If you are looking to explore Provence, France, then this French cookery school and guided Provence food & wine tour in 2020 is the perfect way to experience the gourmet delights of Provence. Led by the famous New-Zealand restauranteur, Amanda Taylor-Ace and the celebrated British Chef, Theo Michaels; this small group tour of Provence (7-10 people), takes in a range of Provencal villages, markets, restaurants and sites.
Theo Michaels, was a semi-finalist on BBC TV's Master Chef programme in 2014. Theo was born in London to a Greek Cypriot family. He has lived in America and now divides his time between France and the UK. Since appearing on Master Chef, Theo has developed a number of successful pop-up restaurant ventures.
The inspiration for these guided food tours to Provence France comes from Amanda Taylor-Ace's own love affair with Provence, France. This well-travelled New Zealander fell in love with France 18 years ago and now she aims to share this love and knowledge of Provence, its food, its herbs, its wine, its restaurants and its amazing markets.
This cooking tour of Provence lasts 13 days and takes place from Friday, 15th May to Thursday, 21 May 2020. This guided tour to Provence will be based around an 18th century Manor house, nestled in a typical Provencal hillside village, enjoying all day sun within a walled garden covered with vines, outdoor terraces and swimming pool. From here you will be treated to a range of regional sightseeing highlights and evening entertainment. You will be able to spend 13 fabulous days in the company of fellow lovers of fine wine, food, laughter and life.
Experience Provence Tour 2020
The 2020 Experience Provence tour takes place in May, when the weather is lovely and warm, but not too hot. The final tour itinary can be adapted to personal tastes (that is the beauty of these small group tours to Provence), but the provisional line up is as follows:
Day 1: Friday 15th May 2020 - Avignon to St Maximin.
- 11am Pick up from Avignon SNCF station. Drive to Villeneuves les Avignon for a lunch by the Rhone River in a delightful Guinguette du Vieux Moulin. After lunch drive to our beautiful hill side village of Saint Maximin your home for the next 6 nights, unpack and relax by the pool or explore the village.
- 7pm meet the rest of the staff on the terrace for Apero Time of Amanda’s famous « Beaujolais Soup » served with savoury cakes.
- That evening we will have a Pizza and Pasta night in the Jardin D’ete with our "Compass Ole" our fabulous famous Gypsy group that are descendants of Manitas de Plata. Put on your dancing shoes!!
Day 2: Saturday 16th May 2020 - Uzes, Provence
- 8am Breakfast. After breakfast we leave for the Uzes Saturday Market. Uzes boasts it has the best market for miles around and it has. Great photo opportunities and present buying as well as wonderful fresh produce beautifully presented that is a visual delight.
- Buy your lunch from one of the many restaurants and cafés and time for wandering through the medieval streets of Uzes and maybe even climbing up to the top of the Duchy (the no 1 in France where the Duke and Duchess are often in esidence) and looking over the rooftops of Uzes.
- Dinner back at the Maison with one of our chefs or Dinner at local restaurant Estanque. Music tonight (if eating in) by our famous talented musician Michel Eliard who plays classical and flamenco guitar and can sing anything from Rock and Roll to wonderful French songs.
Day 3: Sunday 17th May - Sainte-Maximin, Provence
- Walk into Uzes for those that want to with Deputy Mayor Gaby Delsart who will explain the history of the area as you walk. You will end up at the « source » of the water that starts in the Valley de L‘Eure and was transported across country and over the amazing Pont Du Gard, the Roman aqueduct (still standing after 2,000 years) and on to Nimes which was the Centre of the Roman Empire at that time.
- The others will go to the local Flea Market but don’t worry we will take the walkers there too! There you can find many treasures amongst the trash!
- Lunch at the Maison with Amanda’s recipes for Black and Green Tapenade, Lavosh biscuits and a goats cheese salad.
- Dinner with our fabulous Chef Theo Michaels who will be cooking one of his signature dishes, and regaling up with his amusing repartee. Music with Michel Eliard (as Day 2).
Day 4: Monday 18th May 2020 - Baux de Provence
- 8am Breakfast.
- 9.30am Excursion to Les Baux de Provence the ancient family keep of the Grimaldi family. Wander amongst the castle ruins and admire the 360 degree view over the countryside.
- Own lunch in one of the charming restaurants or cafés and time for a little shopping.
- Meet at 2:30pm by the entrance and drive down to the « Carriers de Luminiers where you will see an amazing sound and light, music and art show in the ancient Bauxite Mine that features Salvador Dali this year.
- If we have time we will stop at Saint Remy de Provence on the way home.
- Dinner at the Maison by our Chef Theo Michaels.
Day 5: Tuesday 19th May 2020 - Surprise day
- 8am Breakfast
- 9.30am Excursion to be decided by group from a choice of the top sites in the area (Arles, Nimes, Chateau Neuf du Pape, Isle sur la Sourg and Fountain de Valcluse, Roussillon and Gordes to name a few).
- Dinner Chef Theo Michaels maybe his famous "Kleftiko" Greek slow cooked lamb in the Pizza oven.
- Music by one of our musicians.
Day 6: Wednesday 20th May 2020 - Provencal market
- 8am Breakfast.
- Excursion to Uzes to for the smaller producers market and a chance to get those last minute presents.
- Lunch at the famous "Terroirs" restaurant in the centre of Place aux Herbes near the fountain which has been pictured in some famous movies.
- Wine tasting on the way home at vineyard Aqueduct which produces excellent wines from a sparkling "Methode" to some crisp whites and serious reds, and even a dessert wine.
- Relax and maybe start your packing.
- Tonight is Paella night in our summer garden with chef Michel. So, dress up (or cross-dress) and dance the night away to one of our musicians.
Day 7: Thursday 21st May 2020 - Au revoir
- Breakfast Au revoir and Bisous
- Train station Avignon at 10:30ish.
Provence food tour cost
The cost of these gourmet small group tours to Provence France is quoted in Euros and exludes travel costs to Avignon, France:
• Single room .................... 2,288 Euros
• Shared room ................... 2,100 Euros
For more information and to reserve a place on this wonderful tour to Provence, please contact Amanda Taylor-Ace at:
Maison de Maitresse, 6 Place de la Croix, Saint Maximin, 30700, nr Uzes, France