9 Days Aquitaine Symphony of Flavors Cooking Holiday in France

9 Days Aquitaine Symphony of Flavors Cooking Holiday in France

  • Chateau Saint-Jean, Dordogne, France

Wine tasting and Cooking Holidays in France

Join this tour as it combines the discovery of Bordeaux prestigious vineyards and the outstanding Dordogne Valley highlighted by a unique architectural and food heritage. You will partake in cooking and bread making classes run with professional chefs. You will enjoy the southwest and French cuisine paired with fine wines in traditional and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Highlights

  • Bread making class in Bordeaux
  • Market cooking class followed by lunch
  • Guided tours of Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, Bergerac, and Sarlat
  • Two cooking classes followed by tasting luncheons accompanied by wine
  • 9 days transportation by private mono-space car
  • Daily breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Airport and train station transfers
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • 8 days with instruction
  • English
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During the tour, you will be staying in two accommodations in France. The accommodation is based on double occupancy. Single occupancy is also available at an additional cost.

La Maison de Laroc

Located in the heart of the Dordogne Valley in a picturesque village listed among the 100 most beautiful spots in France, this luxury guest house is a contemporary architect villa built on a basis of traditional tobacco barns. The guesthouse is independent to the owners house. It offers three spacious and modern-designed bedrooms with en suite private bathrooms, furnished with king-sized beds.

All rooms are air-conditioned and oriented south with a view on the valley. For the morning great moment of exchange and conviviality, Anne prepares daily delicious breakfasts which include a squeezed orange juice, fresh fruits salad, home-made jams, croissants, baguettes, butter, cereals, yogurts, and more.

Chateau Saint-Jean

This is a 17th century renovated property nestled in a six hectares landscape garden with its pool and open-air Jacuzzi, surrounded by woods. Located 15 minutes from Saint-Emilion classified village and prestigious vineyards, Chateau Saint-Jean features a gorgeous view down to the glassy waters of the river Dordogne. It is home to Isabelle, Pascal, and her daughter Margot.

The chateau offers five spacious and beautifully decorated guest rooms and suites, as well as two independent apartments and loft-house. Modern amenities include electric heaters, hairdryer, bathrobes, towels. There are free internet access, TV cable, and coffee and tea facilities in each room. Home-made breakfast includes coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, freshly baked cake, crepes or waffles, baguette and croissants, butter and jams, cereals, yogurts, fresh fruits and juice, and more.

French south-west cuisine is traditional but also rich. It reflects a rural lifestyle and respect the old traditions. You will certainly enjoy home-made confit, delicious foie gras paté made with the duck or goose livers from the farm with no chemicals, and the certitude that the animals have been fed correctly and with the best cereals, sautéed potatoes in the goose fat with porcini mushrooms, the green salad dressed with a flavorful walnut oil, to finish with a walnut home-made cake.

Luckily for your diet, all menus are different and Lifestyle Vacations will take a special care in balancing it with seasonal vegetables and fruits, and fish from the river or the Atlantic nearby.

The Bordeaux region live by wine. Its local cuisine is inspired by the nearby Perigord and French cuisine. One of the classic is entrecote à la bordelaise, a beef rib steak served with a red-wine sauce. The other classic is lamproie à la bordelaise, a kind of eel cooked with the fish blood and wine. You will certainly taste delicious Cannelés (rum cupcakes baked in little copper flutted moulds), and Dunes, these tiny choux pastry filled with whipped cream.

This program includes three cooking classes, all hands-on, and run by professional chefs. One cooking class is operated in Bordeaux Cooking school, run by a woman chef. Chef Myriam belongs to the generation of cooks who learnt cooking and baking through parents and grands parents, a family heritage in one word.

Your class is scheduled in the morning. At 2:30 p.m., you will learn how to prepare and to cook a three-course menu including a starter, a main course, and a dessert. Tasting lunch accompanied by wine follows.

The second cooking class will be in Sarlat, Périgord. Chef Maxime welcomes you in his professional kitchen and Michelin-star restaurant. The class is scheduled on Friday morning. You will prepare and cook a three-course meal that you will taste afterward.

