Culinary explorations

..Private & Authentic French Food Tours

Experience the culinary traditions and secrets of French Chefs

Curious about food?

Each French region boasts its specialities and its local culture. Truth be told, together they make up the country’s many treasures. And what a playground it is for epicurians and food lovers! The possibilities for exciting French food tours and gourmet-themed itineraries seem nearly endless. All in all there are no fewer than 200 traditional products that bear the protected AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) label, guaranteeing quality and authenticity. Among these you will find Camembert from Normandy, Espelette chilis from Basque country, Grenoble walnuts, bouchot mussels from the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, a famous French cheese called Roquefort, or olive oil from Aix en Provence, Corsica, Nice and Baux-de-Provence. Each and every one of these products has its own history, rooted in its region and made by skilled artisans. Why not go and meet them by embarking on a culinary tour? Through these gastronomic discoveries you will learn much about French culture and history as a whole.

Go through some our ideas below for inspired private culinary tours with us. Decide what tickles your palate the most, then get in touch to start building your own bespoke gourmet getaway in France!

Marie Tesson in vineyard founder of Exclusive France Tours

Marie Tesson


Passionate about pastry and gastronomy, my greatest pleasure is to meet artisans. I like exploring new places, new products. I never hesitate to go beyond the demands of our customers, for a full satisfaction.

Some suggestions for your culinary tours and gourmet explorations...

Visit an olive oil mill in Provence

When: Spring; summer; autumn

For who : Anyone interested in Mediterranean cuisine and artisanal olive oils

Why : To meet olive-oil producers passionate about their craft

Description : There are some “must do’s” on any culinary tour of Provence, and this is definitely one! Perhaps more than anything else olive oil is the emblem of Mediterranean cuisine, and a cherished Provencal speciality item. These days, you can find many new producers among the old families who cultivate this noble fruit: enthusiastic entrepreneurs who have given up everything to set up home in a charming old country house and devote themselves to becoming olive growers. Why not go and see the old olive mills which dot the region and meet some of these inspiring people? You may learn about the secrets of olive oil production, tasting different varieties and strengths and bringing a bottle or two home.

An old railway tunnel turned into a cheese-maturing cellar

When : Spring; summer; autumn

Who : Anyone who wants to discover some exceptional cheeses

Why : To experience the expertise and passion of a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Artisan in France) and learn why he took up the trade

Description : You can’t help but admire the Mons family, known worldwide as exceptional cheese maturers. It was quite a feat to have transformed a railway tunnel to give them extra space to refine even more cheeses. It took them a while to master the best conditions for this 180 metre long tunnel, transformed into a space to mature fine cheeses. This unique experience will allow you to taste some of France’s most delicious cheeses, paired with exceptional wines.

Aquitaine black gold: visit a caviar producer

When : Spring; summer; autumn

For who : Lovers of caviar and fine gastronomy more generally; those looking for ultra-luxury food tours

Why : To understand the ins and outs of caviar production and its history in France.

Description : As connoisseurs know, caviar was produced solely in Iran and Russia for a very long time. Slowly but surely, the idea of producing it in Aquitaine took seed. Right from the start of the adventure, Michelin-starred chefs in France were called upon to become implicated in the experience. Even the more sceptical among them were won over by the finesse of this incredible, 100% French delicacy, which is now present on the best tables of the world. Why not explore this success story in the company of one of its pioneers, that is to say the Maison Sturia. A tasting session will bring your visit to an agreable close.

Epicurean promenade in the Pyrenees

When : Spring; summer

For who : Those who love wide open spaces and spectacular scenery– not to mention delectable cheeses!

Why : To enjoy fresh air, spectacular nature and fine cuisine, in the heart of pristine Alpine pastures

Description :

Visits to the mountainous Pyrenees often rhyme with sampling local ewe‘s cheeses, one of the region’s most-beloved products. Perhaps this is just an excuse for a lovely summer’s day walk through the high Alpine pastures; or perhaps you’re a cheese lover who wants to expand your knowledge of typical French cheeses. Whatever the case, your day will be filled with adventure, natural beauty and authentic cultural discoveries. You will make your way along winding paths, below snow-covered mountain tops, alongside crystalline blue lakes, and other mountain scenery that will simply take your breath away. You may even want to take the time to visit a shepherd’s hut, stopping in to milk an ewe yourself. Then you will discover the secrets of cheese making, followed of course by some delightful tastings. With a bit of luck you will be able to bring the ewes back up to their pastures at the end of the day and perhaps have dinner at the farm. What an idyllic and incomparable experience!

