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Imagine if you are a foodie traveler and a food and wine lover. You are interested in learning more about the history of France, its traditions and culture. You like the elegance and the “chic à la française". You are looking for an all-inclusive tour designed for individuals or a small group. This program featuring the South West of France and the Dordogne Valley is for you!
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.
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.
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.
Join Corinne in her kitchen to learn the best of the South West traditional cuisine that you will be able to make at home with ingredients you will easily find. Program includes three hands-on cooking classes operated in Saint-Cybranet quaint village. You will experience at least 15 different recipes from scratch.
Despite the South West cuisine is reputed to be rich, Corinne creates well-balanced menus paired with local wines for example, Bergerac, Montbazillac, and Pecharmant. Classes are scheduled in the morning or in the afternoon. It's followed by a food and wine pairing tasting lunch or dinner.
The Perigord cuisine celebrates the countryside traditions. Menus follow seasonal fresh produce. It can include duck paté, onion soup, chestnut and foie gras velouté, escargots and mushrooms pastry, truffle scrambled eggs, beef fillet with wine sauce and seasonal vegetables, chicken “made-in-Perigord", seasonal fruits clafoutis, soufflé, walnut cake, walnut and honey crepes.
It can also include poached fruits in red wine, brioche French toast, pears and walnut tart, and etc. You will of course enjoy the Rocamadour and Cabecou local goat creamy cheese accompanied by walnut oil dressed salad!
Each day offers a feast! Aside to cooking classes followed by a tasting lunch or dinner, you will experience the finest South West cuisine in traditional and gourmet restaurants. You will also improve your knowledge in Bordeaux wines through a wine tasting class.
You will try to find the numerous aromas in the white and red wine, you will learn about the different grapes that make the Bordeaux wines so fine. You will visit wineries (Bordeaux and Bergerac), a geese farm, and a walnut oil mill. You will experience the farmers market tour and shopping!
You will be pick up at Bordeaux rail station or airport of hotel. You will be transferred to Dordogne by private car or van for check-in at La Maison de Laroc. You will then go to Corinne's house in Saint-Cybranet as it is around 10 minutes drive.
Welcome aperitif and a session to take time to review the itinerary and program. There will be a welcome dinner accompanied by wine. You will then be transferred to the guesthouse for overnight.
Transfer to Corinne's house by private car or van after breakfast. There will be a welcome tea or coffee before partaking your first cooking class followed by lunch. You will go for afternoon tour to Beynac medieval village through its steep cobble-stone streets and paths, and visit to the 12th-century chateau and fortress. Dinner will be at a restaurant in Daglan. You will then be transferred to the guesthouse for overnight.
After breakfast, you will visit cheese and geese farms. Then, you will join Corinne in her kitchen to partake your second cooking class. She will teach you how to prepare a well-balanced dinner within two hours only. Tasting lunch follows. You will go for an afternoon visit to the walnut oil mill and museum, and to Castelnaud-La-Chapelle medieval castle. Dinner will be at a restaurant in La Roque Gageac. Overnight.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Sarlat. There will be a market tour and shopping followed by cooking class and lunch. Later in the afternoon, there will be a guided tour to Salat followed by dinner in a Michelin-star restaurant. Overnight.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Lascaux. You will experience half-day guided excursion including the visit to Lascaux. You will have your lunch in a traditional auberge.
There will be an afternoon guided tour to Marqueysac beautiful gardens or visit to Chateau des Milandes which was Josephine Baker last residence. Gourmet food and wine dinner at Corinne's house. Overnight.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Saint-Emilion through Bergerac. You will experience a guided tour of Bergerac including a cruise in a traditional boat called gabare on the Dordogne river. Lunch will be in Bergerac followed by an afternoon visit to a winery. You will then check-in at le Château Saint-Jean for your rest. Dinner will be in a Michelin-star restaurant in the village. Overnight.
You will enjoy breakfast at Chateau Saint-Jean followed by a visit to a prestigious Grand Cru winery in the morning. Gourmet lunch will be at a Michelin-star restaurant in Saint-Emilion. In the afternoon, there will be a wine tasting class and guided cultural tour of Saint-Emilion by minibus. You will be transferred to Chateau Saint-Jean for dinner and overnight.
