Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Bordeaux, France - 3 nights
Available year round - Tuesday to Friday


Savor the wines, foods and landscapes that define this Bordeaux area between the ocean and the Saint Emilion. Staying in a private French home is a unique way to get to know French people and to share their family's and friend's culinary passions. This holiday is an opportunity to taste and cook traditional and locally grown foods: wine from their vineyards, vegetables from their gardens, shellfish from their seacoast or mushrooms from their forests. 



Your hosts for the week are a well traveled French couple who enjoy sharing their home and B&B and an American who has been living in France for more than fifty years and her French husband, a doctor and nutritionist who also holds a degree in French cuisine and the founder of the "Confrerie des Cusiniers, Medécins et Gastronomes", an organization interested in expanding medical profession's knowledge of good food and good health. 


During your stay you will participate in cooking classes in home kitchens and professional workshops. Dinners are both in private homes and in your hosts' favorite restaurants and cafés.


After living for 40 years in the Bordeaux countryside Carol and her husband now live in the city and propose a stay with activities in both the country and in town. Walks in the city and the country, relaxed and enjoyable, will take you into their daily French life. No matter what the season you will indulge in delicious tastings of wine, pastry, cheese and and other local foods… immersing yourself in life in Bordeaux and the surrounding countryside.  


Although cooking and wine are the main themes of your stay, the usual 4 day (3 night) stay can be prolonged and organized around your personal interests, whether it be food and wine, gardening, antiques, contemporary art or a night at the opera, can also be included in your stay. Your hosts can introduce you to the best the area has to offer. *Take a look at the seasonal propositions at the bottom of the page.  




Day One



After a mid day arrival at the train station or airport you will be met by your host, Carol, who will take you to her good friend’s lovely bed and breakfast, their family’s home in the city with a garden and swimming pool! 


After settling in, Carol, who now lives just a few streets over, will take you on a walking (and tram) tour in the center of the city. An afternoon stop in a little cafe to people watch and enjoy a moment to talk about the history of this beautiful city before continuing on along the riverside.


Back home to rest before dinner in town at one of her favorite restaurants or in Carol and Bruno’s home. 


Day two




Breakfast at home before going to the countryside and the bustling outdoor market in Creon to pick up the ingredients for your afternoon cooking class in Bruno's country home kitchen located in a little hamlet built around his renovated 14th C water mill. He or one of the other professional chefs they work with will take you through step by step for a hands-on preparation of Piperade Basque, Canelés, stuffed duck, or other dishes from southwestern France. The menus are seasonal and will be chosen with you and the chef the week before you arrive.


Before having lunch in a local restaurant on the market plaza you’ll go to a beautiful family owned chateau for a wine tasting class that will help you discover whether you're a wine connoisseur or an enthusiastic beginner, the history and making of Bordeaux wines.


After lunch Carol will take you for a walk through the local vineyards or you can ride on the off-road bike path that runs for 80 Km from the ocean to the heart of Entre Deux Mers.


Then a late afternoon, hands on three course cooking class and dinner using the ingredients you've picked up at the morning market before sitting down with Carol and the chef for the lovely dinner you’ve just made. 

Carol will then drive you, a half an hour, back to your B&B.


Day Three




A morning in Bordeaux visiting a chocolate makers workshop and a simple cheese, bread and wine lunch in the cave of a famous Bordeaux cheese refiner before heading to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, St Emilion. There you will have a wine tasting, a visit to the underground monuments in the historic wine mecca dating from the Middle Ages.


Back to your B&B before dinner at Carol and Bruno’s home or in one of their favorite restaurants.



Day Four




Before you leave you’ll not want to miss the new Cité International du Vin, a novel and sensorial way to experience wine making history and meet, via an innovative tour of winemakers from around the worldand yet another glass of wine, from the huge collection of world wines at the Belvedere, with its 360° view of Bordeaux. The morning will have disappeared when it’s almost time to leave … but after you leave Carol you might want to have lunch at their 7th floor panoramique restaurant: local produce with world flavors in food and a « selection, both universal and local, of 500 wines, from 50 wine-producing countries, with a selection of 32 wines by the glass. »


If you have decided to extend your French experience, by now you will have discussed your particular interests with your hosts, perhaps drawing from the asterisked list below, and making plans for new discoveries in the coming days. Meanwhile, your day in Bordeaux also starts with a stroll through the city but it continues with lunch at one of your host's favorite little restaurants and a visit to one of the city's great museums or a wonderful wine cellar and some local galleries before heading back to put your feet up at the bed and breakfast and enjoy another good dinner.


