France Loire Tour

Let’s cook and play together! Below you will find the itinerary of the French “Loire Valley” tour and the daily four-course menus.

Tour the Chateau’s Guest Bedrooms – click below to view


Itinerary

Saturday

  • The group meets at Charles de Gaulle Airport 10:00 am.
  • First stop, Chateau Fontainbleau. A visit to Fontainebleau opens up an unparalleled view of French history, art history and architecture. Over 1500 rooms at the heart of 130 acres of parkland and gardens, Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries.
  • Arrive in the Loire valley in the late-afternoon.
  • Welcome Cocktail and Chateau Tour
  • Settle In
  • Casual Crêpe Dinner
  • After Dinner Drinks and Itinerary Briefing

Sunday

  • Breakfast at the Chateau
  • Market Day:  Today we will travel south along the Loire river to Amboise which is one of our favorite villages and a great way to start your adventure.  The market is a bustle of activity and it’s always exciting to see what’s in season.  You will enjoy the people watching and an extensive variety of local produce, baked goods, flowers, baskets, fine porcelain, clothing and kitchen utensils.  You will have time on your own to explore and enjoy lunch in the city or sample the delicious options available at the market.  Some of our favorites are the seafood paella, the roasted chicken, dozens of cheeses, pastries galore and chocolates (just to name a few).  If you choose something more formal there are dozens of terrific cafe’s and the window shopping in Amboise is among the finest in the area.  You are also sure to enjoy the beautiful gardens that align the river banks and are sprinkled through out the village.
  • after lunch, visit and tour of a local Artisan Chocolatier, with tasting, of course.

  • Last stop, Chateau de Cheverny for a tour of the grand home and grounds.
  • Cooking Class at the Chateau with chef Michael. Assist Michael in preparing the four-course dinner menu of the evening.
  • Four Course Dinner at the Chateau, see menu in chart below
  • After Dinner Drinks and Itinerary Briefing

Monday

  • Breakfast at the Chateau
  • Excursion to Chateau de Chenonceau, one of our favorite Chateaus in the Loire Valley. Michael especially loves the kitchen here, where they still have a massive copper pot collection on display. The Chateau is situated on a small river and was once home to Henry II’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers and then Catherine de’ Medici, so it is rich in interesting history. The gardens surrounding the Chateau are beautiful, and the vegetable section is just as the floral display.
  • After lunch (on your own at Chenonceau) your day will continue with a visit to a historic troglodyte village, distillery and you’ll learn about French mushroom production.
  • Afternoon cave tour and wine tasting in the village of Montrichard.
  • Cooking Class at the Chateau with chef Michael. Assist Michael in preparing the four-course dinner menu of the evening.
  • Four Course Dinner at the Chateau, see menu in chart below
  • After Dinner Drinks and Itinerary Briefing

Tuesday

  • Breakfast at the Chateau
  • Visit Chateau Chambord – The most famous of the Loire Valley chateaux. Started by Francois I in the early 16th century as a hunting lodge, it expanded to 400 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases.  The property is surrounded by an uninterrupted wall of 32km to contain his potential prey of deer and wild boar plus a stable for 1200 horses which were used for riding and hunting within the grounds. You may explore the extensive grounds by foot or bicycle. Stop in a charming village nearby around lunch time.
  • Afternoon Wine Tasting – appellation “Cheverny”.
  • Cooking Class at the Chateau with chef Michael. Assist Michael in preparing the four-course dinner menu of the evening.
  • Four Course Dinner at the Chateau, see menu in chart below
  • After Dinner Drinks and Itinerary Briefing

Wednesday

  • Breakfast at the Chateau
  • Excursion to the City of Blois, located on the Northern bank of the Loire River.  We will begin our day with a visit to the Royal Chateau of Blois which was the residence of 7 Kings and 10 Queens. This beautiful museum is filled with more than 35,000 works of art and it’s architectural wealth is an echo of the diversity of all of the different châteaux built in the Loire Valley from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, with its wings built in four different styles. Around the courtyard, dominated by the majestic François I Staircase, a whole range of French architecture is represented, from Gothic and Renaissance styles to Classicism.
  • After lunch on your own, we will tour the city in a horse drawn carriage and then you will have some free time to enjoy the city center, walk along the river or shop.
  • Cooking Class at the Chateau with chef Michael. Assist Michael in preparing the four-course dinner menu of the evening.
  • Four Course Dinner at the Chateau, see menu in chart below
  • After Dinner Drinks and Itinerary Briefing

Thursday

  • Breakfast at the Chateau
  • Morning visit the quaint Village of Sologne.  A local favorite for it’s scenic beauty.
  • Our next stop is a guided tour of a working farm and cheese production. Taste over two dozen varieties of their artisinal cheeses.
  • Lunch on your own in the village of Romorantin-Lanthenay, followed by a visit to the Musée de la Sononge,
  • Afternoon visit and tasting:  Artisan Baker who specializes in sweet biscuits and cookies.
  • Cooking Class at the Chateau with chef Michael. Assist Michael in preparing the four-course dinner menu of the evening.
  • Four Course Dinner - at the Chateau, see menu in chart below
  • After Dinner Drinks and Itinerary Briefing

Friday

  • Breakfast at the Chateau
  • Tour Chateau d’Amboise. The Chateau’s landscaped gardens offer one of the most remarkable panoramas of the Loire valley, and are registered as a World Heritage site by Unesco.  We will tour the property and learn a brief history.  Lunch break will give you some free time to explore, shop or have lunch. The main street is pedestrian only and is flanked by small butcher shops, wine shops, patisseries, chocolatiers and restaurants.
  • Afternoon Wine Tasting:  Very informative guided tour and tasting of private cellar with the winemaker (Saint-Martin-le-Beau).
  • Cooking Class at the Chateau with chef Michael. Assist Michael in preparing the four-course dinner menu of the evening.
  • Four Course Dinner at the Chateau, see menu in chart below
  • After Dinner Drinks and Itinerary Briefing

Friday

  • Breakfast at the Chateau
  • Depart Chateau at 7:00 a.m. to Paris

Weekly Dinner Menu

Friday

  • Casual Crêpe Dinner

Saturday

  • Stilton Cheese Tartlet with a Chive-Beurre Blanc
  • Carrot Soup with a Nutmeg Croutons
  • Grilled Salmon Niçoise
  • Tarte Tatin of Local Apples with Hazelnuts

Sunday

  • Pork and Artichoke Pâté with Pistachios, Cumberland Sauce
  • Shrimp Bisque with a Cognac Cream
  • Herb Breaded Sole Provencal
  • Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse Tartlets

Monday

  • Chive and Gruyere Soufflé
  • Local Wild Mushroom Soup with a Dry Sherry Cream
  • Duck Leg Confit with a Green Apple Compote and Baby Greens
  • Chocolate Ganache Tart with Pistachios

Tuesday

  • Seafood Vol-au Vent with a Vermouth Cream
  • Chicken Consommé with Quenelles and Pearl Vegetables
  • Pork Cutlets with a Mustard Cream and Rosemary-Roasted Potatoes
  • Combier Orange Crème Brûlée

Wednesday

  • Onion, Sage and Olive Tartlet
  • Potato-Leek Soup with White Truffle Oil
  • Flounder “Oscar”
  • Tangerine Crème Caramel with Plumped Apricots

Thursday

  • Country-Style Mushroom Pâté
  • Potimarron Squash Soup with a Nutmeg Cream
  • Grilled Fillet of Beef with a Red Wine-Compound Butter
  • Grand Marnier Soufflé with an Orange Crème Anglasie
 
 

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