Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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Dordogne, France - 6 nights
Available November 5-11, 2018/February 4-10, 2019

 

Active Gourmet Holidays brings you an incredible cooking vacation in the southwest of France. You will take cooking classes with a native French chef. Through artisan and market visits you will explore the Périgord region of France known for its cuisine, wine and truffles. You will be taken to see ancient cave dwellings dating from 20,000 B.C. and you will explore medieval villages. And if that is not enough, you will have the unique experience of staying in an authentic fortified medieval castle. And of course since this is a culinary extravaganza, you will dine on delectable cuisine and fine regional wines in the same space where knights, lords and maidens broke bread and shared meals together. This is an experience not to be missed!

 

Chateau Marouatte is a stunning 14th Century fortified castle steeped in history and now fully restored as an amazing family home. Perched on a hill in the Green Périgord, a short distance from Périgueux, Marouatte enjoys spectacular panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. This majestic environment is the perfect setting for creativity, inspiration and relaxation. Marouatte hosts many creative retreats throughout the year -- writing or song writing. With the wealth of produce available, creating a culinary retreat was a natural next step. 

 

Experience a 5 day/6 night immersion in the very best Périgord has to offer. You will travel through some of the most picturesque ancient towns and discover the rich cultural history of the area. You will meet artisan producers of walnut oil and cheese makers, sample the rustic traditional charcuterie and cheeses, and enjoy comparative tastings of truffles and caviar. You will dine at several venues from casual bistros favored by the locals, to Michelin-star restaurants. Along the way, you will become an astute wine connoisseur with daily wine tastings of several appellations of Southwest France, and get first-hand knowledge of the region’s cuisine through hands-on cooking classes. 

 

  

The fall culinary retreat at Marouatte Castle is designed to take advantage of the seasonal produce the region is best known for: foie gras, fatted ducks, truffles, walnuts, wild mushrooms, chestnuts, etc. In your cooking classes, you will learn traditional recipes such as walnut cake, emblematic hearty soups, the famous sauce Périgueux, confit de canard and foie gras to name a few. Classes will also offer inventive, somewhat lighter fare like salad Périgourdine, local trout with walnuts and wild mushrooms, duck magret, chestnut and chocolate cake. In between the cooking workshops and market visits, there will be shopping trips to local boutiques and antique stores, and visits to medieval villages and castles. 

 

Your chef for the week is Anne de Ravel. Anne was an independent writer, producer and cookbook author in New York specializing in lifestyle, culinary trends and cooking.  She was a creative editor for the New York Times, Entertaining Magazine and a producer for the Food Network. Upon returning to her native France, she created Saveur Languedoc, oeno-culinary programs that bring people together to discover Languedoc, its culinary heritage and wines. In addition, she was the original chef at the Chateau Les Carrasses in Quarante (34) where she received many accolades. When not running Saveur Languedoc, Anne travels extensively through France in search of the best ingredients and recipes. Périgord is one of her favorite destinations. 

 

Your host for the week is Miles Copeland, owner of Marouatte and well known in the music business as the founder of IRS Records (REM, Go Gos, Fine Young Cannibals etc), long time manager of the Police, Sting, the Bangles and many others. Miles' father was a founding member of the CIA and his mother was a respected prehistorian, which resulted in an early upbringing in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. Growing up visiting crusader castles and ancient sites fostered in Miles an appreciation for history and the past.    

 

Acquiring Marouatte 26 years ago, the castle has been a great excuse to collect and decorate in medieval style with antiques, stained glass, tapestries, even suits of armor, yet with modern amenities and a home like ambiance. Meanwhile, as a genuine medieval castle, it was not hard to maintain its stately mystique. Invited musicians and songwriters over the past 20 years have created a prestigious legacy of hits created at and inspired by the castle. We hope to see this legacy expanded into other creative arts.  

 

 

SIX NIGHT ITINERARY FOR NOVEMBER 5-11, 2018

*Please inquire about the few differences between the November and February itineraries

 

 

DAY ONE - MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5TH

 

WELCOME TO THE CASTLE

 

You will be picked up at the Angoulême train station in the afternoon. Note: there will be only one group transfer from the train station on arrival and departure day. 

 

 

Tour of the chateau and settle into your rooms before meeting for a welcome aperitif.

 

 

Dinner will be prepared by the chef. 

 

 DAY TWO - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH

 

COOKING CLASS, STURGEON FARM VISIT, WINE TASTING

 

9 AM. Breakfast, Continental and/or American, depending on each guest's request at time of booking. 

 

9:30 AM. First cooking workshop. The theme will be fatted duck and foie gras that the chef will have purchased in advance. You will work on the first steps of duck confit preparation, learn about foie gras making and prepare your own terrine to take home.