Sample menu can be a foie gras with a basil flavored plum compote, walnut wine granité and walnut bread, marinated langoustines with black vinegar, ginger and baby onions which are snacked and served with artichoke mousse and shellfish ice cream, goose fillet with parsnip purée and sour-sweet fig sauce, coconut macaron with fresh strawberries and black olives cream, coconut, and tarragon sorbet.

The third cooking adventure is the market cooking class in Brive-La-Gaillarde. Meet with Chef Danièle Delpeuch, who was the French President Mitterrand personal cook in the Elysée Palace in Paris. Experience the fabulous food market of Brive with Chef Danièle for about one-hour. Then get back to La Borderie, her farm to prepare and to cook a three-course menu with the fresh produce from the market.

Tasting lunch will be accompanied by wine tasting. Menus always consider the clients likes, dislikes, food restrictions, or allergies if any. Detailed menus will be emailed to you after your reservation.

This program also includes a bread making class. In a lovely village located five minutes from Chateau Saint-Jean, you are welcome at Nikki and Jan, a professional baker who is now almost retired. Along your three-hour class, you will learn how to prepare the sourdough in using whole flour and water only. You will learn how to knead and to shape country loaf bread. You will learn how to bake it in a traditional fan oven. You will bring the fruits of your labor after the class.

Itinerary

Day 1- Sunday

Welcome to Libourne or Bordeaux train station at 2:00 p.m. or later. You will be transferred to Le Chateau Saint-Jean luxury guest house for a check-in and relaxing time. There will be an afternoon visit to Chateau de Bonhoste winery. There is a welcome aperitif and dinner accompanied by wine in Chateau Saint-Jean. Overnight.

Day 2 - Monday

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Bordeaux. Morning cooking class will start at 10:45 a.m., followed by lunch. There will be an afternoon one-hour panoramic and guided tour by convertible minibus to enjoy the UNESCO architectural heritage of Bordeaux such as the Place de la Bourse, Grosse Cloche, Saint-André cathedral and also the right bank of the Garonne river through the Pont de Pierre to get a panoramic view on the recently renovated banks.

The tour starts at 3:45 p.m. and it lasts one hour. There will be a late afternoon shopping and guided walking tour in Bordeaux. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred to Chateau Saint-Jean followed by dinner at the chateau. Overnight.

Day 3 - Tuesday

After breakfast, there will be a bread making class and followed by lunch in Pomerol. Then, there will be an afternoon visit to a prestigious winery followed by a walking tour of Saint-Emilion. You will have dinner in L'Auberge Saint-Jean Michelin-star restaurant. Overnight.

Day 4 - Wednesday

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Medoc through Bordeaux. You will visit a prestigious chateau in Margaux such as Chateau Lascombes and Chateau Rauzan-Gassies followed by a wine tasting and lunch in a traditional restaurant in Saint-Julien-Beychevelle.

There will be an afternoon visit to Pauillac and visit to another prestigious winery such as Chateau Pichon-Longueville and Chateau Lynch-Bages. You will be transferred to Chateau Saint-Jean followed by dinner in “Les Belles Perdrix" Michelin-star restaurant in Saint-Emilion. Overnight.

Day 5 - Thursday

You will check-out after breakfast and be transferred to the Perigord through Bergerac and Montbazillac. There will be a guided walking tour of Bergerac and lunch in the city. There will be an afternoon visit to Chateau de Montbazillac followed by wine tasting. You will check-in a La Maison de Laroc followed by a welcome drink and resting time. You will have your dinner in the nearby village of Castelnaud. Overnight.

Day 6 - Friday

There will be a breakfast. You will be transferred to Sarlat. There will be a cooking class followed by a gourmet tasting lunch in the Michelin-star restaurant. In the afternoon, there will be a walking tour and you can go for shopping in Sarlat. You will be transferred to La Maison de Laroc for your resting time followed by dinner and overnight at the property.

Day 7 - Saturday

You will have an early morning breakfast before you are transferred to Brive La Gaillarde. The market tour will start at 8:30 a.m. for one-hour, followed by a “casse-croûte sur le marché". There will be a hands-on cooking class in La Borderie farmhouse followed by lunch. In the afternoon, you will visit to a goose farm and to a traditional walnut oil mill. You will then resti in La Maison de Laroc followed by light dinner and overnight at the property.

