You cannot visit Provence without Avignon, an historic fortified city built along the Rhone river and crowned by the fourteenth-century Popes’ Palace. Avignon has to be explored by walking through narrow cobbled-stone streets bordered by magnificient private mansions.
Avignon is also the headquarter of La Cuisine des Halles cooking school, nestled in the covered food market with its flavorful fresh produces, and only ten minutes by foot to the historic site. Markets in the south of France are institutions. From little villages to towns and largest cities, markets take place at least twice a week, sometimes everyday in summer. Avignon is not an exception to the rule… and going to the market is the occasion to meet people and to chat. A cooking school on the market ? You can’t expect a better place !Avignon cooking school is operated by Executive Chef Julien, the eldest son of Parisian Michelin-star Chef Henri C. Julien worked in California, Florida and New-York restaurants for several years in the `90s.
Chef Julien also owns a bistrot in Avignon.The cooking school offers attracting programs that celebrate the delightful Mediterranean and Provencale cuisine such as : ratatouille tart with fresh basil and sun-dried garlic, lime-flavored salmon “rillettes”, pissaladière (onion tart with anchovies and black olives), rolled sole fillets with asparagus, olive oil and lemon emulsion, tomatoes purée and pilaf rice, roasted peaches in a herbal tea “vervein” juice, aspic of granny smith and tea, strawberries millefeuille and chiboust cream, pistachio and red berries crumble… Yummy
Your adventure starts at 9:30am by the market tour and shopping with the chef. Back to the kitchen, you wash hands and wear your apron. Within 2hrs 30mn, you learn how to prepare and cook a three-course well-balanced meal including a starter, a main course, and a dessert. At 12:30pm, it’s the time to relax and to enjoy the fruits of your labor. 3-course tasting lunch accompanied by wine follows the class. Program ends at 1:30pm when the market closes its doors.
Classes are taught in English, and run by Executive Chef Julien. No cooking experience is required to attend these classes designed for gourmet amateurs.
US$330 per person, private class for one person
US$290 per person, 2 people booked together
US$240 per person, 3 to 4 people booked together
US$195 per person, 5 to 8 people booked together
AVAILABILITY: Year-round (except in July), Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30am - 1:30pm
Provence is your beloved region in France ? Good choice !If you spend your holidays nearby Avignon and Carpentras, and by chance in the heart of the preserved site of Les Dentelles de Montmirial and the Mount Ventoux... don’t miss to experience the Provence cuisine at Madelaine’s. She runs cooking classes which are a glorious celebration to the traditional French home cuisine.
You will be hosted at her private house, a beautifully restored property nestled in a picturesque village. You will cook in the family kitchen which is not totally professionally equipped, but the charm of the place added to the talent of Madelaine’s teaching will definitely contribute to offer you a unique moment.
Madelaine has been cooking since her young age, trained by professional chefs employed by her family in Lyon. She is not a Michelin-star chef, but a very talented cook, and an amazing teacher. She chooses simplify recipes of Michelin-star chefs and makes it accessible to every home cook. It includes a wide range of starters such as pumpkin velouté soup and scallop salad; main course such as salmon with morels, spicy lamb loin, and canard à l’orange; and desserts such as fruits tarts, or caramel ice cream, among many other delights. Madelaine realized that fifty years ago, people spent almost four hours making the daily meals against only 45 minutes now. “My aim is not to make complicated failures, but to prepare simple and good meals,” she says.
Madelaine’s classes last 3 hours. The right time to learn how to prepare and to cook a 3-course meal. Meantime, you will enjoy an olive oils tasting with questions to answer. Before your lunch break, you will relax for an aperitif, a local white wine with cassis (blackcurrent) liquor served with home-made tapenades and cherry tomatoes. In summer, you will appreciate to lunch under the old tree of the courtyard and garden. Off season, you will be more comfortable in the warmth of the elegant family dining room.