 

1 PM. Buffet lunch at the chateau  

 

 

2:30 PM. Visit of the Neuvic sturgeon and caviar producing farm. You will enjoy a tour of the farm, discover how the sturgeons are raised and learn about the different grades of caviar, and how they are processed, followed by a comprehensive tasting. 

 

Return to Marouatte and time to relax

 

7 PM. Guests gather for a wine tasting and overview of the wines of the region conducted by a local expert. 

 

8 PM.  Sit-down dinner prepared by the chef    

 

  

DAY THREE - WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH

 

PERIGUEUX MARKET VISIT, COOKING CLASS AND WINE TASTING

 

9 AM. Breakfast 

  

9:30 AM. Visit of the Périgueux market spread through the historical center of the town. As you browse through the stalls of local producers of honey, walnuts, vegetables, ducks and truffles to name a few, you will enjoy the Medieval and Renaissance architecture remarkably preserved.

 

1 PM. Lunch at L’Essentiel, Périgueux Michelin 1-star restaurant in the historical center

 

 

Return to Marouatte 

 

4 PM. Cooking class of the day.

 

You will finish the confit started the day before and prepare a three course meal from ingredients picked up at the market.

 

 7 PM.  Guests gather for tasting of the Madiran and Pacherenc wines followed by dinner   

 

 

 

 

DAY FOUR - THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH

 

TRUFFLE HUNT, DEMO TRUFFLE COOKING CLASS AND WINE TASTING

 

9 AM.  Breakfast 

 

9:30 AM. You will meet Claire Martin de Foresta, our truffle expert, for the introduction of the workshop of the day. You will then follow her and her dogs for a truffle hunt on the grounds of the property. 

 

While walking through the woods, you will learn how truffles grow in the wild, the type of soil needed depending on the species, and how to cultivate them. Be prepared to come back empty handed, truffles have the flair to hide themselves from even the best trained dog!

 

Back at the chateau, you will be introduced to all the truffles available throughout the year and learn what you should be looking for when purchasing this delicacy. You will have the opportunity to sample different types of truffles and find out their seasons and origins. You will then follow the cooking demonstration while Claire prepares a 4-course lunch, including dessert.

  

1 PM. Sit-down lunch 

 

Free time in the afternoon

 

7 PM.  Guests gather for a Bergerac wine tasting followed by dinner prepared by the chef

 

DAY FIVE - FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH

 

RIBERAC MARKET VISIT, WALNUT MILL VISIT, COOKING CLASS AND WINE TASTING

 

9 AM.  Breakfast

 

9:30. Visit of the town of Riberac and its weekly market, the largest of the region. You will peruse through the colorful stalls offering everything from culinary specialties to household goods, clothing, flowers and antiques. 

 

 

 

 

12:30 PM. Lunch at a local bistro.

 

Visit of a walnut mill on the way back to the chateau

 

 

4:30 PM. Cooking class featuring the ingredients you picked up at the market

 

7:30 PM. Guests gather for Cahors wine tasting followed by dinner   

 

 

DAY SIX - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH

 

BRANTOME, GROTTE DE VILLARS, COOKING CLASS AND WINE TASTING

 

9 AM. Breakfast

 

9:30 AM.  Today’s excursion will take you to the charming town of Brantôme, nicknamed the Venice of the Dordogne, where you will visit the Benedictine Abbey built by Charlemagne in 769, an elegant building hiding its troglodyte origins that includes the famous cave of the 'Last Judgment'. 

 


12:30 PM. Lunch at a local bistro 


2:00 PM. Visit of the Grotte de Villars, an impressive site. It is mostly a natural cave full of stalactites and stalagmites but also has a few small prehistoric drawings.

 

Return to Marouatte

 

4:30 PM. Final cooking class

 

7:30 PM. Guests gather for a Gaillac wine tasting followed by dinner    

  

 

DAY SEVEN - SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11TH

 

AU REVOIR!

 

 

Breakfast and transfer to Angoulême train station

 

We hope you have enjoyed your castle cooking vacation!

 

*For those not wishing to partake in the cooking classes, the host will offer other activities such as museum visits, castle visits or shopping trips where transport will be arranged

  

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

 

 

 

 

GROUP SIZE

 

A minimum of 8 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 20 total participants. However, the cooking participants are limited to 10. 

 

(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.)

 

 

 

HOW TO ARRIVE

 

Guests will be collected from Angoulême Train Station in the late afternoon (time to be determined but around 5pm). There is only one transfer from the train station to the castle but if you happen to miss the transfer we can pick you up for an additional charge of 70€. If you are flying into Paris and would like to come directly to the castle, you can take the TGV (high speed) train from Charles de Gaulle Airport (just under a 3 hour train ride to Angoulême). If you wish to stay in Paris for a night or two before coming to the castle, you can take the TGV from Montparnasse (just under a 2 hour train ride to Angoulême). 
 
