, wine, and gastronomy, in general. She is the creator, owner, and director of Lifestyle Vacations France, and the founder of Paris-based Antilope Productions company and Côté Loisirs TV France.

Loire Valley is one of the top-ranked picturesque regions, featuring an impressive historic and architectural heritage, and scenic landscapes shaped by the majestic Loire River, listed as the UNESCO world heritage sites. Loire Valley is also famous for its exquisite food and fine wines. The Loire Valley, known as “the garden of France", is a fertile region, where a rich farmland stretches on both sides of the Loire River, growing lots of veggies and fruits (apple, pears, berries, and many more).

It is also well known for its mushrooms caves, forest full of game during fall seasons, and its ponds and river for freshwater fish. Many desserts have been created in the Loire Valley such as Tarte Tatin (a delicious upside-down caramelized apple tart), Cremet d'Anjou (a mix of whipped cream, whipped cottage cheese, and whisked egg whites), and Pithiviers (a puff pastry pie filled with almond cream).

It is reputed for the goat cheese, taking the names of villages where it is from, such as Selles-sur-Cher, Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, Valençay, and Chavignol. It is also home to wine. Loire Valley is France's third largest region in terms of production, and its vineyard is the fourth largest one in the country. Sixty three appellations (AOC) are listed for 400 millions bottles.

Loire Valley's varied soil and climate gives definitive expression of popular wine grapes, such as Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc, and Cabernet Franc. The vineyards are divided into five areas, including Touraine with its own wines and variety.

Nearby places

  • Chinon - 10 minutes

Copious and delicious home-made continental breakfasts are served in the family dining room or on the sunny terrace in the spring or summer. Continental breakfasts include tea, coffee or hot chocolate, freshly baked cake straight out of the oven, homemade jam, muesli, yogurt, cheese, juice and fresh fruits, and of course French baguette and croissants. You will enjoy two dinners celebrating the local Touraine cuisine at the guesthouse. Dinners are accompanied with Loire Valley white and red wines.

  • 2 hands-on cooking classes celebrating the French and Loire Valley cuisine
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfasts, lunches, and dinners as detailed in the itinerary
  • Entrance tickets to the chateaux and sites
  • Guided tours to royal chateaux and historic towns
  • Recipes in English
  • Transfer from and to the airport or Paris downtown
  • Transportation by a private van
  • Airfare
  • Drinks at the restaurants
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal insurance

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Lifestyle Vacations will pick you up from the airport.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 60 days before arrival.

Sèvres, France

Lifestyle Vacations offers authentic hands-on cooking classes along with gourmet and cultural tours that feature the French culture and traditions.

from --

5 days / 4 nights

Availability

This vacation is available from April to June, September, and October, with arrival on Monday.

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