*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus and activities may be arranged to your tastes and interests and vary according to the season 


For those focused primarily on food and wine, additional sample days follow. All such plans can be made in advance of your trip.


Additional possibilities:


*After breakfast you’ll leave for the bay of Arcachon to visit the oyster beds, see the daily work of French oyster farmers and walk along the oceanside. A seafood picnic lunch right along the bay and then for those who want more exercise after all this wonderful food you might want to climb to Europe's highest sand dune that looks out to the ocean on one side and on the other to a sea of pine trees in the famous forest of the Lands. 


* DAY COOKING CLASS (10am - 2pm or 4pm - 8pm) An extra morning or late afternoon of cooking with Jerome, a professional private chef or Xavier a teacher for future chefs at the region's Lycée. They will have you discover their delicious dishes and easy cooking techniques and will have you perfect your own skills.


 *An extra day to visiting antique shops, art galleries and artists studios. 


*A day in the Pessac Léognan AOC wine country with private visits to the best château and lunch at the elegant but casual Caudalie spa. (with a supplement we can also organize a half day for you at the spa) and perhaps a visit to the historical château Le Bred where Montesquieu wrote his « Esprit des Lois ».


*A day in the Sauterne or Medoc AOC wine country with private visits to some of the most famous château as well as those wonderful little addresses only known to the locals..a ferry across the Garonne river, gourmet picnics or a riverside restaurant. Yet another facet of the Bordeaux wine country.


**Inquire about additional itineraries. A special holiday can be personalized for you with many possibilities for the activities including:


*Wine and more wine!

*Cooking with Heirloom Vegetables

*Everything Chocolate

*Traditional and family pastry cooking

*Le Cochon, everything you want to know about pork, pates and terrines (in the winter)

*Le Canard, the French duck from foie gras to boned stuffed duck (in the fall and winter)

*Atlantic coast seafoods, fish, oysters and more

*Walking through Bordeaux's vineyards

*Garden visits and compare notes with knowledgeable gardeners

*Cycling the many bike paths

*Pampering yourself at a chic French spa 


DAY COOKING CLASS (10am - 2pm or 4pm - 8pm)


Choose from a morning or early evening cooking class in the kitchen of a 14th C restored water mill! You will be going to the market or to the local artisans with Carol or the chef (i.e. butchers, bakers and fish markets), coming back for your hands-on class which will include appetizer, main dish, vegetables and dessert.


You will learn how to select the cheeses and wines to accompany the meal. Then you can sit down, relax and enjoy what you have cooked with your host chef. Bon appetit!



Sample Menu -  Blanquette de Veau (Veal Blanquette) - For 6/8 persons:


500g of tendron of veal and 800g of breast or shoulder, 1 onion stuck with 4 cloves, 1 clove of garlic, bouquet garni (thyme, laurel & parsley), 1 carrot, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 cups dry white wine to cover the meat, 50g butter or olive oil, salt and pepper.


For the roux: 50g butter, 40g flour, 1 yolk, 2 tablespoons of cream, mushrooms, lemon juice.



 Melt butter or olive oil, add the pieces of veal. Sweat the veal, sprinkle the flour and add garlic, onion, carrot, the bouquet garni, white wine, salt and pepper. About 5/10 mn, add more white wine (or water) until the meat is covered. Cook gradually for about 1 hour or cook in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes.


Make the roux: melt 50g butter with 40g of flour, thicken with 2 cups of the blanquette bouillon and ½ lemon. Out of the fire, mix the yolk with cream and add it to the roux.


Clean, slice the mushrooms and cook them with the butter. You will sprinkle them completely at the end on the blanquette in a service dish.



*You can serve the blanquette with steamed potatoes or boiled rice and can make the same recipe with lamb or chicken.






A minimum of 3 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 6 participants.


