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Taste of Normandy
A glorious celebration of the authentic Normandy cuisine well known for its exquisite dairy and apple specialities including camembert, cider, Calvados, milk jam, caramel candies, and more ! Program also includes excursions to Cherbourg, D-Day sites, and the outstanding Mont-St-Michel listed at the Unesco World Heritage

6 days / 5 nights (Sunday through Friday) : starting at $2470/pers.


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Program highlights :
Cooking classes celebrating the Normandy cuisine,
Food market tour with the chef,
Visits to local producers,
Excursions to cultural sites, including Mont St Michel,
ALL breakfasts, lunches and dinners,
Charming 3-star B&B accommodation,
Transfers and ground transportation,
Tour is escorted by Corinne A. Preteur personnaly.
tarte aux pommes

Moutons pré salé Moutons pré salé

Normandy is a holiday destination full of cultural significance and historical treasures: the Bayeux Tapestry, the Normandy Landings, Mont St. Michel, the Norman Conquest, painters spots such as Giverny, Honfleur… as well as gourmet delights : cider, camembert, calvados, exquisite dairies, meat, fish and more.

Close your eyes and imagine Normandy with black and wine cows grazing under apple trees, rolling hills matching pastures and groves, beautiful countryside scattered with farms and half-timbered or granite towns leading to a stretch of coastline, picturesque harbors and fishermen villages with a strong maritime history, without forgetting the essential : the food! Normandy is certainly one of top-five region of France where the produces are the best, and where the chefs rival of creativity to offer the most exquisite specialities.

In one word, it’s the perfect location for a unique holiday that combines the joy of cooking, eating and exploring through hands-on classes, visits to producers, connection with local people, excursions, and time-free to relax.

INTRODUCTION
Clients who attended Lifestyle Vacations culinary tours, know how much we are attached to the authenticity of the places visited. Normandy is not an exception to the rule, and we have carefully toured in this wide region for weeks, visited dozen of places to stay, met with many people among our network of producers, chefs, etc. to finally decide that the Cotentin peninsula located in lower Normandy would be the best place to stay and to explore. Our “base camp” is located distance from Cherbourg, Coutances, only 4 miles from the coast and the seaside.

village normand
Port de Barfleur
Village normand

The Cotentin is blessed for the bounty and the quality of produces. Sinéad opened her cooking school. Beautifully renovated farms welcome visitors in lovely guesthouses. Three good reasons, in addition to the sites that can be visited in a few hours excursions such as Saint Mere Eglise and the D-Day sites, Coutances and the Mont Saint Michel, Cherbourg and Barfleur picturesque harbor, and more.

All culinary tours are escorted by Corinne A. Preteur personally. She is the owner, creator, and director of Lifestyle Vacations. All programs including Taste of Normandy have been designed by Corinne, and are exclusive to Lifestyle Vacations. Corinne is also a writer in the food and wine section of French lifestyle magazines, and she is a TV producer. She loves to cook and to bake !

The Normandy  tour is confirmed for 2 persons and limited to 6 participants, which gives us the freedom to manage the ground transportation from Paris without hiring a driver.


YOUR LOCATION

The Corentin peninsula boasts a very preserved natural environment with a few little towns, aside to numerous picturesque villages and hamlets. We have visited several beautifully restored farms offering guest rooms and/or all-furnished houses that we call “gites” which are nearby the cooking school, and three of them are very charming. La Blonderie is next door to the kitchen! Sinéad and her husband have renovated a part of the farm (the barns) to offer a guest house and a gite. The B&B offers 2 stylish ensuite bedrooms furnished with king-sized or twin beds. Each room has it’s private bathroom with modern amenities. Both rooms have tea and coffee making facilities, as well as free internet access.

location
location
Location

La Maison de Jean, opened in July 2011, offers 4 spacious bedrooms and suites with private bathrooms and all modern amenities. Jean loves to garden, and also to cook. His breakfasts are an enchantment with home-made cakes and brioches, fruits jams, home-made whole organic milk yogurts, etc. Few miles away, La Maison des Bois welcomes you, offering 2 bedrooms with private bathrooms. The rooms decoration pays tribute to the seaside environment or to the countryside traditions. La Maison des Bois is home to Marie and Yannick who share our passion for cooking and baking. Any time of the year the house smells good the freshly baked biscuits and cakes!