AVAILABILITY: April to October, Monday through Friday, 9:00am - 1:00pm
Georgia’s life changed completely three years ago since she left her job in the marketing for starting a professional adventure in the kitchens of restaurants in the south of France and in Paris then. When she tried her luck with Masterchef, she got the spot to the final, and became a celebrity chef ! Since October 2011, Georgia welcomes gourmet amateurs in her cooking school in Marseille, for teaching the best of the French and international cuisines through recipes that she makes accessible to all.
Cooking classes at La Cuisine de Georgia are hands-on, taught in English. It lasts 3 hours, the right time to learn how to prepare a main course and a dessert from scratch such as bouillabaisse, or a more sophisticated dish with fish or meat, and a dessert that can be an icecream nougat, fruits mousse, cream topped with berries sauce, etc.
If you prefer to bake… easy to attend a pastry class !
La Cuisine de Georgia is centrally located in downtown Marseille, a few steps from the Opera house, and the old port. Considering the limited space available per class and the success of this fabulous cooking school, reservations two months in advance are recommended.
Welcome to the 17th century troglodyte house and cooking school located in a quaint village along the Loire river, only 15 kilometers from Tours on the way to Langeais. It’s home of Benedicte, a dynamic woman chef who learnt the French cooking through her mother...
Welcome to Audrey’s kitchen located 15 minutes by taxi from Place Bellecour or Perrache station in Lyon.
Chef Audrey has opened her cooking school in 2005 after accomplishing at Michelin-starred restaurants, and especially training with Mathieu Vianney celebrity chef.Michelin-star restaurants. On choosing this program, you definitely decide to improve your skills in the French cooking, in expecting a tailor-made teaching for gourmet amateurs. After your 3-hour hands-on class, you will almost cook like a French pro!
The Lyon Cooking School is located in a chic and residential district, easy to link by taxi from place Bellecour or Saint Jean historic quarter. The school is set in a 900 sqft dependance of a picturesque French-style house overlooking a garden planted with flowers, fruits trees, aromatic herbs. A terrace is the place to relax after the class, for enjoying the aperitif and the lunch ot dinner in summer. The cooking school is perfectly equipped with professional stoves and ovens, and all modern appliances and equipments are at the participants' disposal. Classes are run by Chef Patrice whose long list of accomplishments include a thirty-years experience at Michelin-starred restaurants in France, in the USA, and at the Bocuse Culinary Institute.
Classes are scheduled in the morning or in the afternoon, starting at 9:30am or 4:30pm for three hours. It’s taught in English. Classes are limited to 8 people, and are confirmed with 2 participants without supplement .
Food market tour is scheduled Tuesday and Thursday. You meet our chef directly at “Les Halles de Lyon” indoor food market located steps to La Part Dieu. Along your one-hour tour, the chef will provide her tips to buy the best and freshest produces. She will also review the classics of the great Lyon’s cuisine. You will meet and discuss with the merchants (most of them are “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, a graduation that honors the best craftmen) such as: Mons for cheese, Maurice Trolliet for meat, Pupier for fish and seafood, Colette Sibilia for sausages and charcuteries, Bahadourian for spices, etc. Visit starts at 8:30am.
Welcome to Myriam’s intimate cooking school, set in her elegant 18th-century villa in the heart of Bordeaux. If you have already partaken a Lifestyle Vacations cooking class in Paris, her name should be familiar… Chef Myriam left Paris in 2012 for opening a cooking school and a luxury guesthouse in the South West of France. She runs hands-on cooking lessons for individuals and small groups limited to 6 people. Classes are taught in English, and designed for amateurs or advanced cooks. There is no better memories than experiencing the French cuisine with a talented teacher like Myriam, in such an intimate and beautiful place.The ground floor of this private mansion features a spacious living room overlooking the garden and pool, and the full-equipped open kitchen. Lunches and dinners are served in the elegant dining room or on the open-air terrace at the warm season.