A train schedule will be sent to all booked guests with advice on which train you should book.

 

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

 

 

 

BOOKING INFORMATION

 

2018/2019 Fees Per Person

 

November 5-11, 2018 Pricing:

 

$3800 USD per person for cooking participants based on double occupancy
$3000 USD per person for non cooking participants based on double occupancy
$4200 USD per person for cooking participants based on single occupancy 
$3400 USD per person for non cooking participants based on single occupancy

 

 

(Program is limited to 10 or 11 cooking participants)

 

*Non cooking participants are welcome to join in all of the meals and all of the excursions. 

 

*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation

 

February 4-10, 2019 Pricing:
 

$3875 USD per person for cooking participants based on double occupancy
$3050 USD per person for non cooking participants based on double occupancy
$4275 USD per person for cooking participants based on single occupancy 
$3450 USD per person for non cooking participants based on single occupancy

 

(Program is limited to 10 or 11 cooking participants)

 

*Non cooking participants are welcome to join in all of the meals and all of the excursions. 

 

*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation

 

Deposit

 

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.

 

2018/2019 Dates

 

November 5-11, 2018 

 

February 4-10, 2019  

 

*Groups of 8 or more: please inquire about possible alternate dates

 

 

Included

 

NOVEMBER 5-11, 2018

 

*Transfer to and from Angoulême train station (there will be only one group transfer on arrival and departure day)
*Six (6) nights' accommodation with private bathroom at the castle 
*Breakfast daily
*Six (6) dinners with wine
*Five (5) wine tastings
*Four (4) hands-on cooking classes in English
*One (1) truffle demo cooking class in English, tasting and lunch with wine 
*One (1) buffet lunch at the chateau with wine
*Three (3) lunches at restaurants with wine
*One (1) caviar tasting
*Guided excursions to a sturgeon farm, a walnut mill, Brandôme, Périgueux, Riberac and Grotte de Villars
*Transportation during all excursions
*Three (3) market visits

 

Non-Participating Guests

 

*Transfer to and from Angoulême train station (there will be only one group transfer on arrival and departure day)
*Six (6) nights' accommodation with private bathroom at the castle 
*Breakfast daily
*Six (6) dinners with wine

*Five (5) wine tastings

*One (1) truffle demo cooking class in English, tasting and lunch with wine 

*One (1) buffet lunch at the chateau with wine

*Three (3) lunches at restaurants with wine

*One (1) caviar tasting

*Guided excursions to a sturgeon farm, a walnut mill, Brandôme, Périgueux, Riberac and Grotte de Villars
*Transportation during all excursions

*Three (3) market visits

  

FEBRUARY 4-10, 2019

 

*Transfer to and from Angoulême train station (there will be only one group transfer on arrival and departure day)
*Six (6) nights' accommodation with private bathroom at the castle
*Breakfast daily

*Six (6) dinners with wine

*Five (5) wine tastings

*Four (4) cooking classes

*One (1) truffle cooking class, tasting and lunch with wine

*One (1) buffet lunch at the chateau with wine

*One (1) truffle lunch at restaurant

*One (1) lunch at Michelin-starred restaurant with wine

*One (1) caviar tasting

*Excursions to a sturgeon farm and a walnut mill, Brandôme and Périgueux, 

*One (1) truffle market visit 

*One (1) farmer’s market visit

*Transportation during all excursions

 

Not included:

*One (1) lunch

 

Non-participating guests

 

*Transfer to and from Angoulême train station (there will be only one group transfer on arrival and departure day)
*Six (6) nights' accommodation with private bathroom at the castle

*Breakfast daily

*Six (6) dinners with wine

*Five (5) wine tastings

*One (1) truffle cooking class, tasting and lunch with wine

*One (1) buffet lunch at the chateau with wine

*One (1) truffle lunch at restaurant

*One (1) lunch at Michelin-starred restaurant with wine

*One (1) caviar tasting

*Excursions to a sturgeon farm and a walnut mill, Brandôme and Périgueux, 

*One (1) truffle market visit 

*One (1) farmer’s market visit

*Transportation during all excursions

 

Not included:

*One (1) lunch

 

For both tours: What is Not included - Airfare, train tickets, personal expenses and optional activities for all participants 

 

 

For further inquiries or to register, click here.

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CANCELLATION POLICY

 

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

 

 

CLIENT REMARKS

 

Furnished upon request. 

 

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 MAP*

 

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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CINQUE TERRE COOKING & WALKING

"Believe me we were impressed...very impressed...I don't know how we could possibly top this vacation...any suggestions? Active Gourmet did good. Everyone we came in contact with was superb. Friendly, professional, efficient, accommodating,fantastic. What a pleasure having them assist us with our vacation....it was the best vacation I ever had. Thank you." Fran and Daniel U., Torrance, California

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