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 Versailles. A visit to Versailles 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, Versailles 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 in Langeais:  A local market in one of our favorite little 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 town or sample the delicious options available at the market.  Some of our favorites are the seafood paella, spit-roasted chicken, endless varieties of local 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 Langeais is always fun.  You are also sure to enjoy Langeais Chateau and the beautiful gardens that align the river banks and are sprinkled throughout the village.
  • After lunch, Wine Tasting.
  • Last stop, Villandry Chateau for a tour of the grand home and famous 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 antique 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 beautiful as the floral display.
  • After lunch (on your own at Chenonceau) your day will continue with a visit to a historic troglodyte village & distillery where you’ll learn about French mushroom production in the historic caves.
  • 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
  • Tour Chateau d’Amboise. Today we will travel north along the Loire river to Amboise which is one of our favorite villages. 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 about it’s history.  Lunch break will give you some free time to explore and shop. The main street is pedestrian only and is flanked by boutiques, small butcher shops, wine shops, patisseries, chocolatiers and restaurants. The village is a pretty 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 or you may visit the Leonardo da Vinci museum during the afternoon break.
  • 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
  • Morning visit and tasting:  Artisan Baker who specializes in traditional French sweet biscuits and cookies.
  • Late morning we’re off to the Town of Saumur.  Located on the banks of the Loire and surrounded by vineyards you’ll enjoy a sparkling wine tour and tasting at Langlois Chateau and in the afternoon a tour and tasting at the Combier Distillery. There will be time for lunch on your own in this pretty town and free time to enjoy a walk along the river, thru the city center or take in the panoramic views from the Chateau grounds.  Saumur is the home to Cadre Noir, the French National School of Horsemanship and if we’re lucky the riders will be training while we’re in the neighborhood.
  • 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 to the Village of Chinon which is rich in culture and history. Located on the banks of the Vienne River, the rue Voltaire is cobbled and lined with houses, shops and restaurants in beautifully restored historic buildings, many of which date back to the fifteenth century. For many generations Chinon was the home of Kings and the seat of the government.  The castle in Chinon was the home for the Knights Templar and the village was the place where Joan of Arc  met Charles VII; there is also a memorial to Joan of Arc.  You’ll enjoy the colorful morning market in the square and free time for lunch.
  • Our next stop is a guided tour of a working goat farm and it’s cheese production. Taste a variety of artisinal cheeses.
  • 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
  • We’ll start the morning with a tour and tasting of a local Artisan Chocolatier and Pastry demonstration.
  • Lunch will be on your own in Fontevraud followed by a tour of the The Royal Abbey of Fontevraud.  This UNESCO world heritage site dates from the 12th century.  After the Abbey and garden we will visit the family production of fine artisanal soap which has received a UNESCO award for preserving the marseilles process of fine soap production by using only natural ingredients in their perfumes and body products.  Their products are as beautiful as they are luscious – the perfect gift.
  • 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

Saturday

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

Weekly Dinner Menu

Friday

  • Casual Crêpe Dinner

Saturday

  • Stilton Cheese Tartlet with a Chive-Beurre Blanc
  • Carrot Soup with Nutmeg Croutons
  • Grilled Salmon Niçoise with Haricot Verts and Roasted Tomatoes
  • Tarte Tatin of local Apples and 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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