This program will be confirmed with a solo traveler, and it’s limited to 6 participants. With 1 or 2 participants, accommodation will be in a gîte which are charming furnished houses, such as Hameau Turbert in Benoitville, or La Gollerie in Grosville. Also the place to stay will depend on the properties availability, tour dates, and number of participants. Corinne will stay with you for the all week. Normandy is Corinne’s second region as her family-in-law lives in Mayenne.


ABOUT LOCAL PRODUCES...

Normandy is a blessed region for the high quality of produces (most of them are organic) in beginning by the milk that make cheeses, creams, and butters so tasteful. Our chefs will confirm that a good cuisine cannot be made with bad-quality ingredients. In Normandy, dairies are more than precious ! Butter makes our pastries totally unique… whipping creams highlight our courses, soups, vanilla flavored creams, and chocolate ganaches. And when you start to be hungry, don’t grab fat chips and crackers, but eat a juicy apple instead. It’s hearlthier! Apples of Normandy are not only a part of landscape but also a real tradition that local people continue have been kept for centuries through cider, and famous Calvados distilled in winter. Have you ever try to flambé the crepes with this brandy and to serve it with apples sautéed in a salty buttered caramel ? You will… soon !

When it’s time to cook main courses, the Normands love to prepare the salt-marsh lamb, a breed that exclusively grows in the meadows along the Normandy coast, especially around the Mont Saint Michel. The salt-marsh lamb is an appellation “AOP” regulated by the EEC. The meat is incredibly tender and tasty. Once again another unique produce to enjoy. And as Normandy is borded by coasts, you can imagine the wide variety of fish and seafood that will be a part of your meals. Normandy is also reputed for its artisans, these lovers of their region that decided to keep the traditions alive in baking little delights that we call “killers” :  milk jam, salty-buttered caramel candies, buttered biscuits and shortbreads, and more.

Food market tour, visits to local producers are a part of Taste of Normandy culinary program. For sure, you will meet the best artisans

beurre
cidre
camembert



COOKING CLASSES AT SINEAD’s

You have choosen Normandy as your next gourmet holiday, especially as this region of France is well known for the buttered cuisine. When the cook puts a nut of butter in the pan, the crispy sounds already wakes up our papillas… Nothing’s better to slowly cook a fillet of fish or veal ribs, these freshest produces that locals buy at the fishmongers on the harbor, or at the burcher in the village, an artisan that knows the breeders and of course how the animals have been fed. You need fruits, vegetables, aromatic herbs in Normandy ? Go directly to the kitchen garden, where everything grows naturally.

The Allart’s are not an exception to the rule. Sinéad is Irish but she’s been living in Normandy for 25 years. Her husband is French and she has two daughters. Her passions : family, horses and dogs… and the joy of cooking to provide happiness !

She lives in a small village of about 500 inhabitants, located 10 miles south from Cherbourd, and only 5 miles from the west coast of the Cotentin peninsula. In a old farm entirely renovated, she built her house, but also a guesthouse. The barns is today a gite, a furnished little house that she rents year long.

The living room is not furnished with a sofa, armchairs, TV screens… but transformed into a large and spacious kitchen where people love to meet. Sinéad is happy to share the traditional recipes that celebrate the delightful Normand cuisine through cooking classes that she runs in French and in English.

cuisine
plat cabillaud
riz au lait

Taste of Normandy program includes 3 hands-on cooking classes scheduled at 4:30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. During the day, visits and excursions are organized. Cookey courses last about 3 hours, the right time to learn how to prepare and to cook a 3-course meal including an appetizer or a starter, an entrée, and a dessert. A good glass of cider or local aperitif such as Pommeau or Poiré, will be served for the aperitif before enjoying the 3-course dinner accompanied by drinks. Dinner will be served in the family dining room.

