St. Remy de Provence, France3 - 10 May 2020 (8 days / 7 nights)
Day 1 – Sunday
- Optional transfer by TGV from Paris to Avignon TGV then to St Remy de Provence or your own arrangements to hotel.
- Check into your beautiful spa hotel and perhaps sit by the pool in the sunshine.
- Walk around town and browse the gorgeous shops.
- Dinner in a lovely local restaurant called ‘Saveurs de Provence’ specializing in Bouillabaisse and Aioli – two Provencal favourites!
Day 2 – Monday
MEDIEVAL TOWNS AND LAVENDER
- AM. This morning will be a little relaxed with time to dwell on breakfast and then perhaps a gentle walk up to Glanum, the remnants of an old Roman town dating from 27 BCE.
- PM. At about 11am, our drivr, Christophe will collect us for a picturesque drive through the Luberon – one of France’s most loved regions of rugged hill top towns. Lunch will be at L’Arome Restaurant, serving modern French cuisine. During the afternoon we stop and visit some of the most beautiful Provencal towns such as Rousillon, Menerbes and Gorde and walk around the quaint little streets. Visit the village shops before finishing our day trip with a visit to the Lavender museum – a fascinating expose into the production of lavender products and an opportunity to purchase if you wish.
- Dinner in St. Remy at Le Mas de Carrassins.
Day 3 – Tuesday
GOURMET WALKING TOUR & COOKING CLASS
- Breakfast from 8am.
- AM: This morning we will take a gourmet guided tour through the artisan shops and food producers of St. Remy. We will roam from shop to shop – tasting homemade chocolates, cookies, nougat, flavored salts, honey, olive oils, tapenades, confiture and more. Then we’ll move on to a ‘cheese cave’ in the area, matched with local wine.
- Lunch today at a local favourite serving simple country fare, with a special selection of wine and appetisers served just for our group.
- PM. This afternoon, you will have some free time to shop, wander on the streets and enjoy the ‘joie de vivre’ of this beautiful town. Provence is known for its bright ceramics and beautiful linen as well as wonderful sweet treats. Perhaps enjoy a drink in one of the many avenues and just watch the world go by…
- Tonight is a real treat! We learn to cook Provencal favourites at a special evening cooking class and then dine together with the chef at his family home. Chef Yvan is known for his outgoing personality and wonderful food and this evening will be a highlight!
Day 4 – Wednesday
MARKET AND ‘HANDS ON’ PATISSERIE CLASS
- Breakfast from 8am.
- AM. This morning we visit the fabulous St. Remy market which winds up and down the avenues under the beautiful plane trees. A smorgasbord of produce, cheese, spices and Provencal specialties will all feature. There will be plenty of time to wander off and peruse the local handcrafts, scarves, ceramics and souvenirs and lunch will be at your leisure in one if the many cafes dotted around the town.
- PM. This afternoon we will enjoy a ‘hands on’ pastry class and learn to make several French specialties. Our teacher for the day has worked in many well known restaurants and we will learn all the tips and
tricks to easily replicate these recipes at home, including the local specialty, Sacristan – My favourite!
- Dinner tonight at another lovely local restaurant called ‘A Table de Nicholas’ where Provencal favourites are served with flair!
Day 5 – Thursday
MARSEILLES, SUN AND SEAFOOD
- Breakfast from 7:45am.
- AM: Depart at 8:30am for a day trip to fabulous, exciting Marseilles where we will meet our private chef, Gilles. We will see the fishing boats and walk around the old fishing port fish market and seethe selection which has just come off the boats. Various varieties will be explained to us before we buy those we require for our regional fish soup. A short walk to the other shops for spices, vegetables and cheese and we will head to Gilles’ family home to cook!
- Depending on the energy level of the group, we will have some time to walk around Marseilles or enjoy a drink on the promenade or take the local train which winds around the old town before heading back to St Remy for a quiet evening after such a busy day.
- Dinner plans tonight are up to you but after such a long day, you may prefer a simple light dinner or even a picnic at one of the outdoor tables in the hotel garden.
Day 6 – Friday
AVIGNON HISTORY, FOOD AND VAN GOGH
- Breakfast from 7.45am.
AM: Today we enjoy a gourmet walk around the old cobblestoned streets of this gorgeous town and visit the best artisan shops to discover the traditions of Provencal food and shop where the locals shop, as well as learning about the history of this famous town – Once the home of the Popes!
- The tour ends at the covered market where we will enjoy a light lunch of local cheeses, cured meats, olives, breads and savoury pastries with a glass of wine. Spend some time wandering the cobblestoned Streets and enjoy some ‘retail therapy’ or take a tour to the incredible Papal Palace.
- We return to St. Remy about 4pm and just before dinner, take the ‘Van Gogh Walk’, learning a little about his life in St. Remy, finishing at the clinic where Van Gogh was housed for mental illness.
- Dinner tonight is in St. Remy at one of the fabulous pizza cafes where the wood fired oven, fed with olive tree wood turns out delicious light pizzas with a crispy base.
Day 7 – Saturday
STUNNING SCENERY, OLIVES AND WINE
- AM: For our last full day, today we head to the stunning Vallée des Baux-de-Provence where roughly 500,000 olive trees and 12 mills produce 500 tons of oil per year and another 140 tons of table olives. This area is also known for wine: vast rows of plots in the foothills of Alpilles Mountains.
- With our expert guide, we will start our day with a visit to a goat farm and an olive mill where will learn more about olive oil production. We head to the picturesque hill top town of Les Baux for lunch on the terrace and some free time for shopping for gifts in the amazing town shops.
- Finally, on our way home, we stop at the Carriere des Lumiere for the most incredible sight and sound show in an old, disused quarry. Each year, the work of a particular artist is projected onto the walls and matched with a wonderfully eclectic music soundtrack. This mesmerizing event is not to be missed!
- Return to our hotel to relax before our farewell dinner at Gus, one of my personal favourites, serving local Provencal cuisine in a modern style!
Day 8 – Sunday
- Group departure for those going Normandy on the TGV or your own arrangements.
- Group departure for those heading back to Paris.
- As this is the regular Sunday Artist Market in St. Remy those with time to spare can leave their luggage at the hotel and take some time to wander around the streets and peruse the local artwork before departure.
Rates & Bookings
Rate per person sharing twin room: € 2450
Single supplement: € 600
TO BOOK PLEASE CONTACT:
Rate per person includes:
- Seven nights accommodations in St. Remy de Provence,
- 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