9 amazing food and wine holidays in France
France exudes class and luxury in every corner — especially when it comes to food and wine. To help you experience the best of the French, below are our top 9 cookery holidays and wine tasting experiences in France. Bon appetit!
On each of the 5 days of this cooking and wine holiday in southwest France, you learn to make one piece of a grand 4-course dinner. Starting with puffed pastries and French desserts, you work up to boning a chicken and filleting a fish properly, culminating in a final day of Gordon Ramsey-esque cooking — 3 hours to produce a delicious 4-course meal based on what you’ve learnt.
Of course, it isn’t as intense as it sounds, with plenty of wine and helpful advice from your local hosts and acclaimed chefs David and Bernard to assist your skills on top of multiple cultural tours of the area and picturesque village.
As the home of gourmet cooking, France is the ultimate place to join a gourmet holiday. Plus, the Loire Valley is one of the major wine regions of the country, so it’s pretty much the ideal for any food or wine lover. On this particular wine and cooking experience, you’ll get a taste for the skills it takes to be an elite chef, from knife skills to pastry making to incorporating foie gras and other traditional ingredients.
Don’t worry though, this holiday is built for beginners to advanced chefs, and host Freya works with you at your skill level to ensure you learn and laugh plenty as you go. With her, you also visit several local artisans, including a cidre maker and pastisserie, plus you get to dine on a 6-course meal to celebrate the week’s successes.
Whether you’re a wine novice or an experienced connoisseur, this wine tasting weekend course allows you to sample and learn more about some of the finest wines of the celebrated Rhône wine region, and includes all of your wine, food, restaurant meals (in some of the region’s most acclaimed spots, such as France’s 2008 Sommelier of the Year’s place) and excursions to local farms, vineyards, and villages for a well-rounded all inclusive experience.
Your qualified wine tutor, Linda, will open your eyes to winemaking in the region, challenging your nose and tastebuds and allowing you in to her extensive cellar for a few sips here and there. Amid your tastings and trips, you’ll also have plenty of free time to soak up the sun, chat by the pool or enjoy the spectacular mountain views.
One of the most complex — and perhaps tasty — parts of French cooking is the pastries and desserts. Fortunately for those with a sweet tooth, there’s a course for that! You’ll learn everything you need to know to make melt-in-your-mouth brioches, berry and apple tarts, croissants, macaroons, breads, barvarois and more. By the end of the week, you’ll have mastered the tricky art of mille-feuille and know how to turn light, crispy and airy choux pastry into delicious éclairs, croquembouche, Paris-Brest and Saint-Honoré.
If that doesn’t make your mouth water, you’ll also get to visit several local artisan shops including a pastisserie and a chocolaterie (yes, that means chocolate shop!) during your stay with local French host, Marlene, and her family.
Alongside your highly trained chef Poul, stay in the lovely French village of Kerrouet and learn the art of gourmet French cooking. Coined as a cooking extravaganza, you’ll learn everything from filleting fish to making home made bread and ice cream to preparing stocks and sauces from scratch.
Spending a week in the French countryside never tasted so good… and, you’ll get to bring home recipes to add to your cookbooks and recreate well into the future.
Wine and cheese — or vin et fromage in French — is a classic combination. So if you only have one free day during a visit to Paris, make a stop at this decades-old wine bar in the heart of an authentic French neighbourhood for a course.
Taste 5 different French wines, including champagne, and complement the experience with delicious French cheese. The course takes place in the wine bar’s cellar, giving the whole day a rustic, traditional atmosphere.
The lap of luxury, this French cookery holiday has you staying in a high-end hotel and cooking in the Michelin star-rated chef’s 19th century kitchen, concocting traditional French dishes. Each day, you’ll collect fresh ingredients, either from the on-site herb and vegetable garden, or from the local market.
Alongside 4 to 5 course meals and relaxing spa treatments, you’ll visit four local artisans — a local vineyard, honeybee farm, olive grove and cheese farm to meet the producers. Situated between Nice and Marseilles, the village is an eclectic mix of French and Mediterranean, and the food you prepare will reflect this combo as well.
While not for the faint of heart, this charcuterie and butchery course in southwest France will give you all the skills you need to prep major meaty dishes, including jointing and sectioning an entire pig. On top of that, you’ll learn a wide variety of meat butchery skills from basic knife skills to jointing, to preparing sausages from scratch and creating home-made meat pies, terrines and pâtés.
Ideal for any meat lover, you’ll stay in the gorgeous village of Gramont sleeping in a rustic French farmhouse and experiencing a new side of chef-level cooking.
A shorter version of the all-inclusive wine break, this weekend version strikes the perfect balance between having a few days to spend on holiday and loving wine. A relaxed itinerary gives you just the right amount of hands-on wine tasting and vineyard tours, while leaving you plenty of free time for relaxing by the pool or exploring the lovely (and wine-heavy) region of Rhône.