Valbonne / Monte Carlo / Grasse / Nice / Cannes / St. Jeannet
St. Paul / Gourdon / Mougins
Join Epicurean Exchange Culinary Travel on our signature trip – our first – and favorite, as we return to the South-Eastern most corner of the region and the famed French Riviera! Provence and the Côte d'Azur is magical; the cities on the Riviera are elegant and sophisticated and balanced well with the Provencal feel of the traditional villages in the surrounding foothills. We will spend the week visiting local markets and farms, touring foodie points of interest, preparing and enjoying some of the region's classic meals, and living the Provencal-lifestyle! During this extraordinary week we stay near the bustling city of Nice – and the Promenade des Anglaise – and Cannes with its famous marina and exquisite shopping! The week is accented with market tours and hands-on cooking classes; exclusive winery visits and wine tastings; meals at some of the region's best restaurants; guided city walking tours, and cultural stops throughout the area. Our culinary week includes side trip visits to sleepy French villages including St. Jeannet, St. Paul, Mougins and Gourdon, high in the mountains and referred to as, the "Eagle's Nest", offering sweeping views of the Mediterranean!
Our luxury villa, 'Bramafam', the former home of Simca Beck, collaborator on Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Stay with us at 'Bramafam', the former home of Simone "Simca" Beck, collaborator on Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and next door to 'La Pitchoune', Juila and Paul Child's former cottage. On this secluded estate, Simca, Julia and her colleagues defined modern French cooking and brought it back to America. 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.
Some of our happy travelers enjoying some of the most beautiful places in the world!
DAY 1: Friday, September 28: 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 29: 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. The balance of the day to settle in; dinner together at local Valbonne village restaurant.
DAY 3: Sunday, September 30: VALBONNE / GRASSE. Continental breakfast at home. Morning visit to the nearby village of Grasse, considered the perfume capital of the world. Day to relax and recover. Explore the grounds and nearby region. Cook lunch together; dinner out at a local restaurant.
DAY 4: Monday, October 1: VALBONNE. Continental breakfast at home. Take part in our first cooking class to prepare dinner and entertain our hosts and neighbors at home. Spend the day exploring local markets, shopping and collecting ingredients. Our group prepares and serves this popular, welcoming meal.
DAY 5: Tuesday, October 2: NICE. Continental breakfast at home; travel 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, October 3: NICE. Continental breakfast at 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 tasting, 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; aperitifs and light dinner at home.
DAY 7: Thursday, October 4: 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 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, October 5: VALBONNE / MOUGINS. Continental breakfast at home; visit local, lively Friday market in our village of Valbonne - a highlight of our week; lunch on own. Farewell dinner at an exclusive restaurant in the nearby village of Mougins. Return to home; pack for departure.
DAY 8: Saturday, October 6: DEPARTURE. Continental breakfast at home. Transfers to Nice airport; connecting to 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 29. 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 for meeting the group at stated times. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Ground Costs Included:
• Round-trip transfers to and from airports and residence
• 6-nights lodging and once per week cleaning service at private cottage
• Daily continental breakfast
• Most lunches and dinners (including beverages and wine), as described in daily itinerary
• Four 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: $ 4,295 (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 three 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: $1,495 for each traveler to secure space and reservation
Balance Due: $2,800; due on or before Friday, June 29 (approximately 90 days from date of departure)
Payments: Cash or checks, payable to Epicurean Exchange, accepted; electronic invoices available for credit / debit card payments.
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 before 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 before 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.
Provence, Côte d'Azur Region
Morning on the
Promenade des Anglaise
Meet Your Culinary Guides
Chef Charles Vollmar
Chef Rosa Jackson
Les Petits Farcis, Vieux Nice
Chef Isabelle Sallusti
Graine & Ficelle, St. Jeannet
The Kitchen at
The Markets of the Côte d'Azur