Visit a Beekeper in the heart of the Alps

When : Spring; summer

For who : Gourmets and nature lovers.

Why : To give thanks to bees for the delightful honey they produce

Description : Who has never dreamed of getting a bit closer to bees to observe their magical “societies”, or find out where honey comes from and how it is made? For fascinating answer to all these questions, come and meet a passionate beekeeper (apiculturist), in the High Alps who will be more than willing to show you his or her honey workshop. Throughout this educational and amusing visit, you will be sure to master the ins and outs of these adorable little insects. You will be able to discover the blessings of honey and of its more luxurious  byproduct, royal jelly. Saving the best for last: at the end of your day you will get to taste different honeys produced from various flowers.

Champagne and cheeses: a surprising combination…

When : Year-round

For who : Champagne lovers in search of surprising new varieties

Why : To expand your knowledge and appreciation of the world’s most famous sparkling wines

Description : In Champagne, the one fact that will surprise you is that this delightful nectar is enjoyed all through the day, whatever the occasion. Embark on an ultra-luxurious private tour of Champagne’s most prestigious makers, where you will be challenged to match various gourmet dishes with different champagnes, including some delectable local cheeses. Why not try creating unusual and surprising pairings between the champagne and cheeses? When you visit a champagne vineyard you will learn to recognise the different nuances of this revered sparkling white wine, and you will be able to taste and appreciate numerous different varieties.

Pastis and Petanque in Provence

When : Spring; summer; autumn

For who : Lovers of pastis and Provence

Why : To awaken your taste buds by sampling dishes prepared with a typical Provencal aperitif.

Description : Whichever way you take it– either long or neat– pastis is a must-taste aperitif native to Provence. The power of anise combined with the freshness of Provencal herbs makes this iconic drink very special indeed. You may drink it on its own on a long summer day, or for something more original, taste local cuisine that uses it as an ingredient. Whatever the case, the taste of Pastis will remind you forever of Provence.

See & Taste Espelette chillies in Basque country

When : Year-round

For who : Anyone who enjoys culinary adventure

Why : To discover one of the symbols of Basque cuisine. This is certainly the spiciest French food tour we offer!

Description : Why not come and discover the charming village of Espelette? It is world-famous for its tiny, spicy red chillies and white-walled houses covered with local decorations. You may well want to explore the unending fields planted with chillies. Why not meet up with a producer and take time out to understand its important heritage in the town– as well as its many uses? After such an adventure your vision and understanding of delicious Basque cuisine will be greatly enhanced.

Discover Authentic Camembert Cheese in Normandy

When : Spring; summer, autumn

For who : Cheese lovers and Francophiles

Why : In order to taste authentic AOP Camembert in the town of Camembert itself.

Description : Are you after culinary tours that are “très francais”? If so, visit the renowned cheesemaker Durand, the last artisan in France to produce authentic, hand-ladled raw milk Norman AOC Camembert. Why not bring one or several rounds back home? After all, this cheese is a cherished symbol of France worldwide. This popular cow’s milk variety was created as early as 1791 in the town that famously bears its name. Ever since, it has enjoyed an ever-growing number of enthusiasts. However, do be wary of counterfeits: authentic Camembert is made in only seven French dairies!

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Our awesome clients!

client reviews

I want to thank you for your love and support in making it possible for us to have the most amazing proposal day. Thank you for helping me in making this a very special and memorable day in our life. Everything went very well and we are extremely happy!

We are now celebrating in the French Riviera and reminiscing how prefect everything was!
Dear Marie and Emeline, Thank you both for all of your help with this itinerary you have both been amazing we cannot believe how we have been able to organise everything that G. requested at such short notice. Your team has been amazing. I will certainly advise our lifestyle team to use your company for any future requests. We appreciate all of your help. As Julia said we can’t wait to see pictures and hear from G. how it all went!
Highly recommend. I am not easily impressed, but Marie managed the impossible throughout our entire Champagne experience. She was able to secure private and exclusive access to prestigious houses, which is a privilege reserved only for major distributors and celebrities. Each visit was unique, exclusive, educational and delicious. Looking forward to working with her to explore the rest of France.
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