A perfect cooking adventure always starts by the food market. Let’s do it with Chef Myriam! Meet her at 9:00am at the cooking school and enjoy a visit to the alive “Capucins food market”, the oldest in Bordeaux. You will not only meet local producers but also get Chef Myriam’s precious tips to choose the best and freshest produces which are “the key” of a delicious meal. If you just want to book a cooking class and pass the market tour, join Myriam at the cooking school at 10:30am, or at 5:30pm if you choose the evening class followed by dinner.
Cooking classes are scheduled Tuesday through Sunday, in the morning or in late afternoon, allowing participants to visit Bordeaux or to explore the vineyards. Classes last 2h30, the perfect time to learn how to prepare and to cook a 3-course meal including a starter, a main course and a dessert such as : Eggs Meurette (red wine sauce), Foie gras flan, Asparagus of Blaye and its mousseline cream, Rack of Lamb in a crust of herbs, “Parmentier” duck confit, Chicken supreme in Sauternes, Grand Marnier soufflé, Strawberries in a spicy red wine sauce, etc.
Located in a small village ten miles from Cherbourg, and five miles only from the coast, l’Atelier du Cotentin is nestled in a quaint village 10 miles from Cherbourg in Basse Normandy and 5 miles from the coast. This intimate cooking school is operated by Sinéad who fell in love with the region twenty-five years ago, and never left… The kitchen is one of the largest room of the beautifully restored 18th-century farmhouse. A place that celebrates “la joie de vivre” ! Cooking classes are hands-on, taught in English, and scheduled Monday through Saturday, starting at 4:30pm. Classes are limited to 6 participants, and it’s confirmed for only 2 people without supplement.
Within three-hours, our chef will teach you how to prepare and to cook a 3-course meal including a starter, a main course, and a dessert. You are in Normandy, and you will explore the traditional local recipes that focus on fresh, seasonal and preferably organic produces bought on the market or directly at producers. Classics of the Normandy cuisine and especially of the Cotentin peninsula 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”, a traditional rice pudding.
Just after the class, and before enjoying the fruits of your labor, you will share an aperitif like Pommeau or Poiré (made with apples or pears) served with savory bites. The 4-course tasting dinner including cheese and accompanied by wine or cider is served in the family dining room.If you decide to attend your class Monday or Friday, you can add the food market tour to your cooking adventure, and join our chef at 9:30am, in Bricquebec (Mondays) or Les Pieux (Fridays).
This is a very informative option to get a better understanding about the local produces, and a memorable experience that provides the connections with local people. The tour lasts one hour. You will stop then at a café for a coffee, tea, hot chocolate or fresh drink depending on the weather conditions. Between the tour and the class, take your time to visit picturesque sites such as Cherbourg, D-Day landing beaches, Barfleur picturesque fishermen harbor listed at the hundred-ranked most beautiful villages of France…Lodging in charming guesthouses nearby is provided upon request. Please contact us.
PROGRAM PRICE : US$160 per person. US$35 supplement per person for the market tour.
AVAILABILITY : Year-round, Monday through Saturday, except February 12-17, April 5-9, July 4-7, and in August
GOURMET & CULTURAL TOUR – LOIRE VALLEY
Full-day Excursion to the Chateaux of Chambord, Blois & Amboise
Magnificient and majestic Loire Valley… blessed by the perfect location on the north-south-west axis at a period of the history when the lords have to defend their lands, and also to fight for gaining battles and new territories. The Kings of France built their royal palaces along the Loire river. Angers, Saumur, Fontevraud, Chinon, Langeais, Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Loches, Chenonceau, Amboise, Chaumont sur Loire, Blois, Chambord, Sully… these names are carved in the history of France and of England.
