A Week in Provence with Julia Child

May 25-June 1, 2019

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…in advance of 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 course, and a dessert. Each night one trio will cook, while the other teams either set the table, or clean-up. The remainder of the week’s dinners will at carefully chosen restaurants, or a chef will be hired in.

Trip Highlights

  • A once in a lifetime opportunity to stay on the estate where Julia wrote her cookbooks
  • Visits to many of Riviera’s most charming villages & towns (Antibes, Cannes, Mougins, Valbonne & Biot)
  • Foodie excursions to some of Provence’s most famous outdoor markets
  • Nightly wines chosen by an expert (journalist & owner of Wine-Knows Inc.)
Saturday: Welcome to Julia’s Homage

Morning: Free time to allow for international arrivals, or for time locally to sightsee…or relax.

Afternoon:After checking-in to our famous villa there will be time to unpack, take a swim, or just soak the splendor of the estate.

Evening:We’ll dine in tonight where the chef will prepare a special welcome buffet dinner made from Julia’s recipes.

Sunday: Stunning Antibes

Morning: We’ll kick off the trip by heading to nearby Antibes where you’ll have free time in the historical center. In addition to a bustling outdoor food market, Antibes has a plethora of tres charming boutiques, and even a 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.

Evening: Dinner tonight will be in the beautiful garden of a country restaurant. It’s a good possibility that Julia dined here considering the close proximity to her estate and the fact that the restaurant has a long history of serving some of the region’s best specialties.

Tuesday: Seductive Cannes

Morning: Today we’ll head to the epicenter for perfume production in all of France, nearby Grasse. There will be options to visit one of the city’s perfumeries and observe the details involved in production of perfume. Grasse is also well known for its outdoor market—this is a must-see as Julia was a frequent customer.

Afternoon: The remainder of the day will be spent cooking for the team that is in charge of the food this evening. Naturally, all of the recipes will be Julia’s. One of the backup teams will assist with preparing the table for dining. The third team, who has had the afternoon to relax, will cleanup.

Evening: Who Tonight we’ll toast Julia as we dine on our group’s first dinner, paired with a wine from Provence.

Tuesday: Seductive Cannes

 

Morning: While Cannes is most known for its celebrity-studded Film Festival, it’s also famous for its extraordinary covered food market that supplies the Riviera’s most famous restaurants. There is a delectable assortment of fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads, and multiple flavors of tampenade. However, it’s the fish and seafood section that is mind-blowing. One of Julia’s classics is her Bouillabaisse. If the team tonight is cooking this (or any other fish dish), you’ll find the best products at Cannes’ fish market.

Afternoon: Back at the villa, the next team will be busy preparing tonight’s special dinner. Backup teams will support.

Evening: Who will initiate tonight’s toast to Madame Child? What will the team have chosen for their Julia recipes? Will there be any leftovers?

Wednesday: Magical Mougins Village

Morning: We’re off to one of the most charismatic villages on the Riviera. Yves St Laurent, Christian Dior, Catherine Deneuve, and Pablo Picasso are just a few of those who have chosen to live in Mougins. Known for its art galleries and tony boutiques, this pedestrian-only, small hilltop village is certain to offer something for everyone.

Afternoon: Next, another 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 in the heart of Biot at a restaurant that has been in the same family for several generations. We’ll dine outside on a quiet square on Provence specialties.

Thursday: Michelin-Star Dining

Morning/Afternoon: Today is free. There are lots of options for excursions, or you can just chill at the pool, or enjoy a spin on one of the nearby walking trails.

Evening: We’ll start with an early evening blind tasting at the villa, featuring hand-selected wines from the region. Next, we’ll journey to one of this area’s culinary jewels, a Michelin-star restaurant, located in an undiscovered town in Provence.

Friday: Shopping at Julia’s Market

Morning: This morning we’re off to one of Provence’s best markets…and since it’s only a few minutes from Julia’s home so we know that Julia was a regular patron. Located in the delightfully attractive Provencal village of Valbonne, this market will provide everything we need for our final homage to Julia.

Afternoon: The last team will spend the remainder of the day preparing our last feast, while the backup team designs a glorious final table.

Evening: Dinner tonight will be on the terrace in our swankiest outfits. Raise your glass to toast this magnificent opportunity of cooking with new-found-friends, old chums… and Julia!

Saturday: Bid Your Adieu

Morning: The trip ends after breakfast at the villa. (We can easily arrange transport to the airport, or to another destination in the Provence/Riviera region.)

FAQs​

The tour begins in the late afternoon (Saturday) at the estate where Julia Child wrote her first two masterpiece cookbooks. (It is strongly advised that all participants arrive in the area 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 estate is located about 30 minutes from the Nice airport via a taxi or Uber. Participants will be responsible for arranging their transport to the villa. Detailed directions & villa contact info will be sent with the final documents.