(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)






Closest Airports: Bordeaux Airport (Bordeaux Merignac) - 30 minutes from accommodation
Closest Train Station: Bordeaux St. Jean (15 minutes from accommodation), Libourne 


*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.






2020 Fees Per Person




Double Room/US$1700
Single Supplement/US$300

(Including a Cooking Class and Activities/Visits)


Double Room/US$575
Single Supplement/US$675



Private cooking class with a chef, lunch and wine tasting class
Morning hands on pastry class - any day Tuesday through Saturday
Home kitchen hands-on cooking class (Wednesday or Friday morning with Wednesday morning including a market visit)


*For day cooking classes, there is a minimum of 4 required and maximum of 6.


Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation.



After availability is confirmed, a 30% non-refundable deposit per person and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due no later than 75 days before your arrival date.

2020 Dates

Based on availability. The first Tuesday of each month. 





*Three nights' accommodation with breakfast
*All meals and wine (3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners - the wine you choose in the restaurants is not included)
*One (1) hands-on cooking class
*All local transportation
*All that is included in the final client-approved itinerary
*An English-speaking guide and chauffeur
*All tastings: wines and cheeses
*All excursions and entrance fees
*Transfers to/from airport/train station


DAY COOKING CLASS (10am - 2pm OR 4pm - 8pm)


*Pick up at local airport or train station
*Four hour hands-on cooking class with meal and wine
*Market or local artisan visit with host chef and all local transportation


Airfare, wine at restaurants and personal expenses are not included.


For further inquiries or to register, click here.

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Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.







Lexi C., Norfolk, United Kingdom

"We had the best time ever. Beautiful home to stay in, very warm welcome from our hostess and all her friends that we did the cooking/wine tasting with. You cook up these amazing meals, then the best part is you sit around the table in these lovely homes eating drinking telling stories and laughing. I would and I have already recommended this holiday. Top 10!!! Plus the countryside is to die for. I will be going back for sure. Many thanks...xx"

Anna and Chris O., Fernandina Beach, Florida

"AGH made our 40th anniversary trip planning incredibly simple! Once we settled on a date and program, we were sent regular communications, updating us on everything from a detailed itinerary to general information about the region. We even received aprons for our classes! It is truly a 1st Class travel guide!"

John and Joan M., Vineland, New Jersey

"Great hostess, beautiful B&B and exceptional experience.We should have stayed longer. We completely enjoyed everything."

Lyn & Mike, Citron-Bainbridge Island, Washington

"We found ... the Bordeaux interesting stop for a few days when we were driving from Paris to the Basque region. We underestimated the time it takes to enjoy and explore this unique part of France, and immediately planned a second visit. The location is absolutely ideal for wine lovers, cyclers, walkers, and those who appreciate the ability to experience the charm of a beautifully restored home in a small French village. We honestly can't give enough credit to Carol for making our stay so enjoyable. She is relaxed, bright, friendly and easy to be around while providing a WEALTH of knowledge about the area and the activities offered. Equally impressive is Bruno, Carol's friend with whom we had the privilege of taking a one-day cooking class. Four of us gathered in the kitchen on Bruno's beautiful farm, and made an absolutely excellent lunch. Of the four, we had one "expert," two moderately adept students, and one who was clearly there because of his partner's passion. I know I speak for everyone when I say we all had a wonderful time. Bruno involved everyone equally at a level where they felt comfortable. He is a very talented chef, but is also aware that people are on vacation. His easy temperament is much like Carol's, and he is indeed a delight."


Mary and Gregg K., Oconomowoc, Michigan

"Dear Jo-Ann - it was a lovely trip and we enjoyed "the la forge" alot :).  We had perfect hosts. They arranged our week absolutely including everything we had asked for - the wineries, the education by a wine expert, the garden tours and the cooking classes, the opera in Bordeaux were better than we could have hoped! (attaching a photo) wearing our aprons from you. Thank you again for the connection!"



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This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE



*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.

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"It was an absolutely marvelous week. The accommodations were superb. I loved the course, the host, and the Chambre d'Hote which is a lovely country house equipped with everything one could possibly need. I was incredibly pleased to when dealing with AGH. All in all, a fantastic experience that I hope to be able to repeat, perhaps in Italy next time." Anita D., Encinitas, California

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