You will have your breakfast at Chateau Saint-Jean. There will be a full-day tour to Sauternes and Les Graves vineyards including visits to wineries (tastings always follow). Gourmet lunch will be in Sauternes. You will be transferred to Chateau Saint-Jean for dinner and overnight.
You will prepare for check-out after breakfast. You will be transferred to Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) or train station. End of the tour.
Taste of Dordogne and Bordeaux includes no more than seven cultural tours. You will be overwhelmed by the beauty of Saint-Emilion medieval village, its underground cathedral, convents, ermitage, steep cobble-stone paths, and of course the Dordogne Valley. You will visit Bergerac to learn more about Cyrano and the Mousquetaires.
You will visit the outstanding medieval and Renaissance-style city of Sarlat, as well as La Roque Gageac, Beynac, Saint-Cyprien, and Castelnaud La Chapelle quaint villages lining the Dordogne river.
You will visit Les Eyzies-de-Tayac legendary prehistoric site as well as Lascaux decorated caves with impressive paintings and engravings, ranging from about 30,000 to 12,000 years ago. The Vézère Valley in Dordogne is so rich in Palaeolithic archaeology that the region was placed on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites in 1979.
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.
Dordogne county is historically one of the most interesting in France. It draws from its very remote history to highlight its cave paintings dating from 40,000 BC whose Lascaux is the most representative, and Les Eyzies-de-Tayac museum of prehistory. In the Middle age, the region was shaken by religious wars and conflicts that opposed the Kingdoms of France and England.
This period left another kind of heritage: castles and medieval fortresses, built on hilltop villages overlooking the Dordogne river. The more quiet late fifteen and sixteen centuries were more conducive to the development in urban architecture, leaving today a beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architectural heritage especially in Perigueux, Bergerac, and Sarlat.
Food, wine, traditions, and culture are all linked to the past time and history. Before the railway and road constructions, the trade was operated on rivers to the ocean. The food, the wine, and the wood were transported by boat to the Atlantic coast. Fortunate families have built chateaux, manors, and other prestigious houses which contributed to make the France heritage unique.
About one-hour distance from Sarlat, you find the former Viscounty of Turenne which had been a State in the State for at least 900 years until 1738. Viscounts held in a simple tribute of honor to the King were exempt from tax, and act as sovereign: they organized the General Estates, raised taxes, ennoble, and etc.
Turenne, Collonges-la-Rouge, and Curemonte are the witness of this incredible period. Aside to this nobility, peasants worked the land hardly. One of the Dordogne or Perigord main resource has been the live stock especially of ducks and geese, as well as walnuts plantations and it's still today.
In autumn and winter, porcini mushrooms and black truffles arrive on the markets' booths attracting gourmets from all over France and beyond. Dordogne also have beautiful vineyards such as Bergerac producing full-body reds which match perfectly with confit and duck breast.
Bordeaux, listed at the UNESCO world heritage, is the capital of the Aquitaine region. The city gave its name to a prestigious vineyard and its legendary châteaux of Medoc, Pomerol, Saint-Emilion, and etc.
Ideally located at the Gironde river estuary, a few kilometers distance from the Atlantic coast, Bordeaux was the biggest port before the 1789 Revolution. The wine trade and the commerce contributed to make merchants fortunate and to create a fabulous architectural heritage: private mansions, opera house, theater and museums, tree-shaded thoroughfares and avenues that invite to walks, beautifully designed river banks. %Bordeaux is now the ninth biggest city of France with 242 000 inhabitants and one of most dynamic cities with shopping streets right in the historic quarters, indoor and open-air markets, cafés, wine bars, intimate bistrots, and gourmet restaurants. Bordeaux is 50 miles distance from the Dordogne Valley.
Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served in in traditional and Michelin-star restaurants.
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.
Please book your train to arrive at Bordeaux train station. Lifestyle Vacations will pick you up from the train station.
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