SEptember Sept 24-Oct 1, 2022
This week will be spent at the actual estate in which Julia wrote both her famous cookbooks, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Dinners at the villa, prepared by the group, will be made from Julia’s recipes. Excursions will be to outdoor food markets in which Julia shopped. Likewise, we’ll visit boulangeries, fromageries and pastisseries which were some of Julia’s favorites. The trip has been timed for Provence’s most idyllic time of year…after the height of the tourist season, and at the most favorable time for perfect weather.
The group will be divided into small teams of three persons in advance of the trip. Each team will be responsible for selecting prior to arrival one of Julia’s first course recipes, one main, and a dessert. Teams will rotate throughout the week, each cooking their dinner at the villa. The remainder of the dinners will be at carefully chosen restaurants…one of which still remembers Julia!
- A once in a lifetime opportunity to stay on the estate where Julia wrote her cookbooks
- Visits to many of the Riviera’s most charming towns (Antibes, Mougins, Valbonne & Biot)
- Private tasting at the olive oil estate where Julia bought her oils
- Foodie excursions to Julia’s favorite outdoor markets
- Wine seminar & visit to one of the area’s most highly regarded wineries.
Saturday: Welcome to Julia’s HOMAGE !
Afternoon: The trip will begin mid-late afternoon. After checking into our famous villa there will be time to unpack, take a swim, or just soak the splendor of the estate.
Evening: Dinner tonight will be prepared by Wine-Knows Travel. The menu will include Julia’s veal with a saffron sauce, an eggplant and zucchini gratin, as well as one of her classical dessert tartes filled with pears poached in red wine.
Sunday: Outdoor Market & Biot Glass
Morning: We’ll kick off the trip by heading to seaside Antibes where you’ll have free time in the historical center. There’s a bustling outdoor food market where teams cooking early in the week can procure their fresh ingredients. The butcher who Julia used also is still here for those first teams who are serving meat. Antibes also has a plethora of tres charming boutiques as well as the highly regarded Picasso Museum. For those who love walking, there’s a jaw-dropping walk that traverses the city’s ancient walls along the Mediterranean.
Afternoon: We can’t leave Antibes without seeing the Riviera’s most fascinating supermarket, a kind of “Whole Foods on steroids.” Complete with a kitchenware section, this is a great place to pick up foodie gifts for friends back home. Staples for all teams can also be purchased here. The last stop of the day will be a special hilltop village, Biot. Famous for its handmade glass, Biot is off-the-beaten-track except for “those in the know.”
Evening: Dinner tonight will be at a restaurant that Julia Child frequented and wrote about. Still owned by the same family, this restaurant even still offers the same menu….a mélange of labor-intensive Provence specialties.
Monday: Perfume & Olive Oil
Morning: Today we’ll head to France’s epicenter for perfume production in nearby Grasse. We’ll visit one of the city’s oldest perfumeries and learn details involved in the production of perfume. There will be time to shop in their exquisite gift shop filled with a wide array of perfumes, soaps, lotions and cosmetics.
Next, we’ll visit Julia’s beloved olive oil producer where the family has been producing quality oils for seven generations. We’ll sample a variety of hand-crafted oils and olive products including Provence’s famous tampenade.
Evening: Tonight we’ll eat at a local restaurant with a pretty garden-setting.
TUESDAY: WINE-TASTING IN THE HILLS ABOVE NICE
Morning: This morning is free. If you’re on the team cooking dinner tonight, this will be your time to prep. If you’re on the team setting the table, now is your time to prepare the table for our first Julia dinner. For tonight’s cleanup team, the pool’s also available for swimming, or just relax poolside and enjoy the panoramic terrace views.
Mid-day: We’re off for a private wine-tasting in one of the most highly regarded wine districts on the Riviera. We’ll return to the villa mid-afternoon so that the cooking team will have adequate time to finish their dinner preparations.
Evening: Let’s toast to our first Julia dinner all made from Julia Child recipes. Afterwards, the clean-up team (who has had the day to relax) will take over.
Wednesday: Mougins: A Culinary Shrine
Morning: We’re off to one of the most charismatic villages on the Riviera. Mougins was home to one of the most famous French chefs of the 20th century, Roger Verget (who trained Hubert Keller & the most awarded Michelin star chef ever, Alain Ducasse.) Yves St Laurent, Christian Dior, Catherine Deneuve, and Pablo Picasso are just a few of those who have lived in Mougins. Known for its art galleries and tony boutiques, this pedestrian-only, small hilltop village is certain to offer something for everyone.
Mid-Day: The team cooking dinner will return back to the villa to begin their meal prep. Others have the option of staying in Mougins. Table-setters: don’t be too late in returning….you have some magic to make.
Evening: Everyone raise a glass for the second team’s Julia dinner (and another glass for the clean-up crew).
Thursday: Charismatic St. Paul de Vence
Morning-Afternoon: Today we’ll visit one of the oldest medieval towns in Provence, St Paul de Vence. This very charming hilltop town is now filled with art galleries and boutiques.
Evening: Tonight everyone can relax as we’re dining out. The restaurant, located in a nearby village, is one of the perennial favorites of past Julia Child groups.
