Discover France through its acclaimed gastronomy…or should we say gastronomies! Our food and wine tours across France and its remarkable regions are as diverse and rich as the country is. Every French region brings its own tastes and sensations, reflecting its unique history and terroirs; its climate and landscape. Your senses will be roused by the food and wines, while each region provides dramatic settings for your gastronomic adventures. During our unique, entirely private culinary tours around France, we will explore this marvellous world of gastronomy with you, initiating you to its many wonders. Not only will you embark on a delicious adventure: you’ll take some of the secrets and “savoir-faire” of French cuisine home with you.
Local produce has inspired the many traditional dishes particular to each French region. Provence, spanning from the Alps to the Mediterranean Sea, gives chefs limitless possibilities for inventive cuisine: the region’s aromatic Herbes de Provence make a flavoursome addition to many dishes, while sunny vegetables are the key ingredients in its iconic Ratatouille; and succulent fresh seafood graces its famous Bouillabaisse stew. Food tours in Provence offer different delights with the changing of the seasons. The rolling green landscapes, vibrant lavender fields, and azure blue coastline set the perfect scene for unforgettable memories– including of the gourmet variety.
Travelling west, to France’s Basque Country and the Atlantic Ocean’s coastal strip, the history and terroir produce different sensations and gourmet traditions. Close ties with Spain bring tapas, spices such as chilli and black pig to the table. The Northern France coastline brings new combinations and tastes. Here, salt-production areas give rise to the AOC classified Pré-salé lamb, while its famous Camembert cheese, mussels and oysters prevail in its acclaimed seafood offerings. Lyon, elected capital of French gastronomy thanks in part to the famed culinary master Paul Bocuse, is the ideal place to unleash your gastronomic creativity, working with master Chefs in private workshops.
As you crisscross this marvellous country during one of our food tours, you will meet artisans, farmers, cheesemakers, fishermen, market stall holders, and Master chefs. They are the true ambassadors and keepers of French tradition and culture. They will bring the story of France’s culinary heritage to life– and make you feel like you’re a part of it. There are also many good reasons to take private cooking classes with a master French chef: not least because you’ll be initiated to the secrets of one of the world’s most-prized gastronomic traditions.
During your bespoke culinary tour of a given region, you will meet the local French artisans who create delicious local specialities. Visit a sturgeon fish farm and sample some of Aquitaine’s renowned caviar, truffle-hunt with a producer of the heady stuff fro Luberon and indulge in tasting the black jewels afterwards; pick sunny Provencal olives and then sample the fragrant oil; aid in the harvest of first-rate oysters in Cancale and then sample some of the catch fresh off the shell. The possibilities are nearly endless…
In all our private food tours, you will appreciate the importance of the terroir, the characteristics of the earth and climate that defines the produce, and shapes traditional methods. Many visitors to France are already aware of how the government regulates production and ensures authenticity of a given region’s wines with “AOC” labels for each winemaking area– from. However, France’s recognition of the importance of the terroir and traditional methods is so great that other products– from select cheeses, meats, and even beans and olive oils– are also also classified under the AOC certification system. See if you can discern the difference between authentic products ad their pale imitations!
Wander through the markets– offering a profusion of heady colours, smells and noises. “Taste” the red ripe raspberries through their distinctive smell alone; imagine the bursting flavours of the plump tomatoes; dream up a new sauce to accompany fresh langoustines over pasta. A warning for less-experienced gourmets: it may be necessary to hold your breath as you brave the French cheeses section! The friendly banter and rivalry of the stall owners will bring you right into the center of the theatrical action at the traditional market.
Brimming with creativity and inspiration from your visits to artisanal producers and markets, why not take a French cooking class to perfect your skills? Perhaps you have a favourite dish that you would like to try your hand. Learn from the master chefs and return home to impress your friends and family with your new culinary repertoire and skills. A “must-do” component of our Epicurean French food tours…
We can organise a full spectrum of extraordinary dining experiences–from dinner at the local auberge to a meal or nibble at the locals’ favourite patisserie or bistrot, to fine dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Each will offer a full culinary experience – sensational tastes, presentation, and ambience.
Often seen as inseparable from French cuisine, the country’s world-renowned wines are unbeatable. You may want to explore and experience these by taking a private wine tour around one or more iconic regions. Personal meetings with celebrated winemakers, as well as private tastings in notable wine estates and champagne houses, can be arranged as part of your bespoke food and culinary tour around France.
Check out our article on the most exclusive places for luxury wine-tasting in Bordeaux, one of France’s most celebrated vintnering regions. We also offer exclusive wine tours in Burgundy, Alsace, the Loire Valley, Champagne, and many other prized areas. What are you waiting for?
Get inspired with our suggestions below: imagine what sorts of food tours you would love to experience, then contact us to start making your dream culinary exploration of France an unforgettable reality.
You may also want to add a more historical and cultural perspective or discover France’s natural beauty. For tons of ideas and inspiration, please consult our dedicated page on Private Tours of France, then browse through a Glimpse of Culture and France off the beaten path. A personalised tour can be designed to match your interests accurately.
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