WELCOME TO THE LOIRE VALLEY!
A culinary adventure featuring the exquisite local cuisine & fine wines which is combined with cultural tours and royal chateaux
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 at the Unesco world heritage. Visiting the Loire Valley is also reputed for its exquisite food and fine wines.
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.
Gourmet Loire Valley tour is escorted by Corinne A. Preteur personally.
LUXURY GUEST HOUSE ACCOMMODATION
Welcome to La Maison des Vignes chic guest house located steps to Bourgueil, Langeais and Chinon, on the chateaux route. This entirely renovated 19th century property pays tribute to the local architecture. It offers 5 elegant and spacious bedrooms with its en-suite private bathrooms. You will find hairdryer and toiletry products in each bathroom.
Modern amenities include complimentary tea or coffee making facilities, mineral water, free WiFi internet connection. Copious and delicious home-made continental breakfasts are served in the family dining room or on the sunny terrace in spring or summer. Continental breakfasts include tea, coffee or hot chocolate, freshly baked cakes, 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 guest house. Dinners are accompanied with Loire Valley white and red wines.
Our itinerary includes visits to historic sites, such as the city of Orleans, Fontevraud royal abbey, as well Villandry, Langeais, Chenonceau and Chambord chateaux.
OUR FAVORITE CHATEAUX…
Chenonceau whose unique architecture reflects in the water… Sits over the river Cher, this chateau is my favorite. 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 and to reach the chateau and gardens you walk up a long wooded road. A must!
Chateau of Villandry is reputed for its amazing gardens… Villandry has been built at the 16th century, totally influenced in its architecture 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).
Chateau of Chambord is considered as the Renaissance biggest chateau in France. It’s the most visited historic site after Chenonceau. Built at the 16th century for the King Francis I, it has only served as a hunting lodge.
FOOD, WINES & COOKING CLASSES…
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, etc.). It’s also well known for its mushrooms caves, its forest full of game (fall season), its ponds and river for freshwater fish, etc. Many desserts have been created in the Loire Valley such as Tarte Tatin – this delicious upside-down caramelized applet art – Cremet d’Anjou – a mix of whipped cream, whipped cottage cheese and whisked egg whites – Pithiviers – a puff pastry pie filled with almond cream…
Loire Valley is also reputed for the goat cheese taking the names of villages where it’s from : Selles-sur-Cher, Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, Valençay, Chavignol. These mild cheese are exquisite with a dry white wine from the region.
Loire Valley is a reputed wine region whose varied soil and climate give definitive expression of popular wine grapes such as Sauvignon, Chenin blanc and Cabernet Franc. Vineyards are divided into five areas including Touraine with its own wines and varietals. Loire Valley is France’s 3rd largest region in terms of production, and the vineyards is the 4th largest one in the country. 63 appellations (AOC) are listed for 400 millions bottles.
Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30pm, join Corinne in her kitchen to experience the traditional French and regional cuisine. Cooking classes are hands-on and taught in English. You will learn, you will cook, you will enjoy eating, and you will have fun! Corinne is a self-educated cook, who’s been trained by Michelin-starred Chefs for more than twenty years. She is now a cooking instructor, running classes in English for foodie travelers. She teaches people how to eat better through well-balanced menus prepared with organic fresh seasonal produce. Her recipes celebrate the French cuisine simplified for home cooks. Her classes are accessible to amateurs and beginners.
Each class lasts about 3 hours, the perfect time to prepare and to cook a well balanced menu including a starter, a main course, and a dessert. One class will celebrate fish of the Loire (sandre or similar), the second one: free-range organic chicken called « La Géline de Touraine ». Aperitif and tasting dinners accompanied by wine, mineral water, coffee or herbal tea follow each class.
Day 1 (Monday): Transfer from Paris to Chinon through Orléans.
Morning pick up at your hotel or at Paris CDG airport (to be confirmed). Transfer to Orléans.
Guided walking tour to Orléans medieval quarter before or after lunch.
Transfer to Bourgueil. Check-in at La Maison des Vignes guest house. Resting time
Welcome aperitif and dinner (7:30pm or later).
Day 2 (Tuesday): Visit to Langeais – Afternoon cooking class.
After breakfast, transfer to Langeais.
Morning visit to the royal chateau which was King Louis XI residence at the 15th century, but better known by the marriage celebration of Charles VIII (1470-1498), King of France and Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), the daughter of the Duke of Brittany Francis II (1433-1488).
Lunch at a gourmet restaurant in Langeais.
Transfer to La Maison des Vignes after lunch. Resting time.
Afternoon Cooking class starting at 4:30pm for 3 hours, followed by the food & wine pairing dinner.
Day 3 (Wednesday): Full-day excursion to Villandry and Chenonceaux
After breakfast, transfer to Villandry.
Morning guided tour to Villandry chateau and magnificent gardens for about 2 hours.
Lunch at a gourmet restaurant in Villandry.
Transfer to Chenonceaux.
Afternoon visit to the Renaissance chateau which was Queen Catherine de Medici, Diane of Poitiers and King Henri II residence.
Transfer to La Maison des Vignes.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 4 (Thursday): Chinon open-air market and city tour & visit to a winery – Afternoon cooking class
After breakfast, transfer to Chinon (30 minutes by car). Market tour and shopping. Visit to a winery (including wines tasting).
Lunch in Chinon. Historic town walking tour to the medieval hilltop fortress.
Transfer to the La Maison des Vignes. Resting time
Cooking class starting at 5pm, followed by food & wine pairing dinner.
Day 5 (Friday): Visit to the Chateau of Chambord followed by lunch – Transfer to Paris
After breakfast, check-out.
Transfer to Chambord through the Loire river scenic route featuring Chaumont. Lunch in a traditional restaurant nearby.
Afternoon guided tour to the chateau of Chambord, one of the largest castle in France and in Europe, a pure Renaissance-style architectural jewel!
Transfer to Paris around 5pm. End of the tour.
US$ 2,900 per person (DBL occupancy)
Single occupancy supplement: US$ 290
All taxes and VAT includes.
Price includes :
– Paris round-trip transfer and transportation by private van,
– 4-night luxury guest house accommodation in Bourgueil,
– Daily continental breakfasts, lunches and dinners as detailed in the itinerary,
– 2 hands-on cooking classes celebrating the French and the Loire Valley cuisine,
– Recipes in English,
– Cultural guided tours to the chateaux, and historic towns as detailed in the itinerary,
– Entrance tickets to the chateaux and sites.
Not included : airfare to/from your country, drinks in restaurants, personal insurance, and personal expenses.