Day 8 - Sunday

There will be a breakfast followed by a visit to the remarkable gardens of Marqueysac followed by lunch. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to Les Eyzies de Tayac or to Lascaux. You will be transferred to La Maison de Laroc. You will have a farewell food and wine pairing dinner in Castelnaud. Overnight.

Day 9 - Monday

You will have an early morning breakfast and check-out. You will be transferred to Bordeaux TGV train station or Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD). This will be the end of the tour. A very early departure is possible if you want to get your immediate international flight connection to your country.

An original tour such as the Aquitaine Symphony of Flavors necessarily includes visits to local producers (goose farm, walnut oil mill, cheese farm, etc), and a vineyard exploration. You will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the prestigious chateaux and winery in Saint-Emilion and in the Medoc, and by the beauty of Montbazillac producing a reputed sweet white wine.

You will for sure appreciate the friendly welcome granted by the family-run Chateau Bonhoste in Saint-Jean-de-Blaignac, and the quality of Bordeaux wines they produce. You will enjoy the market tour of Sarlat, one of the most important in the region.

But Bordeaux and Perigord have so much to show in its exceptional heritage that you cannot skip it. You will visit the city of Bordeaux by walking whose historic quarters lining the Garonne are listed at the UNESCO world heritage. You will visit Bergerac and learn more about Cyrano and his three Mousquetaires. You will also visit Sarlat and its outstanding medieval and Renaissance yellow-stone houses.

You will visit La Roque Gageac, Beynac, Saint-Cyprien, and Castelnaud La Chapelle, lovely villages built along the Dordogne river. You will visit the remarkable gardens of Marqueysac. Aside from your cooking classes tasting lunch and dinners, you will enjoy the Bordelaise and Perigourdine cuisine in traditional and gourmet restaurants, and in the guest houses (table d'hôtes) as well.

  • 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.

  • Chef Myriam

    Chef Myriam belongs to the generation of cooks who learnt cooking and baking through parents and grands parents.

  • Chef Maxime

    Chef Maxime will be the chef for your cooking lesson and he welcomes you in his professional kitchen and Michelin-star restaurant.

  • Chef Danièle Delpeuch

    Chef Danièle Delpeuch was the French President Mitterrand personal cook in the Elysée Palace in Paris.

The tour will take place in Bordeaux and Perigord, France. Two regions less than 50 miles distance to each other, so close yet different. Bordeaux made merchants fortunate with the wine and triangular trades, leaving a rich region with prestigious vineyards, a fabulous architectural heritage, and unmatched art of living.

Perigord draws from its very remote history to highlight its cave paintings dating from 40,000 BC whose Lascaux is the most representative, its museum of prehistory (les Eyzies-de-Tayac) being at the center of the world's biggest concentration of sites occupied and embellished by mankind.

Explore the Dordogne valley through the past times and you will be amazed by its outstanding castles and medieval fortresses, magnificent hilltop villages overlooking the river, preserved medieval towns such as Perigueux, Bergerac, and Sarlat-la-Caneda with 400 years of glory starting at the 14th century. Like Bordeaux, the Perigord is an epicurean destination, boasting numerous duck and geese farms, goat cheese farms and walnut groves.

In autumn and winter, porcini mushrooms and black truffles arrive on the markets' booths attracting gourmets from all over France and beyond. Bergerac is also a reputed vineyard producing full-body reds which pair with confit and duck breast!

Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served in in traditional and Michelin-star restaurants.

  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Market cooking class followed by lunch
  • 2 cooking classes followed by tasting luncheons accompanied by wine
  • Daily breakfasts, lunch, and dinner in traditional and Michelin-star restaurants
  • Bread making class in Bordeaux
  • Guided tours of Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, Bergerac, and Sarlat
  • Visits to cultural sites as detailed in the itinerary
  • Visits to the prestigious chateaux in Saint-Emilion and in the Medoc
  • Visits to local producers as detailed in the itinerary
  • Recipes in English
  • Transportation by private mono-space car
  • Airport transfers
  • All taxes and VAT
  • Libourne and Bordeaux train station transfers
  • Airfare to and from your country
  • Drinks at restaurants
  • Personal insurance
  • Personal expenses

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Lifestyle Vacations will pick you up from the airport.

Arrival by train

Please book your train to arrive at Libourne or Bordeaux train station. Lifestyle Vacations will pick you up from the train station.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.

Sèvres, France

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

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9 days / 8 nights

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