Explore with us
Provence, côte d'azur, France
September 23 - October 1, 2016
* This trip is SOLD OUT! Booking now for:
September 22 - 30, 2017 and
September 29 - October 5, 2017
Explore the wonders of and cooking through "Julia's Provence", and the Côte d'Azur. Stay with us at 'Bramafam' (https://www.vrbo.com/874275a), the former home of Simone "Simca" Beck, Julia's collaborator on Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and next door to 'La Pitchoune', Juila and Paul Child's former cottage. We will follow Julia's time there as described in Provence, 1970; visiting points of interest, prepare some of her favorite meals, and live the Provençal lifestyle in the place she called "home."
From our hilltop residence, we will venture out on daily excursions with local guides and chefs. Tour is highlighted by shopping the markets, hands-on group cooking in great regional schools and at our private residence. Daily strolls to discover the hidden charms of this region, and personal free time to relax on the property of our exclusive villa. Accommodations in our private villa, 'Bramafam' in Plascassier, near the medieval village of Valbonne, France; 35 minutes from the Nice airport; 30 minutes from Antibes, and 30 minutes from Cannes.
This tour is limited to 10 guests.
DAY 1: Friday, September 23: DEPARTURE. Departure / Travel Day: San Francisco - Paris - Nice. Select your preferred flight and class from SFO; we will share flights and times to best coordinate.
DAY 2: Saturday, September 24: NICE / VALBONNE. Arrival 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM; Connecting flight from Paris to Nice; group transfer together by coach from Nice to the residence in Valbonne. Balance of day to settle in; dinner together at local Valbonne village restaurant.
DAY 3: Sunday, September 25: VALBONNE / GRASSE. Continental breakfast in home. Morning visit to the nearby village of Grasse, considered the perfume capital of the world. Day to relax and recover. Explore grounds, and the nearby region. Cook lunch together; dinner out at nearby restaurant.
DAY 4: Monday, September 26: VALBONNE / GRASSE. Continental breakfast in home. Take part in our first cooking class to prepare dinner and entertain our hosts and neighbors at home. Spend day exploring local markets, shopping and collecting ingredients. Our group prepares and serves this popular welcoming meal.
DAY 5: Tuesday, September 27: NICE. Continental breakfast in home; travel to to the foothills above Nice to visit Potager de Saquier, a popular, local organic farm. Meet local farmers; enjoy a walking tour, and tastes of local produce. Next, we visit Domaine de la Source for a vineyard and winery tour; wine tasting and a light lunch. We return to Nice for shopping and relaxing before we visit Les Petits Farcis for a pastry class to make French macaroons! Dinner in Old Town Nice at Bistrot du Fromager.
DAY 6: Wednesday, September 28: NICE. Continental breakfast in home; travel to Nice; tour food markets along the Cours Saleya with friend and local guide, Rosa Jackson of Les Petits Farcis. Enjoy street food tastes, sourcing and collecting ingredients and private, and seasonal hands-on cooking class in her spacious cooking studio. Travel back to Valbonne with a stop in the village of Saint Paul; apertifs and light dinner at the home.
DAY 7: Thursday, September 29: CANNES / ISLAND OF ST. HONORAT. Continental breakfast at home; travel to Cannes to tour the popular Marches Forville food market. We will collect provisions for our dinner meal. Visit to the Island of St. Honorat: boat transfer from the Cannes harbor to the island; private wine tasting experience; guided tour of the island and its vineyards. Lunch on the island at Restaurant La Tonnelle with views of the Côte d'Azur. Return to Cannes, and on to Valbonne. Light dinner at our home enjoying the foods we collected at the markets.
DAY 7: Friday, September 30: VALBONNE / MOUGINS. Continental breakfast at home; visit local, lively Friday market in our village of Valbonne - a highlight of our week; picnic lunch . Farewell dinner at exclusive restaurant in the nearby village of Mougins. Return to home; pack for departure.
DAY 8: Saturday, October 1: DEPARTURE. Departure / Travel Day: Continental breakfast at hotel. Transfers to CDG; departures from Paris to home destinations or wherever your travels may take you!
Airfare / Travel Insurance:
Guests to purchase own airfare using miles and preferred class and upgrades. Air France, Delta and United all have daily flights to Paris (CDG). On arrival, connecting flights should put us all into Nice between 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 24. We will transfer together by coach to the residence in Valbonne, 30 minutes from Nice airport. Guests are free to arrive earlier or stay longer than the published itinerary, but are responsible to meet the group at stated times. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Ground Costs Included:
• Round-trip transfers from airports to residence and return
• 6-nights lodging and once per week cleaning service at private villa
• Daily continental breakfast
• Most lunches and dinners (including beverages and wine), as described in daily itinerary
• 4 full-day tours / classes with local guides / chefs during Provençe stay
• Hands-on group cooking sessions (breakfasts and lunches), at the residence in Valbonne
• Epicurean Exchange custom apron for cooking
Total Ground Cost: $ 3,595 (per person, double occupancy. *Single supplemental, if available, an additional $695)
Ground Costs Not Included:
• Late-night (after dinner) snacks, desserts and beverages
• Lunches/Snacks: 2 free days and 3 others when we are out-and-about and have planned dinner meals, and other personal food not described on the itinerary
• Personal / shopping expenses
Deposits: $1,295 for each traveler to secure space and reservation
Balance Due: $2,300; due on or before Thursday, August 11 (45 days from date of departure)
Payments: Cash or checks, payable to Epicurean Exchange, accepted; PayPal for credit / debit card payments to include a 2.75% service fee
Cancellation Policy: We are willing to work with all our guests should situations arise that require guests to cancel plans with us. Please understand we have guidelines to ensure that both the operator and our guests are treated fairly. With that, travel insurance is highly recommended, to reimburse you should cancellation be necessary. Epicurean Exchange reserves the right to cancel a tour due to low enrollment or other circumstances which would make the trip non-viable. Deposits and balances paid will be refunded if the trip is canceled by the operator. Travelers can cancel up to 60 days prior to departure and receive a full refund of their deposit. Understand that as a small, boutique operator, even one last-minute cancellation can be an issue for the operator and other travelers. Therefore, after deposits and tour balances are received (all 60 days or less prior to departure) they are non-refundable. Travelers have the option to recruit another traveler to take their place or file with their insurance carrier to recover costs of the trip.
Tour is limited 10 guests. Reservations are secured by deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.