The classics of the Normandy cuisine and especially of the Cotentin can be warm oysters in a sabayon, scallops on a leeks fondue or served with a cider flavored creamy sauce, roasted salt-marsh lamb with its seasonal sautéed vegetables, chicken “Made-in-Normandy”, camembert savory tart accompanied with a green salad… without forgetting “La Teurgoule” that is a traditional rice pudding.
ABOUT RESTAURANTS, VISITS AND EXCURSION
Taste of Normandy is a unique combinaison of cooking experiences and connections with local producers. It also celebrates the Normandy history and heritage through cultural visits including Mont Saint Michel listed at the Unesco, D-Day sites such as Utah beach with its very informative museum, Pointe du Hoc and its famous cliffs, Saint-Mere-Eglise that will stay in our remembrance for ever.

utah beach
cueillette pommes
vitrine boucherie

Visits to local producers highlight cider makers, jams artisans, salt marsh lamb breeders, cow milk cheese farm to learn the secrets of the Camembert or Livarot. We will also enter the sweet world of a small candies family factory that makes the best caramels and shortcrusts. We visit a food market on Monday morning to have a first connection with the producers and to see the range of produces according to the seasons. We buy the ingredients that we cooks the same day or later.

As our cooking classes are scheduled later afternoon, we have plenty of time to experience the good restaurants, starting from the little bistro or brasseries which serve traditional meals, to gourmet Michelin-stars. I am thinking of Chef Pierre Marion “Le Pily in Cherbourg” who started his apprenticeship with Jacques Le Divellec in Paris, before joining Christian Rocher at La Luna in Paris, then Michel Rochedy in Courchevel (my client for many years when I had my PR business), for finally deciding to get back to his beloved region in 2003 with Laurent Cesne at La Marine in Barneville... another fabulous restaurant that is added to our itinerary...

vaches normandes
vitrine crémerie
parc à huitres

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DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1 (Sunday) : On the way to Normandy
Welcome at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Morning transfer to Normandy by private car or minibus through Rouen, Caen and Bayeux. Depending on your arrival time in Paris, we plan to lunch in the picturesque village of Honfleur that inspired famous impressionists painters.
Afternoon check-in at the property nearby Cherbourg. Relaxing time. Welcome aperitif and dinner accompanied by wine or cider.
Overnight at the property (charming gite or guesthouse).

Day 2 (Monday) : Market tour, Visit to a cider producer, Cooking class 1 & tasting dinner
Breakfast at the property.
We join Sinéad at 9:30am in Bricquebec for a one-hour food market tour and shopping. The village is 20 minutes distance by car to where we stay. After the market tour, we will enter Pâtisserie Lehaut that built its reputation with Les Cotentines. The Chef will explain the secrets of his delicacies, a delicious milk or dark chocolate filled with a calvados or pommeau flavored caramel...
Back to the gite, we will prepare our lunch with the produces bought on the market. If we stay at a guesthouse, we will take a lunch break in a local restaurant nearby.
After lunch, we’ll be on the road again, steps to Sinéad house, to visit a cidery. Ludovic Capelle will explain the different steps of the cider making starting by the apple orchards to the fermentation, and to the bottling. This family business also produces the pommeau aperitif and apple brandy “Calvados”. A tasting ends the visit.
Back to Benoitville at 4:30pm to partake the first cooking class celebrating the Normandy cuisine. For 2h30, you will learn how to prepare and to cook a 3-course meal.
Tasting dinner follows the class.
Transfer to our property. Overnight.

