The Beautiful Villages of Southwestern France

The ancient Cardinal Palace in Ste. Emilion

May 16–22,  2018  •  7 Days  •  $3695*



Arrive Bordeaux via air or train from Paris or London.

Wednesday May 16, 2018

After check-in we’ll enjoy an aperitif followed by a welcome meal in St. Emilion a Michelin star restaurant inside a wine chateau where we’ll dine together on local delicacies and superb St. Emilion wines

Thursday May 17, 2018

Morning coffee and breakfast.
After breakfast we’ll head out to tour the UNESCO World Heritage site of St. Emilion, a famous medieval wine town with an underground monolithic church (one of only a few in Europe).
Enjoy a sumptuous local lunch in town and then visit one of the important St. Emilion wineries in the afternoon for wine tasting and discovery.
Dinner at a local restaurant specializing in local grown produce, meat and fish.

Friday May 18, 2018

Morning at leisure.
Head to Chez Belau, a former monk’s priory from the 1700’s which lies on the Dordogne river. Time here for kayaking, canoeing, lying on the hammock, bike riding, walking and relaxing.
Enjoy a fun-filled lunch at our local “truck-stop” to discover French flavor Peter Mayle-style. A French truck stop lunch is NOTHING like what we are used to in the USA or UK. Locals enjoy a 3-4 course lunch with wine daily. Today we’ll get a chance to see what we’ve been missing!
Afternoon visit to a local abbey which makes world renowned French cheese soaked in walnut liqueur. Then swing by a Roman ruin for a quick walk through to view its stunning mosaics.
Evening wine tasting ‘sur place’ of our hyper-local wines made just down the street followed by a locally-sourced repas at the former monastery created by our house French chef. Anyone who wants to can help out can and roll up their sleeves and learn something about French cooking techniques.

Saturday May 19, 2018

Today begins the Dordogne part of our adventure as we move to the Hotel de Cours de Thomazeau in Castillonnès set in the historic region of the Aquitaine. En route we’ll stop for lunch in Eymet. We’ll tour Eymet which is a Bastide town and learn a bit of local history.
Check-in after lunch at our hotel followed by a guided tour of the Chateau and carriage house with the owner. After this delightful tour which reveals a hidden mystery about the hotel we’ll head out with Dick Bogg known as the “raconteur de pays’ (local storyteller) to discover our very own village for the next several nights, Castillonnès.
Late afternoon: High tea with champagne, tea sandwiches, scones and petits fours.
Dinner in Montflaquin at an amazing Lebanese restaurant Aldayaa- a welcome change from our usual French meals.

Sunday May 20, 2018

Morning Tour of a prehistoric Ice Age cave with archaeologist Christine Hugon.
Lunch at Le Vieux Logis, a 1 Michelin star restaurant dining outside under the plane trees.
In the afternoon we’ll have present an optional visit to the charming Bastide village of Monpazier.
As it is Friday night we’ll kick off the weekend right by attending a Parisian Cocktail party and book signing as well as a petite cocktail demonstration by Doni Belau, author of Paris Cocktails in the chateau’s lovely courtyard. You will receive your own signed cocktail book which is included in the cost of the trip.
Dinner on your own in the village, several restaurants will be suggested.

Monday May 21, 2018

Morning Visit to the Chateau de Monbazillac to tour the chateau and have a tasting of this remarkable sweet digestif wine.
Lunch at the stunning Chateau des Vigiers in Monestier
Late afternoon enjoy free time to wander in village, pack and buy last minute souvenirs.
Evening: Casual wine reception followed by lecture by Martin Walker* and celebratory dinner at our Chateau!

Sunday May 22, 2018

Breakfast & depart. Plane or train home from Bordeaux.

** Itinerary is subject to change slightly based on weather or availability.


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