It’s also the names of little towns where the Kings, Queens, Dukes, Princess and noblemen and women lived from the Middle Age until the 17th century. More than a week is necessary to explore the entire Loire Valley and to visit the chateaux, but a one-day excursion offers a first immersion in the History of France, through Chambord, Blois and Amboise, while admiring the beauty of the sites and especially the special light of the Loire river, listed at the Unesco world heritage
Your excursion starts in Paris early in the morning. Private transfer by car from your hotel at 7:30am to Chambord by private car, with a stop on the way to take a café/croissant. Arrival in Chambord at 10:00am at the opening for less visitors, as this Renaissance-style chateau is one of France’s largest and the most visited. It has been built at the 16th century for the King Francis the First as his hunting residence. The architecture is simply…magnificient! After a two-hour audioguided visit, we link Blois only 25 minutes distance.
Lunch at a Michelin-star restaurant in the historic quarter of Blois, the fishermen district…A well appreciated break to enjoy the fine local cuisine revisited by incredibly talented Chef Christophe. Just after lunch, we will walk to the hilltop for visiting the Chateau of Blois, home of King Louis XII and Queen Anne de Bretagne at the 15th century, then of King Francis the First and Queen Claude de France, before being the scene of the murder of the Duke of Guise by the guards of King Henri III, and the death place of Queen Catherine de Medici. Also, Joan of Arc came to Blois in 1429, asking the Archbishop of Reims to bless her before she departed with her army to drive the English from Orleans.
Our last step will be the Chateau of Amboise, overlooking the Loire river, symbol of the French Renaissance architecture. Leonardo Da Vinci lived at the Clos Lucé, he achieved the Mona Lisa in Amboise. He is buried in the chapel of the chateau.This tour is personally escorted by Corinne A. Preteur. Corinne grew up in the Loire Valley, and she lives part of the time in her family house nearby Orleans. Tour confirmed for 2 participants, and it’s limited to 4 people.
PROGRAM PRICE (per person) : US$ 350 per person on for 2 people. US$285 per person for a group of 3 or 4 people.
Champagne ! magic word… symbol of fests and celebrations, a sparkling wine that must be produced in the region of Champagne only. Why this wine is so unique ? How it’s produced ? In experiencing our exclusive one-day excursion, you will have the response to these questions, with the pleasure to discover the Champagne countryside planted by vineyards, the visits to Reims, Bouzy, Epernay and Hautvillers, home-town of French Benedictine monk Dom Perignon
Your adventure starts at 7:30am in Paris with a private transfer by car to Reims. It takes about 2 hours to get to Champagne, considering a 15mn stop for a coffee/croissant on the way. Visit to a prestigious Maison de Champagne that could be Ruinart, Pommery, Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger. You will be granted a 45mn English-speaking guided tour the wine cellars called “Les Crayeres” before enjoying a Champagne tasting. At noon, gourmet lunch at Michelin-star restaurant Le Foch, owned by celebrity Chef Jacky Louazé.
Early afternoon walking tour of Reims including the visit to the cathedrale where major Kings of France have been crowned, and Le Palais du Tau, former property of the bishops of Reims, a pure architectural jewel… At 4:00pm, we link Epernay through “La Côte des Blancs” wine route. On the way we will stop at Bouzy to visit Maison Delaveine, an independent wine grower and wine maker that Corinne knows personally for more than 20 years. The land is reputed to produce the best grands crus. Our adventure continues to Hautvillers to visit the church where Dom Perignon is buried, and to Epernay, the cellars and headquarters of Champagnes Perrier-Jouët, Moët & Chandon, Castellane, etc.
Transfer to Paris at 6:30pm. 8:00pm, end of the tour.
PROGRAM PRICE (per person) : US$ 340 per person on for 2 people. US$280 per person for a group of 3 or 4 people.
It includes : round-trip ground transportation by private car from Paris, coffee-croissant break, full-day guided excursion, guided tour of a prestigious Maison de Champagne including tasting, the 3-course gourmet lunch. Wine is at extra cost.
AVAILABILITY : April through October, Tuesday through Friday