If you plan to arrive early or stay in the area extra days, Wine-Knows can suggest the best spots to recover from jet lag, as well as arrange hotel space. If you plan on visiting other parts of Europe, Wine-Knows can also guide you on options.

Group airfare has purposefully not been included to allow maximum flexibility in arrival & departure options. This means that travelers may go both early as well as stay over after the trip concludes. Wine-Knows Travel, Inc. provides land only arrangements and does not provide airfare.

Participants are from diverse professional occupations, but most are well-seasoned international travelers with a common interest in food & wine. Like all Wine-Knows’ trips, this will be a non-smoking tour.

Set in an olive grove and gardens of nearly 10 acres, the >3,000 square foot villa is built of stone with wooden floors and ancient beams throughout. The estate is located just a few miles outside the enchanting village of Valbonne, just 15 miles from the Nice airport.

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 boasting raised ceilings, glorious floor to ceilings windows, and modern high-end fixtures. Similarly, the villa is furnished marrying antique pieces with contemporary. The villa is also WIFI enabled.

A contemporary eat-in gourmet kitchen is equipped with a professional stove, dishwater and an array of chef’s tools. Participants will have everything they need at their fingertips to create their perfect Julia dishes.

The villa has appeared in France’s equivalent of Better Homes & Gardens. Below are a few of the photos that appeared in the magazine….

Set in an olive grove and gardens of nearly 10 acres, the >3,000 square foot villa is built of stone with wooden floors and ancient beams throughout. The estate is located just a few miles outside the enchanting village of Valbonne, just 15 miles from the Nice airport.

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 boasting raised ceilings, glorious floor to ceilings windows, and modern high-end fixtures. Similarly, the villa is furnished marrying antique pieces with contemporary. The villa is also WIFI enabled.

A contemporary eat-in gourmet kitchen is equipped with a professional stove, dishwater and an array of chef’s tools. Participants will have everything they need at their fingertips to create their perfect Julia dishes.

The villa has appeared in France’s equivalent of Better Homes & Gardens. Below are a few of the photos that appeared in the magazine….

The estate stands in a dominant south facing position with breathtaking panoramas from the home, terrace, and the heated infinity-edge pool.

There are 5 bedrooms (spread over 3 floors), each with an ensuite bathroom.

The property boasts an enormous exterior space with various areas for outdoor living and dining…

  • covered terrace
  • small outdoor kitchen,
  • outdoor shower/ bathroom
  • several areas where one can steal away to relax privately
  • bocci ball court
  • BBQ
  • The group will be divided into teams of 3 persons.
  • Each team will be responsible for choosing prior to arrival one of Julia’s recipes for a first course, a main, and a dessert.
  • Each team will be responsible for cooking their 3courses on one evening.
  • Each team will be responsible for shopping for and buying the ingredients used in their recipes.
  • The 2 teams that are not cooking for the evening, will be responsible for either setting the table or cleaning up.
  • Wines will be provided each evening to accompany the recipes cooked by each team. These wines will be chosen and paid for by Wine-Knows.

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. On the other hand, we will be also be dining in a Michelin star restaurant so bring dressy clothes for this evening. The last night at the villa we will also “dress to dine” so plan according with something special.

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.

We have provided free time as detailed in the itinerary. Furthermore, 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.

Tour Prices
Tour Dates*
Book Before 9/1/2017
Book After 9/1/2017
May 25-June 1, 2019
$3,378 each (based on 10 persons)
$3,594 each (based on 10 persons)
  • Transportation to all activities listed in the itinerary
  • Double occupancy accommodations with private bath
  • Daily continental breakfasts
  • Welcome dinner at the villa and all restaurant dinners
  • 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)
  • Airfare to and from Europe
  • Ingredients purchased by teams for their 3 Julia recipes
  • Transport to & from the villa on arrival/departure day
  • Personal items (e.g. laundry, telephone calls)
  • Daily lunch
  • Wine over and above the 2.5 glasses (150 ml each) per dinner (you are welcome to purchase extra wine if you would like more)
  • A Deposit of $1,200.00 US per person is due at the time of booking.
  • A second installment payment of $1000.00 US is due by May 2, 2018.
  • The final payment is due by February 1, 2019.
  • There will be a $100.00 US charge for late payments.
  • Please make all checks payable to Wine Knows Travel, Inc. Trust.
  • A non-refundable fee of $250.00 US, applies for all cancellations.
  • Cancellations received prior to October 1, 2017 will be fully refunded less the cancellation fee.
  • 75% refund of the remaining funds will be made to those who cancel between October 2, 2017 and February 1, 2018.
  • A 55 % refund of the remaining funds will be made to those who cancel between February 2, 2018 and August 1, 2018.
  • A 25% refund of the remaining funds, if any, will be made to those who cancel between August 2, 2018 and February 1, 2019.
  • There are no refunds for cancellations after February 1, 2019.

Trip cancellation insurance is *strongly recommended* and can be purchased for a nominal premium.
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