Day 3 (Tuesday) : Visit to the cow milk farm, Excursion to the D-Day sites, Lunch at La crêperie,  Visit to a milk jam maker, Cooking class 2 & tasting dinner
Wake up call at 6:30am with a coffee or tea and brioche. We will drive to Le Rozel to attend the milking. The farm has 70 black and white cows to milk twice a day, and of course year-round. First one starts at 7:00am, and the second is at 5:00pm.
Back to our property at 8:30am. Home-made breakfast with croissants, fruits and plain yogurt and milk from the farm.
At 10:00am, we will drive west to the channel coast, to Utah beach. Visit to the Utah beach museum for 1h30. Back to Sainte Mere Eglise on the route N13, and lunch at La Creperie Montoise.
On the way back, we will stop at Hautteville-Bocage to visit a milk jam maker.
Cooking class 2 at Sinéad’s starting at 5:00pm for 2h30. Tasting dinner.
Transfer to our property. Overnight.

Day 4 (Wednesday) : Mont Saint Michel, Visits to Lessay cheese factory, and to Villedieu-les-Poêles brass and copper headquarter, Lunch at La Mère Poulard, Gourmet dinner at La Marine Michelin-star restaurant.
Morning breakfast at the gite or guesthouse.
Depart at 9:00am. On the way to the Mont Saint Michel, we will stop at Lessay to visit La Laiterie du Val where the camembert and other local AOC cheeses are made. Visit at 10:00am for one hour.
12:30pm : Arrival at the Mont Saint Michel. Lunch at La Mère Poulard. The speciality is the omelette.
Walking guided tour of the medieval site built on a rock, in the bay. Visit to the abbaye and cloister. A visit to this site lasts at least 3 hours.
Depart from the Mont Saint Michel at 5:00pm max. We will drive through Villedieu-les-Poeles (a little town that built its reputation with brass and copper factories), and through Coutances.
7:30pm : Arrival in Barneville-Carteret. Gourmet dinner at La Marine.
Transfer to our property. Overnight.

Day 5 (Thursday) : Excursion to Barfleur, Lunch at Le Pily in Cherbourg, Shopping and time free, Cooking class 3 and dinner
Morning breakfast at the gite or guesthouse.
Depart at 9:30am. One-hour transfer to Barfleur. We will take a coffee or tea at a local café on the port. Walking tour of this picturesque village listed at the most beautiful Villages of France. Back to Cherbourg. Lunch at Le Pily.
Time free for shopping in Cherbourg for 2 hours.
Depart from Cherbourg at 4:30pm.
Cooking class 3 at Sinéad’s starting at 5:00pm for 2h30. Tasting dinner.
Transfer to our property. Overnight.

Day 6 (Friday) : Check-out, and transfer to Paris through Deauville, and Honfleur
Morning breakfast at the gite or guesthouse.
Check-out at 10:00am. Private transfer by car to Paris through Deauville. We can visit this beautiful sea resort if you decide to spend one extra-night in Paris before your international flight to your country.

PRICE PER PERSON :
US$2670 / person (2 participants in a tour)
US $2470 / person (3 to 5 participants in a tour)
Single supplement US$ 100

 Price includes :
- Paris CDG airport round-trip transfer
- 6 days ground transportation by private car
- 5 nights gite or B&B accommodation, double occupancy
- 5 continental breakfasts
- Welcome aperitif and dinner at the property on arrival
- 3 hands-on cooking classes celebrating the great Normandy cuisine
- 3 tasting dinners accompanied by wine or cider
- Food market visits with Sinéad
- Visits to local producers as detailed in the itinerary
- Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
- All lunches and dinner (drinks are at extra cost) at local, gourmet and Michelin-star restaurants as detailed above.

Are not included :
- international airfare to France, drinks at restaurants, personal insurance, and personal expenses.


2013 TOUR DATES

June 23-28
August 25-30
September 22-27

Other dates available upon request. Please contact us.

Please remind this tour is confirmed for 2 participants, and it’s limited to 5 participants.

 



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