Friday: Julia’s Market
Morning/Afternoon: We’re off to one of Provence’s best outdoor markets in Valbonne. Only a few minutes from her home, Julia was a regular patron at this famous weekly event. In addition to a cornucopia of local produce, the market boasts many stalls selling items made from brightly-colored Provencal fabrics, as well as stunning pottery and lavender products. The remainder of the early afternoon will be free to explore the enchanting village of Valbonne.
Evening: It’s our last night so we’ll wear something special as a farewell homage to Julia. A final toast to this magnificent opportunity to cook with Julia and friends, and to the third team who will be in charge of tonight’s menu.
Saturday: Au Revoir, Julia!
Morning: The trip ends after breakfast at the villa. (Wine-Knows will be happy to arrange transport to the airport, or to another destination in the Provence/Riviera region.)
The tour begins in the late afternoon at the estate where Julia Child wrote her first two masterpiece cookbooks. It is strongly advised that all participants arrive in Provence at least one day before to avoid any possibility of missed connections with the group, as well as to allow time for adjusting to jet lag. Wine-Knows will be happy to obtain early arrival hotel space for you.
The villa is located approximately 15 miles from the Nice airport. Participants will be responsible for arranging their transport to the villa. Detailed directions & villa contact info will be sent with the final documents.
- The group will be divided prior to departure into 3 teams (3 persons per team).
- Each team will be responsible for choosing in advance a Julia recipe for a first course, a main, and a dessert.
- Each team will be responsible for cooking one dinner, as well as setting the table on a different night than their dinner. Each team will also be responsible for one kitchen cleanup, but not on the night that they cook or set the table. (Note: a team that does not wish to do a kitchen cleanup have the option of hiring a helper—Wine-Knows can arrange this for you).
- Each team will be taken to the grocery store to purchase their dinner’s ingredients. The cost of the food will be divided among the 3 team members. The average cost of food per team is $100-120, or about $35-$40 per team member.
- Wines for your villa dinners will be selected by Wine-Knows and will be customized for the team’s menu. All wines will be paid for by Wine-Knows.
The >3,000 square foot villa is located on the estate that was owned by Julia’s co-author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Simone Beck. Julia and Simone wrote the cookbook from this very villa.
While the villa dates from the 18th century, it has been completely renovated throughout with the latest technologies and a high level of comfort. Several foot thick stone walls have been juxtaposed with a clever glass and concrete addition which allows raised ceilings, glorious floor to ceilings windows, and modern high-end finishes. The villa is also WIFI enabled.
A contemporary eat-in gourmet kitchen is equipped with a highly-prized La Cornue stove, dishwater, and an array of chef’s tools. There are two huge American style refrigerators. Participants will have everything they need at their fingertips to create their perfect Julia dishes.
There are 5 bedrooms (spread over 3 floors), each with an ensuite bathroom. Two rooms have twin beds, two have queens, and 1 has a king.
The estate stands in a dominant south facing position with panoramas from the home, terrace, and the heated infinity-edge pool. The property also boasts has an enormous exterior space with various areas for outdoor living and dining…
- shaded terrace
- small outdoor kitchen
- outdoor shower/ bathroom
- several areas where one can steal away to relax privately
- bocci ball court
The villa is equipped with both a washer & dryer, as well as hairdryers in each bathroom.
The French dress more formally than most Americans & we would like to respect their customs. That being said, the tour will be “business-casual” dress. The last night at the villa we will also “dress to dine” so plan accordingly by bringing something special for our farewell dinner.
Good walking shoes are essential as many of the villages we’ll be visiting have cobblestone streets. Also, don’t forget to bring a swimsuit as the villa has a pool.
Consider the following 3 rules of thumb to minimize the amount of clothing required: (1) Bring layers. (2) Use the mix-and-match principal (i.e. if it doesn’t mix or match, leave it at home.) (3) Use accessories to change the look versus bringing additional clothing.
Daytime temperatures on the French Riviera during this time of year average about 70-75 degrees so pack accordingly. Be sure to bring a sweater as evenings along the sea can be chilly. While rain is unusual at this time of year, it never hurts to pack a small umbrella.
Free time is detailed in the itinerary. It is not mandatory that you attend all of the planned experiences, although most of our clients do! This is your trip—if you would rather sleep-in, shop, or simply chill at the villa, then do it!
Yes. We accept payment through PayPal (PayPal.com). Since PayPal charges us a fee, this fee must be added to the cost of the trip.
In addition to clients from >20 states in the US, we have had several clients from Europe, Canada, Asia & even New Zealand. Our groups are composed of people from diverse occupations, singles & couples, men & women, a mix of young & old, well-seasoned international travelers as well as a few novices. All have a common interest in food & wine. The majority of participants on our tours are repeat clients or their referrals. In addition, each tour participant is a non-smoker.
Sept 24-Oct 1, 2022
Book Before 12/1/2020:
Book After 12/1/2020:
- Transportation to all activities listed in the itinerary
- Double occupancy accommodations with private bath
- Daily continental breakfasts
- 6 dinners (3 at the villa and 3 at restaurants)
- Wine to accompany all dinners at the villa & all dinners out (the trip has been priced based on 2 persons sharing a 750ml bottle of wine, or 2.5 glasses per person of 150ml each)
- All gratuities (e.g. restaurants, driver, villa staff)