Normandy17 – 24 May 2020 (8 days / 7 nights)
Day 1 – Sunday
- Group transfer from Belgium to Caen OR make your own arrangements.
- Check into your riverside hotel and perhaps take a walk around town.
- Dinner tonight in one of Caen’s best known seafood restaurants.
Day 2 – Monday
CAEN, CIDER AND CHEESE
- AM. This morning we will take a walking tour around the city centre of Caen, including the Château de Caen, a circa-1060 castle built by William the Conqueror. There will be plenty of time to learn about the history of this fascinating capital of Lower Normandy and we will stop in one of the most popular spots for coffee and a pastry during the morning.
- Lunch in a local bistro.
- PM. This afternoon we join our guide for a private tour on the ‘Fromage and Cider Routes’ and visit the birthplace of Camembert. We will discover several cheese producers such as Livarot and Pont l’Eveque as well as cider and calvados producers and enjoy opportunities to taste and buy.
- Dinner in Caen.
Day 3 – Tuesday
MONT ST MICHEL AND VILLEDIEUX-LES-POELES
- AM. Today, our guide will take us to the stunningly beautiful Mont St. Michel – one of the most popular destinations in Normandy. Our journey takes us along the gorgeous Emerald Coast and once we arrive in Mont St Michel, we will visit the Abbey founded in the 8th century.
- Lunch today will be the famous ‘Omelette de la Mer Poulard” which is a real indulgence but an institution when visiting ‘the mont’.
- PM. During our drive back to Caen, we will visit the quaint town of Villedieux-Les-Poeles, which has been producing copperware and church bells for centuries. We will have some time to walk the alleyways and visit copper workshops and buy copper kitchenware.
- Dinner tonight at your leisure. Choose from one of the many bistros in town or perhaps just a baguette after our busy day trip!
Day 4 – Wednesday
GOURMET TASTINGS AND COOKING CLASS
- AM. A more relaxed day today, we meet our private guide for a ‘gourmet walking tour’ around the City.
- Artisan producers of bread, patisserie, foie gras, chocolate and of course, cheese will be high on our list of priorities but there will also be some extra surprises such as the local Calvados, amongst others.
- PM. This afternoon we will enjoy a ‘hands on’ cooking class in a picturesque village not far from Caen, nestled amongst the cow paddocks and marshes near Pont L’Eveque. The class will focus on regional, seasonal produce such as mushrooms, pears, duck and truffles.
- If weather permits, we will forage for local herbs, mushrooms and flowers to use in our cooking. After we finish cooking, the results will form the basis for our dinner before we return to Caen.
Day 5 – Thursday
DEAUVILLE, TROUVILLE, SEAFOOD
- AM: This morning, we meet our private guide for a historical/gourmet walk around Brussels, learning about the history, architecture and art as well as tasting a range of cheese, pate, sausage, pastry, bread and coffee along the way, ending with a local beer.
- This afternoon join a private class for a chocolate making extravaganza. During the class we will learn about different varieties of cocoa and learn how to temper chocolate, then move on to pralines, filled chocolates and finish with the ultimate hot chocolate!
You will of course, take all your hand made creations home with you.
- Spend the rest of the day at your leisure before we re-group for dinner at the spectacular ‘Alexandre’, just a few minutes walk away. This restaurant is one of the best in the city and is a contemporary feast for the senses, and some of prettiest food I’ve ever eaten!
Day 6 – Friday
CAEN MARKET DAY AND MICHELIN STARS
- AM. Friday is one of the best market days in the region and Caen’s market in Saint Saveur won’t disappoint! Wander the many stallholders selling local fruit, vegetables, cheese, charcuterie, truffles, mushrooms and so much more. Local market traders here also sell clothing, kitchen items and antiques so we will have some time to enjoy all the market has to offer. Our market morning will finish with a visit to my favourite fromagerie in Caen specializing in artisan local cheese and enjoy an extensive tasting with bread and local wine.
- PM. This afternoon, enjoy some free time to shop, rest or book a spa treatment nearby.
- This evening we will dine at one of Caen’s premier Michelin starred restaurants. A Contre Sens is fresh, fun innovative and delicious and the staff are fantastic!
Day 7 – Saturday
PATISSERIE AND MORE STARS
- AM: French dessert and pastry is quite an art and today we will meet Stephane and experience a ‘once in a lifetime’ pastry class with this Michelin Star Restaurant chef. Stephane has cooked in some of France’s best restaurants and also takes classes in wine matching so we will be in very good hands today.
- This afternoon, we will have some time to relax, pack, shop or just take a last walk around this beautiful town.
- Our final group dinner tonight will be back at Stephane’s restaurant where we will experience the elegance and style as well as the modern french cuisine he is so well-known for.
- Stephane’s plating is incredible and the degustation menu will give the cooks amongst us lots of ideas for future dinner parties of our own!
Day 8 – Sunday
- Group transfer to Paris or your own travel arrangements.
Note: For those making their own arrangements, this is the biggest market day in the region, so you may like to take some time to wander the market while the hotel minds your baggage.
Rates & Bookings
Rate per person sharing twin room: € 2450
Single supplement: € 600
TO BOOK PLEASE CONTACT:
Rate per person includes:
- Seven nights accommodations in Caen, Calvados, France,
- Recipe folder, recipes and apron,
- Meals: daily breakfast, lunches and dinners as per itinerary,
- Cooking classes and excursions as per itinerary,
- Entrance to all excursions,
- Transportation for all excursions
We reserve the right to substitute some activities on the itinerary in circumstances (such as weather) which are beyond our control.
Optional Extra Seafood day!
With so much to see, do and eat in Normandy, we have added an exclusive ‘optional extra’ day at the end of our group week. This will only be open to a maximum of 5 participants and will feature a fabulous seafood experience!
After we say ‘Au Revoir’ to the rest of the group in Caen, we head with our private driver to a gorgeous hamlet in the heart of Normandy to spend a day and night in a private guesthouse.
“The Priory”, a 17th century home set on two acres of secluded orchard garden will be our private residence for the next day and night.
After our morning arrival, we will head straight to the spectacular seafood market where the produce is literally ‘fresh off the boat’ and we will decide at the market, what we want to cook based on the day’s catch.
Market selection depends on the season, and we will have the opportunity to select fish and shellfish that is perhaps unusual or that we have never cooked with before. The chef will then create a cooking class and menu around our selection. Expect to learn 6-8 new seafood dishes.
Return to The Priory and spend the afternoon cooking, baking and picking from the market garden as we turn the ‘fruits of our labour’ into a sumptuous feast for dinner.
Enjoy a restful night in the country and awake to a delicious French country breakfast before we head back to Paris with our private driver.
This is an opportunity not to be missed!
Rates & Bookings
Rate per person is: € 350
TO BOOK PLEASE CONTACT:
Rate per person includes:
- Transfer to The Priory
- Seafood market experience
- Seafood Cooking class
- Transfer to Paris